Types of FIFRA Inspections
- Good Laboratory Practices
- FIFRA Grants
- Worker Protection Safety
- Pesticide Producing Establishments
- Pesticide Imports and Exports
There are 12 different types of inspections conducted by EPA and its regulatory partners under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and rodenticide Act (FIFRA). A brief description of each is provided below.
Good Laboratory Program (GLP) Inspections
For Cause Inspections
Import and Export Inspections
Experimental-Use Permit Inspections
Certified Applicator License and Records Inspections
Restricted-Use Pesticide Dealer Inspection
Restricted-Use Applicator Inspections
Cancellation and Suspension Inspections
Establishment inspections are either conducted "for cause," i.e., as a result of a complaint received by EPA or the state concerning a potential violation, or under a "neutral administrative inspection scheme." A neutral administrative inspection scheme allows for a non-arbitrary method of identifying inspection targets and the neutral selection of establishments for inspection.
Objectives specific to the enforcement of FIFRA through establishment inspections include:
- Identify those establishments at which a pesticide, device or active ingredient is being produced, or locations where pesticides are being re-packaged or re-labeled, to ensure industry compliance with the registration requirements of pesticide producing establishments.
- Ensure industry compliance with product registration, formulation, packaging, and labeling requirements before and while the products are distributed into the channels of trade; and detecting and obtaining samples of any unregistered or misbranded pesticide being marketed at the dealer/retailer level.
- Ensure that restricted-use pesticides are sold/distributed in accordance with the Act.
- Determine whether the books and records required by the Act and the implementing regulations (sales records, batch records, etc.) are being prepared, maintained and/or submitted to the Agency, so that EPA can:
- identify areas of potential future harm to man and the environment for purposes of possible suspension, cancellation, or enforcement action
- identify the responsible establishment in the event of a recall or stop sale order which may be issued to curtail any adverse effects to humans and the environment
- increase the completeness and effectiveness of EPA recalls of suspended or canceled pesticides
- identify and locate violative batches and shipments of pesticides
- determine whether procedures for the disposal and storage of pesticides, pesticide containers, and pesticide-related wastes are being followed (on the label/labeling of the product)
- Collect and develop evidence to support legal actions when violations of the Act are found at establishments that produce, distribute, and sell pesticides.
Use inspections encompass a wide variety of pesticide use circumstances and inspection sites. Although many aspects of pesticide compliance are involved, the primary focus is on use inconsistent with the label and the Worker Protection Standard (WPS). Inspection opportunities include, but are not limited to the following areas of pesticide use:
- Agriculture (commercial and private)
- Field crops
- Planting times (and planting back restrictions)
- Sod farms
- Vegetable and specialty crops
- Nonagricultural (commercial, public, and not-for-hire)
- Residential sites
- Aquatic environments
- Hospitals/nursing homes/clinics
- Lawns, ornamentals, and golf courses
- Grain elevators
Agricultural establishments are defined, by 40 CFR section 170.3, as farms, nurseries, greenhouses and forests. Routine WPS agricultural-use inspections are conducted at agricultural establishments to ensure users of pesticides subject to WPS comply with requirements of product label(s) by examining practices of agricultural and handler employer and their employees are in compliance with:
- Product-specific worker protection requirements included on product labeling, such as, personal protective equipment, restricted entry intervals, and oral and posted warnings used at the establishment
- generic WPS requirements incorporated by the reference statement on the labeling, such as pesticide safety information, decontamination supplies, safety training, emergency assistance and worker notification requirements
The goal in conducting routine WPS agricultural-use inspections is to monitor employer compliance. Inspections should be performed during the significant periods of the agricultural production season, such as:
- during and after pesticide application;
- during a restricted entry interval; or
- 30 days after a restricted entry interval expired.
Noncompliance with WPS results in pesticide misuse violations - specifically, FIFRA section 12(a)(2)(G), whereby it is unlawful for any person "to use any registered pesticide in a manner inconsistent with its labeling."
Marketplace inspections serve as a valuable inspection activity to ensure compliance. The marketplace is a good location to check:
- current registered products,
- potential unregistered products,
- and cancelled and suspended products.
Marketplace inspections ensure industry compliance with product registration, formulation, packaging and labeling requirements and that products are correctly distributed to the channels of trade. In addition, these inspections help EPA and its regulatory partners determine whether procedures for the disposal and storage of pesticides, pesticide containers and pesticide-related wastes are being followed.
For Cause inspections substantiate and document alleged pesticide misuse. They are usually initiated in response to a complaint, damage report, referral or tip following a pesticide application. For Cause inspections also are conducted under sections 18 and 24(c) of FIFRA.
Import and export inspections ensure that pesticides and devices imported into or exported from the United States comply with the requirements of FIFRA. Imported pesticides and devices that are found not to be in compliance must be detained and, if those items are not brought into compliance, refused entry.
Export inspections generally are conducted at producing establishments, but also may occur during port visits or marketplace inspections where pesticides are stored pending export. Imported pesticides and devices can be inspected at different Ports of Entry or other locations depending on how the shipment arrived in the United States and status of the shipment.
Experimental-Use Permit inspections determine whether the terms and conditions of the permit are adequate to avoid unreasonable adverse effects on the environment and whether the terms and conditions of the permit are being met.
Normally conducted at a pesticide applicator's place of business, this type of inspection determines if:
- the applicator is properly certified and/or licensed
- the required records are being maintained
- the applicator is applying pesticides only in those areas for which certification has been issued
- the records indicate that all applications have been made in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations
Restricted-Use Pesticide (RUP) Dealer inspections are conducted to determine compliance with FIFRA record keeping requirements (40 CFR sections 169.3(b) and 171.11(g)) regarding sales and distribution of RUPs and to ensure that RUPs are sold only to certified applicators or non-certified persons for application by a certified applicator who is specifically certified for use of the particular RUP.
Restricted-Use Pesticide (RUP) Applicator inspections are conducted to determine compliance with FIFRA record keeping requirements (40 CFR section 171.11(c)(7)) regarding application of RUPs and to ensure that RUPs are applied properly.
Cancellation and suspension inspections determine compliance with the Agency's orders concerning suspended and/or canceled products. EPA's policy is to follow up all suspension and/or cancellation orders with the appropriate surveillance and regulatory action, as dictated by the nature of the order. Compliance monitoring strategies are generally developed for each suspension and/or cancellation order.