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Pesticide Registration

PRN 87-1: Label Improvement Program for Pesticides Applied through Irrigation Systems (Chemigation)

March 11, 1987

Notice To: Manufacturers, Producers, Formulators, and Registrants of Pesticide Products

Attention: Persons Responsible for Registration of Pesticide Products

Subject: Label Improvement Program for Pesticides Applied through Irrigation Systems (Chemigation)

This Notice requires registrants of pesticide products registered under FIFRA and applied through irrigation systems to revise the labeling for such products to include additional use directions and other statements described in this Notice.

No end-use pesticide products labeled for agricultural, nursery, turf farm, golf course or greenhouse uses may be released for shipment by a registrant or producer of that product after April 30, 1988 unless the product bears an amended label which complies with the LIP.

On This Page
  1. The Label Improvement Program
  2. Pesticide Products To Which This Notice Applies
  3. If Chemigation Is Not Intended
  4. Generic Label Statements Required For Chemigated Products
  5. Label Statements For Chemigated Toxicity Category I Products
  6. Label Statements For Chemigation Systems Connected To Public Water Systems
  7. Label Statements for Sprinkler Chemigation
  8. Label Statements For Floor (Basin), Furrow And Border Chemigation
  9. Label Statements For Drip (Trickle) Chemigation
  10. Format Of Label Information
  11. What You Must Do to Comply
  12. Compliance Dates
  13. For Further Information

  1. The Label Improvement Program

    On June 5, 1980, the Agency announced the establishment of a Label Improvement Program under which labels of products were to be upgraded, improved, or revised to meet current labeling standards. Notice of this program was issued in the Federal Register and provided to all registrants as PR Notice 80-01. This Notice is issued under that LIP.

    Pesticide labels are required to contain directions for use which are necessary for effecting the purpose for which the product is intended and are adequate to protect health and the environment. The label revisions required by this Notice, if adhered to by the users, will decrease environmental risks of pesticide contamination of ground water and will decrease direct human exposure to pesticide-treated irrigation water by providing appropriate use directions and restrictions or prohibitions. Although the Agency has received indirectly only very limited accounts of water source contamination or personal injury resulting from pesticide application through irrigation systems (chemigation), there is potential for such situations due to the increasing popularity of this application method, lack of public awareness that pesticides may be contained in irrigation water, lack of broad-based or uniform regulation by individual states, and the absence of directions for use on pesticide labels. This last factor is due in part to the recent development of this application technology and equipment, and in part to FIFRA sec. 2 (ee)(3) which allows "any method of application not prohibited by labeling".

    The Agency has received accounts of members of the general public intentionally using irrigation water in a variety of ways which could result in direct human exposure to pesticides if the system was being used for chemigation. The required label revisions, particularly those requiring posting to inform persons that irrigation water may contain pesticides, will decrease the likelihood of direct human exposure.

    The required labeling will benefit users by providing them use directions for this relatively new method of application or will indicate that certain pesticides or application equipment should not be used and do not have the support of the registrant. In addition there will be uniform label requirements at the Federal level to address environmental concerns for this method of pesticide application. The Agency will also enhance its ability to enforce the requirements under the misuse provisions of FIFRA sec. 12(a)(2)(G) which will encourage compliance by users.

    The Agency believes that some of this safety equipment is already in use on more recently installed irrigation systems. Several states have regulations in place requiring similar equipment. There will be an economic impact on users who may have to install additional safety equipment. However, incremental costs of any additional equipment are small compared with the overall costs of the complete irrigation system itself. Another type of cost may be felt by users in the loss of availability of certain pesticides for chemigation because registrants elect to prohibit use rather than add use directions. Costs to registrants will be the cost of revising the labels for those who must add the label prohibition or elect to add use directions for chemigation.

    In all cases, the Agency believes that incremental costs will be outweighed by the benefits of having comprehensive and appropriate label use directions, of affording greater protection of the environment including ground water, and of greater enforcement capability to ensure compliance.

  2. Pesticide Products To Which This Notice Applies

    1. The requirements of this Notice apply to any pesticide product which:
      1. May legally be applied through any type of irrigation system including any sprinkler, flood, furrow, drip or greenhouse system (pesticide products whose labels are silent on chemigation, i.e., neither recommend nor prohibit this application method, do legally allow this use); and

      2. Is labeled for agricultural uses, nursery uses, turf farm uses, golf course uses or greenhouse uses; and

      3. Is subject to FIFRA sec. 3 Registration, sec. 5 Experimental Use Permit, sec. 18 Emergency Use, or sec. 24(c) Special Local Need regulation.


