Pesticide safety rules, modeled after federal worker-protection standards, take effect Jan. 13 in Washington
Published:December 14, 2017
By Don Jenkins
New rules for using pesticides, modeled after federal worker-protection standards, will take effect in Washington on Jan. 13.
Agriculture Director Derek Sandison signed the rules Wednesday. They will bring state regulations in line with rules that are being phased in by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The regulations cover such subjects as training applicators, posting safety information, decontaminating workers and providing medical care.
"The worker-protection standards cover a lot of areas," Sandison said in a written statement. "It's critical that agricultural employees learn and understand what's being required to comply and protect their workers and their communities."
The EPA adopted new standards in 2015. Most went effect last year, while more are scheduled to take effect next year. States can adopt more stringent standards, but must at least meet federal rules.
In some ways, the new EPA rules will bring the federal standards to those already followed in Washington, according to WSDA. The state and federal rules will now be essentially identical, according to the department.
WSDA says it will work with growers to understand the new rules and won't enforce them until EPA-approved training materials are available.
The EPA has issued a manual on complying with the regulations.
The new requirements include: