See the changes the EPA has proposed to be made to the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) pertaining to pesticide exposure.

In 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made changes to the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS)  in an effort to reduce pesticide exposure for those in the ag industry. According to a Southeast AgNet article, those changes were reduced in 2020. New proposals would restore the WPS to the previous metric. See the details below.

Details of Changes to the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard

According to the article, the 2020 changes to the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) changed the pesticide Application Exclusion Zone (AEZ) from 100 feet to 25 feet. The proposed changes would restore the 100-ft level. Other provisions in the proposal, per the article, include:

  • Applying the AEZ
    • beyond an establishment’s boundaries; and
    • when individuals are within easements (such as easements for utility workers to access telephone lines).
  • Establishing AEZ distances for ground-based spray applications of
    • 25 feet for medium or larger sprays when sprayed from a height greater than 12 inches from the soil surface or planting medium; and
    • 100 feet for fine sprays.

Provisions from the 2020 changes that the EPA would like to retain include:

  • “a clarification that suspended pesticide applications can resume after people leave the AEZ; and,
  • an “immediate family exemption” that allows only farm owners and the farm owners’ immediate family to remain inside enclosed structures or homes while pesticide applications are made, providing family members flexibility to decide whether to stay on-site during pesticide applications, rather than compelling them to leave even when they feel safe remaining in their own homes.”

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.