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How to Seek EPA Approval for Pesticide Applicator Soil Fumigation Exams

Current as of November 2012

Labels of soil fumigant products will include a new pesticide applicator training requirement as of December 1, 2012. Certified applicators will be required to successfully complete training specific to soil fumigation. Registrants of soil fumigant products will offer EPA-approved on-line training (and possibilities for in-person training) complete with quizzes and exams. Although not required, Pesticide State Lead Agencies (SLAs) may seek EPA’s approval and provide applicators with an alternative to registrant-sponsored training. 

Note that compliance with the label-required training is a condition of product use.  Because soil fumigants are Restricted Use Products, only certified applicators may purchase them. Contact the registrant about additional requirements they may have for persons purchasing their products.

SLAs may request EPA approval to offer a pesticide applicator certification, training, or “challenge exam” as an alternative to registrant-provided training. A challenge exam would be administered to determine whether an applicator has acquired competency in the key aspects of soil fumigant application, independent of certification in soil fumigation or other training offered by the state. Offered apart from the state applicator certification program, challenge exams will most likely be used by SLAs in situations where they are in the process of adding a soil fumigation category or subcategory, or updating an existing exam. For more information see the EPA’s fact sheet, Training and Exam Options for Pesticide Applicators of Soil Fumigant Products (4 pp, 88k) (about PDF).

Preparing soil fumigation exams

Make sure the exam covers the information outlined on the content check list included in the EPA’s fact sheet, Training and Exam Options for Pesticide Applicators of Soil Fumigant Products (4 pp, 88k) (about PDF).

Use the Soil Fumigation Manual, National Soil Fumigation Exam Blueprint, and Test Item Bank developed by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Research Foundation (NASDARF) under a cooperative agreement with the EPA.  The titles of the 12 chapters of the exam blueprint match those in the Soil Fumigation Manual Exit EPA disclaimer. Make sure that the percentage of items or questions chosen from each of the 12 chapters is similar (within a few points difference) to that on the blueprint. The blueprint has the percentage of test items listed on the same line as the title of each chapter.

If a content area is not going to be covered in the exam, explain why (e.g., “under the supervision” is not permitted in the state). In addition, provide a copy and explanation of any items that have been modified or come from outside of the Test Item Bank (e.g., items on a state regulation). 

Requesting EPA approval of exams

SLAs seeking EPA approval should provide a description of their proposed program including information such as: 

To submit a pesticide applicator certification, training, or “challenge exam” for EPA approval, contact Jeanne Kasai at kasai.jeanne@epa.gov or John Leahy at leahy.john@epa.gov.

Upon approval, EPA will add each new program to our Web page listing all state exam programs that may be used by certified pesticide applicators in lieu of successful completion of registrant-sponsored training. This information is available on EPA’s soil fumigant training Web page, http://www.epa.gov/fumiganttraining/.

Information resources

EPA contacts on soil fumigant applicator training:

Jeanne Kasai, kasai.jeanne@epa.gov
John Leahy, leahy.john@epa.gov

EPA soil fumigant training Web page, http://www.epa.gov/fumiganttraining/

EPA Soil Fumigant Toolbox, http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/soil_fumigants/

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