Department of Pesticide Regulation
Brian R. Leahy
Director
  Edmund G. Brown Jr.
Governor
 
 
May 21, 2013
 
  ENF 13-09
 
TO:
County Agricultural Commissioners
 
SUBJECT:
SOIL FUMIGANT 2012 LABELING AND PERMIT CONDITIONS –QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
 

Soil fumigant labels and use requirements changed in December, 2012. The latest round of label changes mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) include buffer zones, credits that potentially reduce buffer zone size, posting of buffer zones, emergency preparedness and response measures, restrictions for difficult to evacuate sites, and training for supervising certified applicators. In addition, the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) issued recommended permit conditions for Methyl Bromide, Chloropicrin, and Chloropicrin with 1,3-D. The DPR letter ENF 12-21(amended March 2013) gives a summary of the changes. In addition, the new phase 2 soil fumigant labels are available at http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/emon/fumigants/fum_labels.htm.

DPR conducted phase 2 soil fumigant training sessions in October and November 2012. The following questions were raised during the training sessions. Questions are grouped by topic as follows:

General:questions 1 - 8
Buffer zones and Difficult To Evacuate Sites: questions 9 - 25
Handler - Definition, Training, & Fumigant Safe Handling Information:questions 26 - 30
Registrant-provided Training for Supervising Certified Applicators:questions 31 - 32
Entry Restricted Period, Tarp Perforation, and Tarp Removal:questions 33 - 36
Fumigation Management Plan and Post Application Summary: questions 37 - 43
Stop-Work Trigger:question 44
Emergency Preparedness and Response, and Emergency Response Plan: questions 45 - 50
Methyl Bromide products:questions 51 - 60
1,3-Dichloropropene products: questions 61 - 62
Metam sodium / metam potassium products: questions 63 - 65
Miscellaneous:questions 66 - 68


General

1.  Is there a quick way to determine whether a soil fumigant label is phase 1 or phase 2?

Phase 1 labels can be identified by the absence of buffer zone tables.

2.  Can soil fumigant products with old (phase 1) labels still be applied now that phase 2 labels are in effect?

It depends on whether the applicator is also a registrant. Applicators who are not registrants may continue to use existing stocks of phase 1 product indefinitely, as per 3CCR 6301 (b), though they must follow any CAC permit conditions that have been placed upon such use. Registrants are prohibited from selling or distributing old labels after December 1, 2012, which includes being prohibited from applying (distributing) old product after December 1, 2012. That prohibition also applies to subregistrants. Dealers who are not registrants may continue to sell existing stocks of old product for two years.


3.  If a fumigant applicator has both phase 1 and phase 2 labeling at an application site, which labeling should he or she follow?

The applicator must comply with all requirements of the phase 2 labeling, if both are at the site.

4.  Is the supervising certified applicator required to provide on-site supervision of post-application activities such as monitoring or tarp removal?

No, this is not required for post-application activities. Nonetheless, labeling does require the supervising certified applicator to communicate clear instructions about what post-application activities are needed, and how to carry out those activities. Specifically, the supervising certified applicator must communicate both to the site owner and to relevant handlers the information necessary to comply with label requirements and with any procedures described in the Fumigation Management Plan. In addition, as part of completing the Post Application Summary, the supervising certified applicator must verify that post-application activities were performed correctly.

5.  Will DPR’s inspection forms be revised to reflect the new requirements?

No, DPR does not anticipate changing any inspection forms in the near future. For a Field Fumigation Use Monitoring inspection, use the form requirement #10, Labeling - Site/Rate/Buffers/Other" (FAC 12973), to address compliance with the label. For a Headquarter and Employee Safety inspection, use the blank lines at the bottom of the Requirements section to address compliance with labeling (FAC 12973). DPR is reviewing the Inspection Procedures Manual to determine if additional guidance is needed.

6.  If an application takes place in one state and its buffer zone or Difficult to Evacuate Sites extend across the border, is the neighboring state lead agency required to be notified?

No. Labeling requires notification of the lead agency only of the state in which the application will occur.

7.  If an application takes place in one state, and its buffer zone or Difficult to Evacuate Sites extend across the border, who is responsible for ensuring that labeling requirements are met?

For any application, the certified applicator supervising the application is responsible for carrying out buffer zone and Difficult to Evacuate Sites requirements. These are federal labels that are applicable in every state in which the products are registered. Regarding enforcement, jurisdictions are the same as for other pesticides.