      4.  
    2. The requirements of this Notice do not apply to any pesticide product which:
      1. Is intended solely for residential use (such as indoor, yard or garden);

      2. Is intended solely for direct injection into plants;

      3. Is intended solely for post harvest application to produce; or

      4. Is intended to be applied only as a gas or only as a solid, such as a pellet, tablet, granule or dust formulation.


      5.  
    3. This notice is not intended to limit chemigation practices to the types of irrigation systems given as examples above to the detriment of developing new technologies, nor is It intended to limit the Agency's concerns to those types of systems named as examples. If chemigation through other types of systems is Intended, registrants must submit a detailed description of the system with proposed labeling for Agency review.

    4. It is the Agency's intention to maintain as much flexibility as practicable in administering this LP relative to FIFRA sec.24(c) registrations. A label prohibition against chemigation of a product under FIFRA sec. 3 will not prohibit states from issuing a sec. 24(c) registration for chemigation of that same product as long as labeling according to this LIP is incorporated into the sec. 24(c) registration.

  3. If Chemigation Is Not Intended

    If it is your intention that your product not be applied through any type of chemigation system, add to your label the following prohibition statement: "Do not apply this product through any type of irrigation system." Skip to Section XI of this Notice.

    If at any time in the future you wish to replace the prohibition statement with the prescribed use directions and precautions in Sections IV. through IX.,you must submit an application for amended registration to the appropriate Product Manager in the Registration Division. Application for amended registration are not subject to the requirements of FIFRA sec. 3(c)(1)(D) pertaining to data compensation procedures.

  4. Generic Label Statements Required For Chemigated Products

    If you intend that your product be applied by any type of chemigation system, all the following generic statements must be included on your label together with the specific requirements from one or more of Sections V. through IX.

    1. "Apply this product only through [choose one or more of the following types of systems:sprinkler including center pivot, lateral move, end tow, side (wheel) roll, traveler, big gun, solid set, or hand move; flood (basin);furrow; border or drip (trickle)] irrigation& system(s). Do not apply this product through any other type of irrigation system."

    2. "Crop injury, lack of effectiveness, or illegal pesticide residues in the crop can result from non-uniform distribution of treated water."

    3. "If you have questions about calibration, you should contact State Extension Service specialists, equipment manufacturers or other experts."

    4. "Do not connect an irrigation system (including greenhouse systems)used for pesticide application to a public water system unless the pesticide label-prescribed safety devices for public water systems are in place."

    5. "A person knowledgeable of the chemigation system and responsible for its operation or under the supervision of the responsible person, shall shut the system down and make necessary adjustments should the need arise."


    6.  
  5. Label Statements For Chemigated Toxicity Category I Products

    In addition to generic label statements in Section IV., and specific label statements in one or more of Sections VI., VII., VIII., or IX., the labels of Toxicity Category I products (those with the label signal word DANGER) which allow chemigation must include the statements:

    "Posting of areas to be chemigated is required when 1) any part of a treated area is within 300 feet of sensitive areas such as residential areas, labor camps, businesses, day care centers, hospitals, in-patient clinics, nursing homes or any public areas such as schools, parks, playgrounds, or other public facilities not including public roads, or 2)when the chemigated area is open to the public such as golf courses or retail greenhouses."

    "Posting must conform to the following requirements. Treated areas shall be posted with signs at all usual points of entry and along likely routes of approach from the listed sensitive area. When there are no usual points of entry, signs must be posted in the corners of the treated areas and in any other locations affording maximum visibility to sensitive areas. The printed side of the sign should face away from the treated area towards the sensitive area. The signs shall be printed in English. Signs must be posted prior to application and must remain posted until foliage has dried and soil surface water has disappeared. Signs may remain in place indefinitely as long as they are composed of materials to event deterioration and maintain legibility for the duration of the posting period."

    "All words shall consist of letters at least 2 1/2 inches tall, and all letters and the symbol shall be a color which sharply contrasts with their immediate background. At the top of the sign shall be the words KEEP OUT, followed by an octagonal stop sign symbol at least 8 inches in diameter containing the word STOP. Below the symbol shall be the words PESTICIDES IN IRRIGATION WATER." A small-scale illustration of an acceptable sign is attached at the end of this Notice.

