New Rules for Restricted-Use Pesticides in Indian Country

Restricted use pesticides can only be sold to or used by specially certified applicators or by someone under the direct supervision of a certified applicator. Although several states and Tribes have implemented their own certification plans, most state plans are not valid in Indian country, leaving a gap in protection of people and the environment.

The new EPA Plan for the Federal Certification of Applicators of Restricted Use Pesticides within Indian Country fills that gap on an area-specific basis and will provide certified applicators with legal access to the same pest control tools available in other areas of the country. Effective August 6, 2014, the EPA will require applicators to have federal certification in writing from the relevant EPA region. Failure to hold this certification may result in federal enforcement actions under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

The procedures for application for commercial applicators include submission to the EPA region:

  • A completed Pesticide Applicator Certification Form (EPA Form 7100-01), and
  • Proof (a two-sided photocopy) of a valid federal, state, or tribal certification authorizing the use of RUPs


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The procedures for individual private applicators include submission to the EPA region:

  • A completed Pesticide Applicator Certification Form (EPA Form 7100-01),
  • Proof (a two-sided photocopy) of a valid federal, state, or tribal certification authorizing the use of RUPs ,  or
  • Documentation showing the applicant has completed required, EPA-approved training for applicators of RUPs.

Training for private RUP applicators is based on the general standards of competency outlined in 40 CFR 171.5 and 40 CFR 171.6 and additional information contained in 171.4(b), which overlaps with the other sections. Subject matter includes:

  • Practical knowledge of pest problems and pest control practices associated with agricultural operations;
  • Proper storage, use, handling, and disposal of the pesticides and containers;
  • Related legal responsibility; and
  • Practical knowledge of federal supervisory requirements, including labeling, regarding the application of restricted use pesticides by noncertified applicators.

According to the EPA, “private applicators” are defined as “ONLY those who will be or are applying pesticides for production of an agricultural commodity on property owned or rented by you or your employer.” All other applicators are considered “commercial applicators” because the EPA has no “noncommercial” or “public” applicator designations.


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Training must be completed within 2 years before certification and falsification of information may be punishable by fines or imprisonment. Certifications for private applicators applying under the first option (1. and 2. above) will expire on the expiration date of the underlying certification, while certifications applying under the second option (1. and 3. above) are valid for 4 years.

Two categories of RUPs were addressed specifically under the new rule. These are sodium cyanide capsules used with ejector devices and sodium fluoroacetate livestock protection collars. The EPA states that due to the requirement for a registrant of one of the products to provide a supervisory role in the application and be able to inspect and enforce against misuse, some Tribes will not have the capacity to serve as the registrant. These Tribes, however, will be able to work with registrants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to manage application as needed. These exceptions also apply during the 6-month period between publication of the rule on February 6, 2014, and the August 6, 2014, deadline for certification.

Applicators should also be aware that some states also require a state certification to purchase RUPs from dealers with that state and both states and Tribes may have additional, more stringent requirements, including notification before any application of RUPs. The EPA will also be implementing a public database listing federally certified applicators and their certifications and locations by state at


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