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Agriculture: Nurseries and Greenhouses

Information about environmental requirements specifically relating to the production of many types of agricultural crops grown in nurseries and greenhouses, such as ornamental plants and specialty fruits and vegetables.

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Soil Fumigants

Soil fumigants are pesticides that, when applied to soil, form a gas to control pests that live in the soil and can disrupt plant growth and crop production. Soil fumigants are used on many high value crops and provide benefits to growers in controlling a wide range of pests, including nematodes, fungi, bacteria, insects and weeds.

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Alternatives to Methyl Bromide

Case studies illustrate the fact that materials do exist which can manage pests where methyl bromide is now used. The alternative materials and methods discussed here are not intended to be complete replacements for methyl bromide, but tools which are effective on the pests that are currently controlled by this pesticide. The case studies described here were chosen because of their level of development and availability, and should not be construed to be the only alternatives to methyl bromide:

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Best Management Practices

Pollution prevention opportunities for greenhouses include:

  • Locating storage facilities for fuel, wood waste, fertilizer, or pesticides far away and contained from any watercourse. 
  • Locating well water sites on the highest elevation on the property and as far as possible from areas where fertilizer, pesticides, and petroleum products are stored or handled.
  • Designing the greenhouse so that it can accommodate efficient drip irrigation systems. 
  • Planning facilities that can separate and disinfect irrigation or wash water so that the water can be reused. 
  • Installing closed systems that minimize or prevent leaching from irrigation systems.
  • Constructing foundations and floors that permit recovery of leachate, such as lined soil zones and concrete floors.
  • Selecting efficient watering systems.
  • For outdoor areas, using well-drained gravel keeping impervious pavement to a minimum.

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Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides

EPA’s Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) reduces the risk of pesticide poisoning and injury among agricultural workers and pesticide handlers (people who mix, load, or apply crop pesticides) farms, forests, nurseries and greenhouses). The WPS requires that owners and employers on agricultural establishments
  • provide protections to workers and handlers from potential pesticide exposure,
  • train them about pesticide safety, and
  • provide mitigations in case exposures may occur.

Information about the Worker Protection Standard and revisions.

WPS Information Specific to Nurseries and Greenhouses

The Agricultural Worker Protection Standard 40 CFR parts 156 and 170 Interpretive Policy document addresses questions on these regulations that were posed to the Agency by the EPA regional offices, state lead pesticide agencies, and the public. This document consists of the previously issued questions and answers on the Worker Protection Standard as well as new ones:

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Information from States

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