     

    Posting required for chemigation does not replace other posting and reentry interval requirements for farm worker safety.

  6. Label Statements for Chemigation Systems Connected to Public Water Systems

    In addition to generic label statements in Section IV., and specific label statements in one or more of Sections VII, VIII or IX., the labels of pesticide products which allow chemigation through systems connected to public water systems must include the statements:

    1. Specific Required Label Statements

      The following statements must be used verbatim:

      1. "Public water system means a system for the provision to the public of piped water for human consumption if such system has at least 15 service connections or regular serves an average of at least 25 individuals daily at least 60 days out of the year."

      2. "Chemigation systems connected to public water systems must contain a functional,reduced-pressure zone, back flow preventer (RPZ) or the functional equivalent in the water supply line upstream form the point of pesticide introduction As an option to the RPZ, the water from the public water system should be discharged into a reservoir tank prior to pesticide introduction. There shall be a complete physical break (air gap)between the flow outlet end of the fill pipe and the top or overflow rim of the reservoir tank of at least twice the inside diameter of the fill pipe."

      3. "The pesticide injection pipeline must contain a functional, automatic, quick-closing check valve to prevent the flow of fluid back toward the injection."

      4. "The pesticide injection pipeline must contain a functional, normally closed, solenoid-operated valve located on the intake side of the injection pump and connected to the system interlock to prevent fluid from being withdrawn from the supply tank when the irrigation system is either automatically or manually shut down."

      5. "The system must contain functional interlocking controls to automatically shut off the pesticide injection pump when the water pump motor stops, or in cases where there is no water pump, when the water pressure decreases to the point where pesticide distribution is adversely affected."

      6. "Systems must use a metering pump, such as a positive displacement injection pump (e.g., diaphragm pump) effectively designed and constructed of materials that are compatible with pesticides and capable of being fitted with a system interlock."

      7. "Do not apply when wind speed favors drift beyond the area intended for treatment."


      8.  
    2. Nonspecific Required Label Statements

      The following subjects must by addressed using the registrants own wording:

      1. Indicate whether agitation is or is not recommended in the pesticide supply tank. If it is not always recommended, identify the situations when it is recommended (e.g. when tank mixing with other pesticides or fluid fertilizers).

      2. Indicate if the pesticide is to be applied continuously for the duration of the water application. If not, indicate when during the water application the pesticide is to be applied.

      3. Provide mixing instructions for dilution of the pesticide in the supply tank.


      4.  
    3. Optional Label Statements

      The following subject is not required, but may be addressed at the registrants choosing:

      1. Indicate the quantity of water to be applied per acre to achieve efficacy, but not cause runoff or excessive leaching. A range of quantities may be appropriate.

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  7. Label Statements for Sprinkler Chemigation

    1. Specific Required Label Statements

      The following statements must be used verbatim:

      1. "The system must contain a functional check valve, vacuum relief valve, and low pressure drain appropriately located on the irrigation pipeline to prevent water source contamination from back flow."

      2. "The pesticide injection pipeline must contain a functional, automatic, quick-closing check valve to prevent the flow of fluid back toward the injection pump."

      3. "The pesticide injection pipeline must also contain a functional, normally closed, solenoid-operated valve located on the intake side of the injection pump and connected to the system interlock to prevent fluid from being withdrawn from the supply tank when the irrigation system is either automatically or manually shut down."

      4. "The system must contain functional interlocking controls to automatically shut off the pesticide injection pump when the water pump motor stops."

      5. "The irrigation line or water pump must include a functional pressure switch which will stop the water pump motor when the water pressure decreases to the point where pesticide distribution is adversely affected."

      6. "Systems must use a metering pump, such as a positive displacement injection pump (e.g., diaphragm pump) effectively designed and constructed of materials that are compatible with pesticides and capable of being fitted with a system interlock."

      7. "Do not apply when wind speed favors drift beyond the area intended for treatment."


      8.  
    2. Nonspecific Required Label Statements

      The following subjects must be addressed using the registrants own wording:

      1. Indicate whether agitation is or is not recommended in the pesticide supply tank. If it is not always recommended, identify the situations when it is recommended (e.g., when tank mixing with other pesticides or fluid fertilizers).

      2. Indicate if the pesticide is to be applied continuously for the duration of the water application. If not, Indicate when during the water application the pesticide is to be applied.

