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About the EPA Plan to Certify Applicators in Indian Country

Restricted use pesticides (RUPs) require special care to avoid harming human health or the environment. They can only be sold to or used by pesticide applicators who are specially certified, or to persons under the direct supervision of a certified applicator. Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, states or tribes that choose to certify pesticide applicators can submit a state or tribal certification plan to EPA.

RUPs can only be used in areas where EPA has explicitly approved or implemented an applicator certification plan for that state or tribe. However, state certifications are generally not valid in Indian country and certification mechanisms are not in place for most of Indian country (as defined at 18 U.S.C. § 1151). Indian country includes, among other things, all lands within the exterior boundaries of Indian reservations.  

Therefore, EPA consulted with federally recognized tribes to develop an EPA Plan for the Federal Certification of Applicators of Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs) within Indian Country (2014 EPA Plan). The EPA Plan will serve those areas of Indian country throughout the United States where no other certification mechanism exists. A federal certification issued under the 2014 EPA Plan will only be valid in those areas of Indian country specified by that certification. The 2014 EPA Plan includes a complete definition of Indian country.

The EPA Plan fills a gap by providing applicators in Indian country legal access to the same pest control tools that are available elsewhere in the United States. The EPA Plan applies to private and commercial applicators who intend to apply RUPs in Indian country where there are no certification mechanisms in place. RUP dealers located in Indian country will also need to meet certain requirements.

On March 2, 2020, EPA proposed revisions to the EPA Plan for the Federal Certification of Applicators of Restricted Use Pesticides within Indian Country. These proposed revisions bring the 2014 EPA Plan in compliance with the 2017 Certification of Pesticide Applicators regulation. About the proposed EPA Plan to certify applicators in Indian country.