8.  Is an Inversion Advisory the same as an Air Stagnation Advisory?

No. An Inversion Advisory is different from an Air Stagnation Advisory, although they are related. The Mandatory Good Agricultural Practices section of labeling prohibits applications whenever an Air Stagnation Advisory issued by the National Weather Service is in effect for the application area. The key point is that the National Weather Service does not issue either advisory in California, to avoid potential conflicts with air quality advisories. Depending on the region, either the Air Resources Board (ARB) or the local Air Pollution Control District issue air quality advisories in California based in part on inversion height and wind speed. DPR and ARB are discussing the possibility of making the air quality forecasting data available to agricultural commissioners.

Buffer zones and Difficult to Evacuate Sites (also see specific active ingredient sections)

9.  Is it acceptable for buffer zones of two nearby applications to overlap if the applications have different active ingredients?

Labeling restrictions vary according to the active ingredients. For example, labeling for MITC-generating fumigants (metam sodium, metam potassium, and dazomet) restricts overlap with buffer zones for any MITC-generating fumigant. In general, labeling prohibits overlap of buffer zones for the same active ingredient whenever less than 12 hours have elapsed between completion of the earlier application and start of the later application. In addition, DPR recommended permit conditions restrict acreage and may require recalculation of buffer zones when buffer zones overlap during the first 36 hours. When two or more applicators have agreed to stagger their applications to avoid these restrictions, the CAC could address how to document their agreement during the permitting process.

10.  If a buffer zone would extend onto an adjacent property, who may sign the agreement to vacate or stay out of the buffer zone?

It depends on the nature of the adjacent property. If the adjacent property is an agricultural area, most labels state that such agreements must be signed by the “owner” of the property. In contrast, if the adjacent property is a residential area or building, labeling requires the “occupant” to sign the agreement.. In addition, California laws and regulations require any applicator to protect the safety of neighbors and bystanders. Therefore, in some circumstances, the supervising certified applicator may need to obtain agreements from more than one person or entity (owner, renter or leaser, occupant, etc.).

11.  How soon must you obtain a written agreement if your buffer zone will go onto someone else’s property?

Phase 2 labeling requires this written agreement prior to application. In the written agreement, the occupants of the neighboring property agree that they will voluntarily vacate the buffer zone, and that occupants and other non-handlers will not re-enter until the buffer zone period has ended. CACs could consider permit conditions to require written agreements either before issuing the Restricted Materials Permit or approving the Notice of Intent.

12.   Labels state that buffer zones must not include areas that people may occupy. Are the following considered “areas that people may occupy”?
  • Yard storage areas or storage sheds
  • Greenhouses, either commercial or recreational
  • Pump houses
  • Non-agricultural areas such as a vacant lot zoned for industrial use
Yes, all of those are included in “areas that people may occupy”. Therefore the buffer zone must not include any of those areas unless they are vacated from the beginning of the application until the end of the buffer zone period.

13.  If a buffer zone extends into only an empty portion of a neighbor’s property, but does not extend as far as the neighbor’s house, must the neighbor agree to vacate the house during the buffer zone period?

It depends on local conditions. If a structure is outside of the buffer zone, the Buffer Zone Requirements section of the labeling does not explicitly require that the structure itself be vacated. Nonetheless, a written agreement is required whenever a buffer zone includes any area not controlled by the operator of the treated property. For structures that are Difficult to Evacuate Sites, labeling imposes additional restrictions. Further, for products containing 1,3-D and chloropicrin, labeling prohibits applications within 100 feet of any occupied structure, except on soils that have not experienced a 1,3-D treatment in the previous two years.

If any additional protections are needed, such as additional notifications to occupants or additional posting of the buffer zone, the CAC should require them in the conditions for the restricted materials permit (FAC 14006.5).

14.  If the buffer zone extends into a neighboring empty, non- agricultural area (such as open desert), is there a requirement to post the buffer zone?

Yes, labels require posting of all buffer zones, “at all usual points of entry and along likely routes of approach.” Failure to post would be a violation of FAC 12973. The intent is to protect anyone who might approach the buffer zone. For methyl bromide, 3CCR 6447.2(e) prohibits the inner buffer zone from extending into non-agricultural areas.

15.  Is the buffer zone allowed to extend into a portion of roadway that contains a stop sign or a traffic-signal light?

The labels are silent on this. Labels allow vehicular and bicycle traffic to transit the buffer zone on public or private roadways. Pedestrians are prohibited. CACs should evaluate buffer zone safety before approving any fumigation.

16.  If applicators wish to print their own signs for posting buffer zones, what specifications must the signs meet?

Posting signs must contain all information required by the labeling, must remain legible during the entire posting period, and must meet the sign standards outlined in the Worker Protection Standard (see Code of Federal Regulations, title 40, section 170.120). Labeling provides the URL for a website from which a sign template may be downloaded: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/soil_fumigants/index.htm.

