Worker Protection Program Update: The Exception ProcessEPA has a process (WPS Section 170.112 (e)) that allows interested persons to demonstrate that, in a particular industry, crop, or crop practice, an exception should be granted to the requirements restricting routine early entry for workers.
Requests for such an exception should be submitted to the Director, Office of Pesticide Programs. Groups or associations of affected parties are encouraged to submit requests, rather than individuals. A group request permits a more efficient review process and lends weight to the case that the exception was necessary to alleviate typical conditions in the commodity or crop-practice for which the exception is being requested.
All information pertinent to the exception must be submitted with the request. The rule states what types of crops and crop production practices might qualify for an exception and what information must be supplied for an exception to be considered. Requests without all of the required information shall be returned to the submitter.
When a request is complete, EPA will publish a Federal Register notice that describes the nature of the exception, and allows at least 30 days for interested parties to comment. USDA will be sent a copy of exception requests. EPA and USDA will cooperate in obtaining information necessary for the analysis of exception requests.
EPA will review requests for exceptions expeditiously and will respond in a timely manner to requests for exceptions that contain all of the required information. Persons requesting an exception may assume that the exception has been denied if EPA has not published its decision to grant the exception within 9 months from the close of the Federal Register comment date. EPA may extend its review period due to the complexity of the exception request or to the number of exception requests concurrently under Agency review.
If an exception is approved, EPA will publish a notice describing the exception and the reasons for it in the Federal Register. EPA can withdraw exceptions if it receives poisoning information or other data that indicate that the health risks imposed by the early-entry exception are unacceptable or if it receives other information that indicates that the exception is no longer necessary or prudent.