Water Efficiency and Cost-Cutting
July 26, 2022
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EPA Regulation in Agriculture

The Environmental Protection Agency sets rules, regulations and policies for agricultural businesses. If you have a specific situation that requires knowledge of the exact letter of the law, the EPA’s website is easy to navigate. Your state may have additional requirements but checking EPA regulations is a good place to start. Here are the major agriculture categories of their oversight:

  • Livestock, poultry and aquaculture. This includes beef, dairy, swine, poultry and aquaculture.
  • Crop production. This includes greenhouses, nurseries and forestry.
  • Provisions of drinking water. 
  • Farm facilities, fuel and equipment.
  • Buildings, construction and renovation.
  • Wastes.
  • Air emissions and releases.
  • Chemical handling. 

One of the subcategories of oversight by the EPA is the use, storage and disposal of pesticides in agricultural businesses. Detailed instruction can be found on the EPA’s website regarding training in the use of pesticides, restrictions, container usage, pollutant elimination, labeling, etc. 

As of June 14, 2022, there are new requirements for the registration of pesticide products. They must provide EPA-specified data requirements that demonstrate efficacy against three groups of invertebrates. These are the three groups: 

  • An invertebrate whose presence affects public health. These would include ticks, mosquitos, cockroaches, etc., which carry or spread disease. 
  • Wood destroying insects such as termites. 
  • Invasive invertebrates such as the Asian long horned beetle. 

In the case of wood destroying invertebrates, there are economic ramifications – termites cause vast amounts of damage to homes and business structures. In the case of invasive invertebrates, there are ecological ramifications – an insect that was brought from another continent may have no natural enemies in the new location, which can greatly upset the ecological balance.   

The impetus behind this new regulation is that pesticides which claim to either kill or repel any invertebrate within the above three categories must demonstrate the ability to effectively do so. These products must now pass performance data requirements laid out in the rules that went into effect this summer.