17.  If fumigating multiple treeholes, is this considered as a single application block surrounded by a single buffer zone?

Yes, if the fumigated treeholes are separated by no more than 50 feet (i.e., there is overlap of the 25-foot label buffer zones of individual treeholes). It is not necessary to establish a separate buffer zone and buffer-zone duration period for each treehole. For treehole fumigation on less than 1 contiguous acre, neither DPR recommended permit conditions nor California methyl bromide regulations apply (see 3CCR 6447), but the label requirement of a minimum 25-foot buffer zone around the application block must be followed. Since this is considered a single block with a single buffer zone of 25 feet, the restrictions on overlapping buffer zones do not apply. The methyl bromide regulations (3 CCR 6447 and 6447.3(a)) that prohibit methyl bromide treehole fumigations greater than 1 contiguous acre remain in effect.

18.  Are the labeling buffer zone credits allowed in California?

DPR recommended permit conditions for phase 2 soil fumigant products allow buffer zone credits only for approved tarps and post-application water seals, when such credits are allowed by labeling (except for methyl bromide, see below.) Other types of possible credits are still being evaluated by DPR. At this time, DPR does not recommend allowing credits for soil clay content or organic matter content, soil temperature, Symmetry application equipment, or the use of potassium thiosulfate.

For methyl bromide field fumigations, labeling buffer zone credits are not allowed. Instead, calculate methyl bromide field buffer zones using the current version of Methyl Bromide Field Soil Fumigation Buffer Zone Determination.

19.  If an applicator claimed a tarp credit for a reduction in buffer-zone distance, how does the inspector determine if the tarp qualifies for a credit?

Tarps that qualify for buffer-zone credits are listed, by fumigant active ingredient, on the U.S. EPA website http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/tarpcredits. Inspectors should question the supervising certified applicator as to how he or she verified the type of tarp being used. CACs could consider a permit condition to require the permitee or the pest control business to provide documentary evidence such as an invoice. When a violation is suspected, the inspector should collect a sample of the tarp and conduct a follow-up headquarters inspection to determine the manufacturer and the type of tarp.

20.  If CAC permit conditions specify buffer zones that are larger than labeling buffer zones, which buffer zone should be used for determining compliance with Restrictions for Difficult to Evacuate Sites?

On most phase 2 labels, the acceptable distance from the application block to the nearest Difficult to Evacuate Site depends on whether the buffer zone is greater than 300 feet, or is 300 feet or less. For the purpose of determining the acceptable distance from the application block to Difficult to Evacuate Sites, use the buffer zone size from the relevant table on product labeling. For all other purposes, including establishing the actual buffer zone around the application block, use the buffer zone size from the CAC permit conditions.

Methyl bromide is a special case because for buffer zone distances, labeling defers to CAC permit conditions. Therefore, for methyl bromide use the outer buffer zone distance to determine the acceptable distance from the application block to Difficult to Evacuate Sites.

21.  Is the distance from the application block to a Difficult To Evacuate Site (DES) measured to the outer edge of the DES property, or to the occupied building on the DES property?

It depends on which portion of the DES would be difficult to evacuate. CACs must consider local conditions, and include specific requirements as needed in the restricted materials permit (FAC 14006.5).

22.  The definition of Difficult to Evacuate Sites includes state- licensed daycare centers. Is there a website that lists California state-licensed daycare centers?

Yes, the Ca. Dept. of Social Services web page of licensed facilities in a town or zip code is at https://secure.dss.cahwnet.gov/ccld/securenet/ccld_search/ccld_search.aspx. You may need to conduct multiple searches, one search for each relevant Facility Type. For more information, contact the nearest regional office of the Community Care Licensing Division Child Care Offices.

23.  Is a sensitive site the same as a Difficult to Evacuate Site mentioned on the label?

Sensitive site is an informal term for areas that could be adversely affected by the use of a pesticide. A list of some sensitive sites is given in 3CCR 6428(c). CACs must consider areas that could be adversely affected before issuing a permit for any restricted material (FAC 14006.5).

Difficult to Evacuate Sites (DES) are defined on labeling as “pre-K to grade 12 schools, state licensed daycare centers, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals, in-patient clinics, and prisons”. This specific list excludes any other sites. Fumigant applications are prohibited within specified distances unless the DES will not be occupied during the application and the 36-hour period following the end of the application.

24.  To comply with labeling Restrictions for Difficult to Evacuate Sites, how can the applicator ensure that no students will be present in outdoor portions of a nearby school property?