      3. Provide mixing instructions for dilution of the pesticide in the supply tank.


      4.  
    3. Optional Label Statements

      The following subject is not required, but may be addressed at the registrant's choosing:

      1. Indicate the quantity of water to be applied per acre to achieve efficacy, but not cause runoff or excessive leaching. A range of quantifies may be appropriate.

  8. Label Statements For Floor (Basin), Furrow And Border Chemigation

    1. Specific Required Label Statements

      The following statements must be used verbatim:

      1. "Systems using a gravity flow pesticide dispensing system must meter the pesticide into the water at the head of the field and downstream of a hydraulic discontinuity such as a drop structure or weir box to decrease potential for water source contamination from back flow if water flow stops."

      2. "Systems utilizing a pressurized water and pesticide injection system must meet the following requirements:"
        1. "The system must contain a functional check valve, vacuum relief valve, and low pressure drain appropriately located on the irrigation pipeline to prevent water source contamination from back flow."

        2. "The pesticide injection pipeline must contain a functional, automatic, quick-closing check valve to prevent the flow of fluid back toward the injection pump."

        3. "The pesticide injection pipeline must also contain a functional, normally closed, solenoid-operated valve located on the intake side of the injection pump and connected to the system interlock to prevent fluid from being withdrawn from the supply tank when the irrigation system is either automatically or manually shut down."

        4. "The system must contain functional interlocking controls to automatically shut off the pesticide injection pump when the water pump motor stops."

        5. "The irrigation line or water pump must include a functional pressure switch which will stop the water pump motor when the water pressure decreases to the point where pesticide distribution is adversely affected."

        6. "Systems must use a metering pump, such as a positive displacement injection pump (e.g., diaphragm pump) effectively designed and constructed of materials that are compatible with pesticides and capable of being fitted with a system interlock."


        7.  
    2. Nonspecific Required Label Statements

      The following subject must be addressed using the registrants own wording:

      1. Indicate whether or not a pesticide supply tank is recommended for the application. If it is recommended, provide mixing instructions for dilution of the pesticide In the tank. If agitation s not always recommended, identify the situations when it is recommended (e.g., when tank mixing with other pesticides or fluid fertilizers).

      2. Indicate if the pesticide is to be applied continuously for the duration of the water application. If not, indicate when during the water application the pesticide is to be applied.


      3.  
    3. Optional Label Statements

      The following subject is not required, but may be addressed at the registrant's choosing:

      1. Indicate the quantity of water to be applied per acre to achieve efficacy, but not cause runoff or excessive leaching. A range of quantities may be appropriate.

  9. Label Statements for Drip (Trickle) Chemigation

    1. Specific Required Label Statements

      The following statements must be used verbatim:

      1. "The system must contain a functional check valve, vacuum relief valve and low pressure drain appropriately located on the irrigation pipeline to prevent water source contamination from back flow."

      2. "The pesticide injection pipeline must contain a functional, automatic, quick-closing check valve to prevent the flow of fluid back toward the injection pump."

      3. "The pesticide injection pipeline must also contain a functional, normally closed, solenoid-operated valve located on the intake side of the injection pump and connected to the system interlock to prevent fluid from being withdrawn from the supply tank when the irrigation system is either automatically or manually shut down."

      4. "The system must contain functional inter-locking controls to automatically shut off the pesticide injection pump when the water pump motor stops."

      5. "The irrigation line or water pump must include a functional pressure switch which will stop the water pump motor when the water pressure decreases to the point where pesticide distribution is adversely affected."

      6. "Systems must use a metering pump such as a positive displacement injection pump (e.g., diaphragm pump) effectively designed and constructed of materials that are compatible with pesticides and capable of being fitted with a system interlock."


      7.  
    2. Nonspecific Required Label Statements

      The following subjects must be addressed using the registrant's own wording:

      1. Indicate whether or not a pesticide supply tank is recommended for the application. If it is recommended, provide mixing instructions for dilution of the pesticide in the tank and indicate whether agitation is or is not always recommended in the tank. If agitation is not always recommended, identify the situations when it is recommended (e.g., when tank mixing with other pesticides or fluid fertilizers).

      2. Indicate if the pesticide is to be applied continuously for the duration of the water application. If not, indicate when during the water application the pesticide is to be applied.


      3.  
    3. Optional Label Statements

      The following subject is not required, but may be addressed at the registrants choosing:

      1. Indicate the quantity of water to be applied per acre (or other measure of surface, volume etc.) to achieve efficacy, but not cause runoff or excessive leaching. A range of quantities may be appropriate.

