Pesticide Container and Containment Rule
- Webinar on EPA’s Refillable Container and Repackaging Regulations
- Container and Containment Rule Brochure (2 pp, 69K, About PDF)
- Scope of the Federal Pesticide Containment Regulations (2 pp, 72K, About PDF)
- Revised Guidance on Storage and Disposal Label Statements (PDF) (30 pp, 817.19k, About PDF)
- Rinsing Procedures for Dilutable Pesticide Products in Rigid Containers (PDF) (9 pp, 126 K, About PDF)
- Outline of Key Requirements
- Labeling revisions required by "Pesticide Containers and Containment" final rule. (16 pp, 163 K, About PDF)
- Frequently Asked Questions on the Container and Containment Labeling Requirements
EPA is required by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) to promulgate regulations prescribing procedures and standards for container design and the removal of pesticides from containers prior to disposal. Information on this page will help registrants, refillers, retailers, commercial applicators and custom blenders to comply with the requirements of this rule. See Sections 19(e) and (f) of the FIFRA.
On October 29, 2008, EPA published a final rule that amended the pesticide container and containment regulations to provide a one year extension of the labeling compliance date; to make some other changes to the label requirements; and to correct typographical and other minor errors. See below for more details about the final amendments. On October 8, 2010, EPA published a final rule that extended the labeling compliance date to August 16, 2011.
The pesticide container and containment regulations include five sections, which are described below.
- Nonrefillable Containers: This section addresses "one-way" or disposable containers and applies to pesticide registrants. The purpose of these standards is to ensure that containers are strong and durable, minimize human exposure during container handling and facilitate container disposal and recycling.
- Refillable Containers: This section applies to containers that are intended to be refilled and reused more than once and applies to pesticide registrants. The purpose of these standards is to ensure that containers are strong and durable, minimize cross-contamination of pesticides distributed in refillable containers, and encourage the use of refillable containers to reduce container disposal problems.
- Repackaging: This section, which describes procedures and other safeguards for repackaging pesticide into refillable containers, applies to pesticide registrants and anyone who refills pesticide containers for sale (registrants, formulators, distributors and dealers). These regulations are intended to minimize cross-contamination of pesticides distributed in refillable containers, codify safe refilling management practices and encourage the use of refillable containers to reduce container disposal problems.
- Labeling: The labeling segment includes instructions for how to properly clean pesticide containers and a statement identifying the container as nonrefillable or refillable. Pesticide registrants are required to ensure that labels include the specified information. Pesticide users are required to comply with the instructions on the labels.
- Containment Structures: This section establishes standards for secondary containment structures at certain bulk storage sites and for containment pads at certain pesticide dispensing operations. Pesticide dealers who repackage pesticides, commercial applicators and custom blenders have to comply with the requirements. The purpose of these standards is to protect the environment from leaks and spills at bulk storage areas and from contamination due to pesticide dispensing operations.
EPA prepared an outline of the key requirements in the final rule to facilitate the regulated community's ability to determine who is subject to the rule and how to comply. This document was updated in October 2008 and September 2010 to incorporate the amendments to the container and containment regulations.
- The new labeling compliance date is August 16, 2011: On October 8, 2010 EPA issued a final rule extending the compliance date for container and containment labeling requirements to August 16, 2011. In earlier actions on June 15, 2010, the Agency extended the compliance date from August 16, 2010, to December 16, 2010 and proposed the current August 16, 2011 deadline.
- 2008 Final Amendments to the Pesticide Container and Containment Regulations: The final amendments provide a one year extension of the labeling compliance date; change the phrase “sold or distributed” to “released for shipment” as associated with all compliance dates; provide for exceptions to the label language requirements for some specific types of containers; allow for waivers of certain label requirements for other refillable and nonrefillable containers on a case-by-case basis; and correct typographical and other minor errors. This rule finalizes the amendments that were proposed on June 11, 2008 (73 FR 33035). The following information is intended to facilitate understanding of the final amendments:
- A list of the key changes made in 2008 final amendments (Note: the compliance date has since been changed to August 16, 2011 by an October 8, 2010 final rule).
- Marked-up version of the container and containment regulatory text showing the changes in the final amendments (for a color printer [Word document]).
- Marked-up version of the container and containment regulatory text showing the changes in the final amendments (for a black and white printer [Word document]).
- Guidance on Storage and Disposal Label Statements: An October 2008 version of Chapter 13 - Storage and Disposal - of the Label Review Manual (PDF) (30 pp, 901k, About PDF) has been posted on-line. However, EPA will be making changes to this version to reflect the new amendments to the container-containment rule. The chapter provides a logical and clear presentation of the (2006) requirements and guidance for Storage and Disposal instructions on pesticide labels. The Storage and Disposal section of a label should include instructions about:
- pesticide storage;
- pesticide disposal; and
- container disposal/management.
- In general, registrants must add the new container management instructions required by the pesticide container regulations (as set out in 40 CFR 156.140 - 156.159 and explained in PR Notice 2007-4 (PDF) (16 pp, 185 K, About PDF), prior to the new amendments) to the existing container disposal instructions. Also, Chapter 13 shows how the container labeling statements required by the 2006 rule can be incorporated into the existing storage and disposal instructions for a range of container types.
- Pesticide Container Recycling: Proposed Rule OMB Concludes EO 12866 Review by Returning Proposal to EPA for Reconsideration.
- The EPA test procedure, "Rinsing Procedures for Dilutable Pesticide Products in Rigid Containers - basic testing recommendations" (PDF) (9 pp, 126 K, About PDF) - is referenced in the August 16, 2006 pesticide container regulations under §165.25(f)(1).
- On February 11, 1994, EPA published proposed regulations, "Standards for Pesticide Containers and Containment" (59 FR 6712).
- On October 21, 1999, EPA published a supplemental notice reopening the comment period (64 FR 56918) on issues brought out in comments on the proposed rule or by legislation enacted after the proposed rule was published. Specifically, the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) of 1996 amended section 19(h) to add an exemption for certain antimicrobial pesticides.
- On June 30, 2004 EPA published a Federal Register notice to reopen the public comment period on the proposed regulation establishing standards for pesticide containers and containment.
Because significant time had passed since the publication of the proposed regulation, EPA reopened the comment period prior to preparing a final rule. EPA wanted to obtain public input on any issues or technology relating to the proposed requirements that would not have been available or could not have been addressed in earlier comment periods.
- The Pesticide Program’s Container Repair Interim Policy (PDF) (4 pp, 87.41 K, About PDF) establishes a process by which pesticide retailers and distributors can, under certain circumstances, repair minor damage to pesticide containers. The interim policy has very specific requirements, including an application and review process to ensure the integrity of the label, the product, and the container of the repaired products.
Each applicant’s “minor repair program” must receive specific approval from EPA for that individual proposal. Approval of any “minor repair program” by EPA does not alter or negate any state law or regulation, or shield the retailer or distributor from state enforcement action based on otherwise applicable state law or regulation. See the Container Repair Interim Policy (PDF) (4 pp, 87.41 K, About PDF) for specific information and application instructions.