If a school is close enough to the application block to trigger Restrictions for Difficult to Evacuate Sites, the applicator should talk to the school administrator to ensure that no activities are planned on school properties during the application and the 36-hour period following the start of the application. If a few students unexpectedly show up during a weekend to use outdoor school facilities (for example, basketball courts), those few students outdoors on a weekend usually would not be difficult to evacuate in an emergency. In contrast, students and all other non-handlers must be excluded from the actual buffer zone during the buffer zone period, except for transit.

The labels are silent about how to document that a Difficult to Evacuate site will not be occupied. CAC’s could consider addressing the need for documentation during their permitting process (for example, consider denying the relevant NOI unless the owner / operator of the Difficult to Evacuate Site has signed an agreement to vacate the site).

25.  Phase 2 labeling states that officials performing official duties are not excluded from the application block or the buffer zone. Are inspection or sampling activities that are not related to pesticide regulation allowed?

The labeling statement is not explicitly limited to duties related to regulation of pesticide use. However, the intent of this statement was to allow only pesticide regulatory officials to enter. To clarify this intent, CAC’ could include a permit condition that entry into the application block or the buffer zone by any person, other than a government official performing official duties required to regulate pesticide use or a properly trained and equipped handler who is performing a handling task permitted by the product labeling, is prohibited from the start of the application until the end of the Entry Restricted Period.

Handler - Definition, Training, and Fumigant Safe Handling Information

26.  Is the labeling definition of Handler the same as the definition in CCR 6000?

No, the labeling definition of Handler includes additional activities not listed in CCR 6000, including manipulating irrigation equipment within the application block during the entry restricted period. Also see Question 28.

27.  Must the Fumigant Safe Handling Information be provided in the form of a written document posted on U.S. EPA’s website?

No. Other formats also are acceptable, so long as handlers receive all of the required information in a manner they can understand. For example, some registrants provide in-depth stewardship training that may include the required information. The required information is shown in a two-page PDF document within the Safety Information for Handlers Developed by U.S. EPA section of the following website: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/soil_fumigants/soil-fum-handlers.html#pesticides.

28.  Does the Fumigant Safe Handling Information required by labeling substitute for handler training?

No, in addition to being provided the Fumigant Safe Handling Information in a manner they can understand, every handler must receive training that meets requirements of 3CCR 6724 and, where applicable, 3CCR 6739 (m).

29.  Is post-application Fumigant Site Monitoring outside of the buffer zone included in the definition of Handle in 3CCR 6000?

No, monitoring outside of a buffer zone is not currently included in the definition of Handle in 3CCR 6000. However, the new labeling requires that monitoring outside the buffer zone to comply with Emergency Preparedness and Response requirements be conducted by a certified applicator or handler(s) under his/her supervision. CACs could include a permit condition that persons conducting Fumigant Site Monitoring receive all training and other protections required for handlers by 3CCR sections 6720 - 6746.

30.  Are tarp cutter and removal workers considered handlers?

Yes. Phase 2 labels define tarp cutters, tarp pullers, and tarp removers as handlers during specified times (typically when the Entry Restricted Period is still in effect). Both the employer and the supervising certified applicator are responsible for appropriately training and equipping them (e.g., conducting respiratory fit tests). In addition, the 3CCR 6000 definition of “handle” includes, “adjusting, repairing, or removing treatment site coverings” without any time restriction. This includes tarp cutter and removal workers, as explained on page 6-23 of DPR’s Guidelines for Interpreting Pesticide Laws, Regulations, and Labeling.

Currently, DPR is reviewing the need to license or register companies that provide tarp removal service for hire.

Registrant-provided training for Supervising Certified Applicators

31.  Who has to go through the training developed by the registrants?

In California, a valid QAC or QAL in Subcategory O automatically satisfies the labeling required training.

A Private Applicator Certificate (PAC) holder who plans to act as the supervising certified applicator must successfully complete approved Certified Applicator Training offered by the registrant. Approved training is available online at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/soil_fumigants/soil-fum-handlers.html#applicators Certified applicators who hold only a PAC must complete approved training either online or in person, and document the date and location of training in the Fumigation Management Plan. Training must be renewed at least once every three years.

Note that training developed by registrants is required for supervising certified applicators only when using phase 2 soil fumigants, and thus is not required for products containing only 1,3-D.

32.  How can an inspector verify that a PAC supervising an application has fulfilled the Certified Applicator Training required by labeling?

There are two ways for regulators to verify training completion. One way is to use the DPR/CAC authorization code (being sent under separate cover) to access the registrants’ training database.

A second way is to ask the applicator for a copy of his/her Proof of Completion document obtained after passing the relevant exams either online or in person. The applicator is not required to produce a Proof of Completion, but if he or she has it, this is a useful means of verification.