  10. Format Of Label Information

    If all information is included on the label itself, the label must meet the format requirements of 4O CFR 162.10. If chemigaton label requirements are included in supplemental labeling rather than on the pesticide container label, the container label must contain the referral statement:

    "CHEMIGATION: Refer to supplemental labeling entitled (fill in title) for use directions for chemigation. Do not apply this product through any irrigation system unless the supplemental labeling on chemigation is followed."

    Note that supplemental labeling accompanying the pesticide product or referred to on the container label is considered to be labeling under FIFRA and is subject to review and approval by the Agency.

  11. What You Must Do to Comply

    If you are the registrant of a pesticide product that is Federally registered under FIFRA sec 3:

    1. First ascertain by examination of each product label whether or not each product is subject to this Notice according to the use patterns, sites, and formulations outlined in Section II. A. and B. above. For products not subject to this Notice no further action is required.

    2. If you believe, for reasons other than those listed in Section II. A. and B. that your product should not be subject to the requirements of this Notice, you must submit a copy of the most current approved label and written justification supporting your position for Agency review by July 31, 1987. Claims for relative non-toxic status of a pesticide are not considered sufficient justification to warrant an exclusion from this LIP. Once this information has been submitted to the Agency through the appropriate Product Manager, you need not take any further action to comply with this Notice until a response is received from the Agency.

    3. If your product is subject to this Notice you must take one of the following actions:
      1. Revise your product labels in accordance with this Notice by either adding the prohibition statement in Section III. or the generic and specific label statements in Sections IV. through IX. No application for amended registration is required if the wording if Sections III. through IX is used as given and information required to be provided by the registrant is included. If you choose this option, submit the following to the Agency:

        1. A letter indicating your intent to adopt the label language (either the prohibition or use directions) as specified in this Notice no later than July 31, 1987. A single letter may be submitted listing all affected products.

        2. A copy of the final printed labeling as revised; and a certification, signed by an authorized representative of your company, that the labeling as revised is in compliance with the requirements of this Notice no later than April 30, 1988.


        3.  
      2. If you wish to modify the required LIP statements in any substantive manner submit an application for amended registration, together with five copies of proposed labeling no later than July 31, 1987. Applications are not subject to the requirements of FIFRA see. 3(c)(1)(D) pertaining to data compensation procedures. Applications must be submitted to the appropriate Product Manager at EPA for all Federally registered products.


      3.  

    If you are or will be the producer of a pesticide product subject to FIFRA sections 5, 18, or 24(c):

    1. There is no need to amend currently approved labeling of products subject to FIFRA sec. 5 or 18.

    2. The Agency will not, however, accept labeling submitted later than April 30, 1988 unless that labeling complies with the requirements of this LIP, i.e., either contains the prohibition or appropriate chemigation use directions.

    3. Producers of pesticide products subject to FIFRA sec. 24(c) shall revise existing labels as per this LIP by April 30, 1988. Revised labeling and, if appropriate, a letter of certification shall be submitted to the state agency responsible for issuance or renewal of FIFRA sec. 24(c) registrations.


    4.  
  12. Compliance Dates

    All subject products released for shipment after April 30, 1988 must bear the revised labeling.

    Products not in compliance as of this date will be deemed to be misbranded in violation of FIFRA sec. 12(a)(1)(e). The Agency may take enforcement action, issue Notices of Intent to Cancel the product's registration in accordance with FIFRA sec. 6, or both.

    Registrants are reminded that:

    1. A copy of the revised final printed label and, if appropriate, a certification statement must be submitted to the Agency prior to product distribution under that label. Revised labeling must be submitted by April 30, 1988.

    2. It is the responsibility of the registrant to ensure that his distributors (sub-registrants) comply with these requirements within the time frames given.


    3.  
  13. For Further Information

    If you have questions regarding this Notice, or do not understand what you must do to comply, contact the Registration Division, Fungicide-Herbicide Branch.

    If you have questions concerning the registration or amendment of a specific product, you must contact the Product Manager for that specific product.

     

    Edwin F. Tinsworth,
    Director Registration Division

MEMORANDUM May 21, 1987 Decisions Relevant to PR Notice 87-01

Letter of May 15, 1987

MEMORANDUM DATE: May 14,1987 Tracking and Follow-up for PR Notice 87-01 Chemigation

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