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Pesticide Container and Containment Rule

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Container and Containment Rule Brochure

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.

EPA’s final regulations, "Standards for Pesticide Containers and Containment" were published in a Federal Register notice on August 16, 2006.

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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

Related Documents

For additional information about the pesticide container and containment rule, contact:

General information about storage and disposal of pesticide containers

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