Entry Restricted Period (ERP), Tarp Perforation, and Tarp Removal

33.   How is the Entry Restricted Period (ERP) determined?

The most restrictive ERP in labeling, California regulations, or CAC permit conditions must be followed. For most fumigants, the duration of the Entry Restricted Period is determined by when the tarp (if any) is perforated and/or removed. Review both the Tarp Perforation and/or Removal section and the Entry Restricted Period and Notification section of the labeling. The following table is only an aid, and does not replace labeling requirements:

If application is and tarp will be then ERP will end
Untarped N/A 5 days after application is complete
Tarped Perforated and removed 5-14 days after application is complete (note: remove no sooner than 2 hours after perforation) once tarp removal is completed
Tarped Perforated 5-14 days after application is complete, but not removed within 14 days 48 hours after perforating tarps
Tarped Perforated and/or removed more than 14 days after application is completed 5 days after application is complete (because tarps are still intact)


DPR recommended permit conditions require that tarps that qualify for any percentage buffer zone reduction credit must not be perforated until a minimum of 9 days (216 hours) have elapsed after the application is complete, and must not be removed until a minimum of 1 day (24 hours) after perforation, unless a weather condition exists which necessitates early tarp perforation or removal as specified by the label. For a list of the tarps that qualify for buffer zone reduction credits, see the following U.S. EPA website: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/tarpcredits/.

34.  Is there a requirement to perforate tarps before you remove them?

Most Phase 2 labels state, “Each tarp panel used for broadcast application must be perforated.” Labels do not explicitly state that tarps used for bedded application must be perforated, but it is unlikely that any user would want to remove intact tarps from beds. Instead, tarps on beds typically are perforated to allow planting or transplanting.

35.  What is the earliest tarps may be perforated?

Phase 2 labeling states tarps must not be perforated until a minimum of 5 days (120 hours) after the application is complete, unless a weather condition necessitates early tarp perforation or removal. In addition DPR’s Recommended Permit Conditions state that tarps that qualify for any percentage buffer zone reduction credit must not be perforated until a minimum of 9 days (216 hours) have elapsed after the application is complete, unless a weather condition necessitates early tarp perforation or removal.

36.  If using a tarp that qualifies for a buffer zone credit, but you do not actually use the credit to reduce the buffer zone, how early can you perforate / remove the tarp?

DPR’s recommended permit conditions state that tarps that qualify for buffer zone credits must not be perforated until a minimum of 9 days (216 hours ) have elapsed after the application is complete. This 9#45;day restriction applies even if the credit was not used. For example, methyl bromide labels do not allow buffer zone distances in California to be reduced even when using tarps that U.S. EPA has rated as qualifying for a credit. Tarps that qualify for credits are listed by fumigant active ingredient on the following U.S. EPA website: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/tarpcredits/.

Fumigation Management Plan (FMP) and Post Application Summary (PAS)

37.  Who must prepare and sign the FMP and PAS?

Anyone may prepare the FMP, however the certified applicator supervising the application must sign and date it. The PAS must be both prepared and signed by the certified applicator supervising the application.

38.  When making the site map for the FMP, how much of the surrounding area does the treatment site map have to show?

It must, at a minimum, include any relevant structures or properties within the buffer zone or emergency preparedness zone, and any Difficult to Evacuate Site within distances required on labeling. In addition, DPR recommended permit conditions for metam require that the permit application include a map or description of all structures and bystander areas within ˝ mile of the fumigated site and all schools within 1 mile of the fumigated site.

39.  Can the certified applicator supervising the application use an electronic signature to sign the FMP and PAS?

Yes, provided that the signature complies with provisions of Government Code section 16.5. See Secretary of State website http://www.sos.ca.gov/digsig/digital-signature-faq.htm.

40.  When must the PAS be completed?

Labeling requires that the PAS be completed and signed by the supervising certified applicator within 30 days after the application is complete. Post-application activities often are performed by the grower’s employees, but it is the supervising certified applicator who must verify that the PAS information is correct. All of the activities that must be documented in the PAS will have been completed by the end of the Entry Restricted Period.

41.  Is there a minimum time before the PAS may be completed?

The supervising certified applicator may complete the PAS as soon as the Entry Restricted Period has expired. At that time, all activities that must be documented in the PAS will have been completed.

42.  When the fumigation goes well, is it still necessary to complete a PAS?

Yes, this is a labeling requirement. The reason is, there is information required in the PAS that is not on the FMP, including documentation of the weather forecast, air monitoring results, and actual date and time of activities.

43.  When performing an application inspection, can a CAC inspector use the phase 2 FMP to verify that the applicator has checked the weather forecast?

