EPA Opens Application Period for Grant Supporting Education and Training for Pesticide Applicators
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting applications from Tribal and state governments, nonprofits and universities for a $15 million grant opportunity to administer a national program on education and training for people that apply restricted use pesticides (RUPs), meaning pesticides that can only be applied by people that are specially certified and trained to handle them. This grant program will help ensure that RUPs are used safely by teaching applicators how to avoid pesticide misuse, clean up spills, and properly use personal protective equipment.
“Pesticides are an important agricultural tool, and we must make sure that the people using them are trained to do so safely,” said Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Michal Freedhoff. “The work done through this grant will help enhance pesticide safety and protect workers, communities and the environment from pesticide exposure.”
Federal law requires any person who uses or supervises the use of RUPs to be certified in accordance with EPA regulations and state, territorial and tribal laws. RUPs are not available for purchase or use by the general public because of their potential to cause unreasonable adverse effects to the environment, and injury to applicators or bystanders, without added restrictions. Pesticide Safety Education Programs (PSEPs) at land-grant universities train and educate applicators on RUP use in agricultural, commercial, and residential settings.
The program administered under this grant will help support over 50 land-grant university PSEPs nationwide that provide this important training. Certification and training programs ensure pesticide applicators are trained to apply RUPs properly, in accordance with the label. In addition to core pesticide safety and practical use concepts, these programs provide applicators with critical information on a wide range of environmental issues, such as the protection of endangered species, water quality, workers and bystanders, and non-target organisms. Through previous cooperative agreements, EPA supported PSEPs provided workshops and educational tools and assisted in meeting certification requirements for more than 825,000 certified pesticide applicators.
EPA anticipates awarding the recipient up to $3 million per year in a five-year cooperative agreement, depending on the Agency’s budget. Total funding for the five-year cooperative agreement (2023 through 2027) is not to exceed $15 million.
Based on previous results from this funding, expected accomplishments by the grantee include:
- Enhanced and increased education and training opportunities for pesticide applicators.
- Increased collaboration among PSEPs.
- Education of pesticide handlers, including certified and noncertified pesticide applicators.
- Enhanced capabilities of partners and stakeholders to develop and implement programs and activities that prevent and reduce pesticide risks to humans, communities and ecosystems.
- Incorporation of Environmental Justice principles through partnerships, in educational materials and programs, or in the design of the subaward program.
- Protection of humans, communities, and ecosystems from illness and injury caused by exposure to pesticides.
Eligible entities can now apply at www.grants.gov. Applications must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT on April 27, 2023, to be considered.