No. Unlike phase 1 labeling, phase 2 labeling does not require the applicator to attach the forecast to the FMP. A summary of the forecast must be attached to the PAS, but the PAS is not completed until after the application. Nonetheless, labeling requires the supervising certified applicator to check the National Weather Service forecast on the day of, and prior to, the application. Therefore, the inspector should question the supervising certified applicator about the forecast and how it was obtained. In addition, the CAC should consider addressing the need for documentation in the permit conditions.

Stop-Work Trigger

44.  If a handler experiences sensory irritation, should this be considered a pesticide illness as per 3CCR 6726 (c)?

It depends on the severity and persistence of the irritation. Whenever any handler experiences sensory irritation, all handlers must either (1) stop handler activities and leave the application block and/or surrounding buffer zone, or (2) don a full-face air-purifying respirator if they remain in the application block and/or surrounding buffer zone. The certified applicator supervising the application must document details of any sensory-irritation incident in the Post-Application Summary.

Sensory irritation effects are generally transient and often do not require the employer to take the handler to a physician. However, sensory irritation should be considered a pesticide illness if any of the following occurs:
  • the employee requests to seek medical care; or
  • irritation continues or symptoms get worse; or
  • the employer suspects the exposure will lead to the employee’s illness.
In these situations, the employer shall ensure that the handler is taken to a physician immediately. The tending physician should file a Pesticide Illness Report (PIR) which will eventually be routed to the CAC and an illness investigation should be initiated.

Emergency Preparedness and Response, and Emergency Response Plan

45.  What criteria should CACs use for evaluating the Emergency Response Plan portion of a Fumigation Management Plan?

Follow the labeling requirements, which include identifying evacuation routes and locations of telephones. In addition, the CAC must consider local conditions to determine whether an Emergency Response Plan is adequate to address emergencies that could reasonably be anticipated. Local conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • the fumigant product that will be used;
  • size of the application block;
  • dosage per acre;
  • experience level of the applicator; and of persons conducting post-application activities;
  • local weather patterns;
  • proximity of sensitive areas or difficult-to-evacuate sites; and
  • jurisdictions of local first-responder organizations.
Instructions about emergency procedures must be comprehensive. The CAC should evaluate the instructions to determine if they are feasible and adequate. For example, if the statement “handlers should move upwind” is used, what would the handlers do if there was no discernible wind or if the upwind side of the treated area was blocked by a fence or canal?

46.  If a mechanical detector is not required by labeling, but the monitor chooses to use one, rather than merely relying on sensory irritation for Emergency Preparedness and Response, would use of the detector satisfy the labeling requirement?

No, to satisfy the labeling requirement, the handler chosen to conduct Fumigant Site Monitoring should be physically capable of perceiving sensory irritation so that if he or she experiences sensory irritation, the Emergency Response Plan is implemented. The labeling does not prohibit the use of mechanical detection devices in addition to sensory irritation.

47.  If CAC permit conditions specify buffer zones that are larger than labeling buffer zones, which buffer zone should be used for determining whether Emergency Preparedness and Response Measures are triggered?

On most phase 2 labels, the trigger for Emergency Preparedness and Response Measures depends on the size of the buffer zone. For the purpose of determining whether Emergency Preparedness and Response Measures are triggered, use the buffer zone table from the label. Measure from the outer edge of the buffer zone distance indicated in that table, and determine whether any residences or businesses are located within the distance specified by labeling. Methyl bromide is a special case because for buffer zone distances, labeling defers to CAC permit conditions. Therefore, for methyl bromide use the outer buffer zone distance to determine whether Emergency Preparedness and Response Measures are triggered. Regardless of active ingredient, the requirements in CAC permit conditions must be used to set the actual buffer zone in the field.

48.  For determining if Emergency Preparedness and Response Measures are triggered, is the distance measured to the property line, or to the structures, of nearby residences or businesses?

Labeling does not address this distinction. The CAC should determine the most appropriate measurement and specify this in the permit conditions.

49.  In the Response Information for Neighbors section of the label, is there a requirement that the information be provided in a language that people can understand?

Labeling requires that the method used to share response information must effectively inform residences and businesses, but U.S. EPA has confirmed that languages other than English are not required. For methyl bromide, 3CCR 6447.1(b) requires that notification of methyl bromide fumigations be in writing, in both English and Spanish, or by other means approved by the Commissioner.

50.  When providing Response Information for Neighbors, what information sources would satisfy the label requirement for including “How to find additional information about fumigants”?

Any accessible source of information about soil fumigants would satisfy this requirement. One example is U.S. EPA’s soil fumigant toolbox website: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/soil_fumigants/.

Methyl Bromide products

51.  California regulations for methyl bromide 3CCR 6447.2 establish both inner and outer buffer zones. How do these two regulatory buffer zones relate to the single buffer zone specified on methyl bromide product labeling?

See methyl bromide recommended permit conditions in Compendium Volume 3. Many, but not all, of the labeling restrictions for buffer zones apply to the inner buffer zone required by 3CCR 6447.2(d).

52.  If the buffer zones for methyl bromide products with less than 20% chloropicrin extend onto someone else’s property, but do not reach all the way to a structure located on that property, is it necessary to conduct air monitoring inside the structure before allowing re-entry into the structure?

No, labeling for these products only requires monitoring inside structures that are located within the buffer zone.

53.  For methyl bromide, if Emergency Preparedness and Response measures are triggered and the supervising certified applicator chooses the Response Information for Neighbors option, is that information in addition to, or instead of, the methyl bromide notification requirements of 3CCR 6447.1?

By itself, the Response Information for Neighbors option does not satisfy the requirement for the supervising certified applicator to comply with 3CCR 6447.1. DPR’s recommended permit conditions for methyl bromide include a consolidated notification procedure that complies with both requirements.

54.  For methyl bromide, is the Emergency Preparedness and Response zone measured from the outer or inner buffer zone?

The emergency preparedness and response zone mentioned on labeling is measured from the perimeter of the outer buffer zone. Although methyl bromide labeling does not mention the outer buffer zone by name, labeling does reference the buffer zones specified in California Restricted Materials Permits, and those permits include the outer buffer zone.

55.  Will methyl bromide applications still require posting of the inner buffer zone?

Yes, methyl bromide applications still require posting the inner buffer zone as per 3CCR 6447.2 (e). DPR recommended permit conditions for methyl bromide include a consolidated posting procedure that complies with both label requirements and regulations.

56.  Can the inner buffer zone for methyl bromide extend into a non-agricultural area

Even though the labels are less restrictive, 3CCR 6447.2(e)(3)(B) only allows the inner buffer zone to extend into areas where only transit activities may occur, such as roads and highways, and only with approval from the commissioner. Non-agricultural areas other than sites of transit or travel are not allowed by 3CCR 6447.2(e)(3)(B).

57.  Under the new labels, will the methyl bromide buffer zone duration be 48 hours?

Yes, the labeling requirement is a minimum of 48 hours after the methyl bromide application is complete. It is more restrictive than the 3CCR 6447.2(c) requirement (36 hours).

58.  To reduce paperwork, is it possible to combine the Fumigation Management Plan (FMP) required by labeling with the methyl bromide Work Site Plan (WSP) required by 3CCR 6447(a)?

Yes, if CAC’s choose this option. DPR’s recommended permit conditions for methyl bromide give CAC’s the option of requiring a single comprehensive document that complies with both the labeling and the regulatory requirements. This single document must include all FMP elements specified by labeling (except those that are required just prior to application, such as soil moisture), plus a description of:

  • The notification procedure to property operators pursuant to section 6447.1(b);
  • Any activities within the buffer zone(s) as specified in sections 6447.2(e) and (f);
  • Any workday/work hour limitations and respiratory protection as specified in sections 6784(b)(2)(C) and (b)(3).
Alternatively, CACŠs may choose to require only the WSP document as per 3CCR 6447(a). In that case, the supervising certified applicator must complete a separate FMP document prior to application, but need not provide the FMP to the CAC. See the DPR methyl bromide recommended permit conditions for more information.

59.   For methyl bromide treehole fumigation, will even one treehole have a buffer zone?

Yes, the new methyl bromide labeling requires a minimum buffer zone of 25 feet for any application. The labeling requirement is more restrictive than 3CCR 6447, which exempts treehole fumigation on less than one contiguous acre.

60.  Methyl bromide regulations and product labels contain citations for two old documents. What is the right document to use for calculating methyl bromide buffer zones?

The right document to use is the current version of Methyl Bromide Field Soil Fumigation Buffer Zone Determination, available online at http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/emon/pubs/tac/methbrom.htm. The URL for that website is included within DPR’s recommended permit conditions for Methyl Bromide Field Fumigation.

Note that the buffer zone distances in that document are equal to, or greater (more protective) than, the buffer zone distances in the following two documents:

  • the December 8, 2004 Methyl Bromide Field Fumigation Guidance Manual, which is cited on methyl bromide product labeling; and
  • Methyl Bromide Field Fumigation Buffer Zone Determination, Rev. 3/10, which is cited in methyl bromide regulations 3CCR 6447.2(a).
1,3-Dichloropropene products

61.  For 1,3-D products in combination with chloropicrin, is a buffer zone required if an application has not occurred at the site within the previous two years?

Yes. Phase 2 labels for 1,3-D / chloropicrin products state, “a buffer zone must be established for every fumigant application”. In addition, there is a labeling prohibition from applying within a specified distance of an occupied structure. That additional restriction may not apply if the application block has not experienced a 1,3-D treatment within the past two years. For more information, consult the product labeling.

62.  Is it acceptable to use a single application rig to simultaneously apply a chloropicrin-only product and a 1,3-D product?

It depends on the version of the label that accompanied the chloropicrin-only product. For chloropicrin-only product produced with Phase 1 labels (December 2010 - 2012) or Phase 2 labels (December 2012 and later), it is possible to select PPE that also is compatible with requirements for 1,3-D only products. Always read and follow the PPE requirements on the labels of all products being used.

There are three 1,3-D only products currently registered in California:
  • Telone EC (62719-321-AA)
  • Telone II (62719-32-ZA)
  • Telone II CA (62719-32-ZB)
A full-face respirator would satisfy eye-protection and respiratory-protection requirements for those 1,3-D only labels as well as for phase 1 or phase 2 Chloropicrin-only labels. Further, even handlers performing tasks with no potential for contact with liquid fumigant would be permitted to wear chemical-resistant gloves and chemical-resistant footwear, as required by 1,3-D only labels. The reason is, both phase 1 and phase 2 Chloropicrin-only labels are silent about (do not prohibit) wearing chemical-resistant gloves or chemical-resistant footwear when performing tasks with no potential for contact with liquid fumigant. In short, provided that all label requirements for both products are met, there is no prohibition against simultaneous application of a 1,3-D only product and a Chloropicrin Phase 1 or Phase 2 product.

Metam sodium / metam potassium products

63.  Do the new metam labels still have a requirement for the depth to which drip tape must be buried in the soil?

The Phase 2 labels no longer address drip tape depth. A depth requirement could be included in permit conditions, if the CAC determines it is warranted.

64.  The current DPR recommended metam permit conditions include a soil fumigant method called rod bar application, a type of method not listed on the new labels. Would a rod bar application violate the label?

No. DPR and U.S. EPA determined that the rod bar method is a variation of the shank method described on product labels. The permittee should follow the shank instructions. DPR currently is updating the recommended permit conditions for metam, and plans to include this information.

65.  Current industry practice is to lay tarps prior to beginning a drip application. However, one new metam label requires tarps to be laid immediately following a drip application. Is this a typographical error?

Yes, this is a cut-and-paste error that occurred during the federal label approval process. Tarps should be in place prior to starting a drip application.

Miscellaneous

66.  Are certain types of tarps difficult to dispose of in California?

Metalized tarps may have disposal issues in California. Certain high-barrier virtually impermeable film (VIF) tarps are composed of nylon that cannot easily be recycled. In contrast, totally impermeable film (TIF) is composed primarily of polyethylene, and can easily be recycled provided that it is not metalized. The tarp manufacturer is the best source of information about the composition of a particular tarp. Currently, U.S. EPA’s tarp website does not specify the compositions of tarps: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/tarpcredits.

67.  Does DPR or the CAC have any enforcement responsibility regarding distribution of first responder or community information?

No, the registrants are required to provide this information. Registrants have sent emergency responder information to each state’s emergency responder contact. For California, that information has been posted on the website of the State Fire Marshal under Hot Topics at http://osfm.fire.ca.gov/index.php. Registrants soon will post community information on a website, and the buffer zone posting sign soon will include the URL for that community-information website. The posting-sign template is available on U.S. EPA’s soil fumigant toolbox website: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/soil_fumigants/soil-fum-buffer-zones.html.

68.  To control certain soil-borne diseases, the University of California recommends fumigant burn-downs, which means that fumigants are applied while plants from the previous crop are still present and tarps and drip tapes are left in place. Does this application method conflict with the labeling requirement to remove tarp and drip tapes?

It depends on the product labeling. There is at least one metam potassium product that allows this application method. Always follow labeling instructions, including Mandatory Good Agricultural Practices regarding crop residue and soil preparation.

If you have questions regarding the new requirements, please contact the Enforcement Branch Liaison assigned to your county, or reference the DPR Fumigant Resource website: http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/emon/methbrom/fum_regs.htm.

 
 
Sincerely,
 
 
Original Signature by:
 
George Farnsworth
Chief, Enforcement Branch
916-324-4100

 
 

cc:    Mr. Joe Marade, DPR Agricultural Commissioner Liaison
        Enforcement Branch Liaisons

1001 I Street  ·   P.O. Box 4015  ·  Sacramento, California 95812-4015  ·   www.cdpr.ca.gov
A Department of the California Environmental Protection Agency