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Pesticide and Chemical Safety in Indian Country

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) addresses the sale, distribution and use of pesticides. The Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA) authorizes EPA to require reporting, record-keeping and testing requirements, and impose restrictions relating to chemical substances and/or mixtures. Certain substances are generally excluded from TSCA, including pesticides, food, drugs and cosmetics. The Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 (PPA) focuses on reducing the amount of pollution through cost-effective changes in production, operation and raw materials use.

Implementation of FIFRA, TSCA and PPA in Indian Country

Tribes and tribal operations can provide pesticide education and technical assistance, encourage compliance with and help enforce federal pesticide law, and develop and implement pollution prevention and green purchasing programs.

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Pesticide safety under FIFRA

EPA directly implements and enforces FIFRA in Indian country; however, some tribes have cooperative agreements with EPA to help enforce FIFRA and provide pesticide education and technical assistance.

EPA also supports and partners with the Tribal Pesticide Program Council (TPPC) Exit, a network of tribal representatives and intertribal consortia that serve as a tribal technical resource, program development and policy dialogue group focused on pesticide issues and concerns.

Pesticide Applicator Certification in Indian Country

State certifications to apply restricted use pesticides (RUPs) are generally not valid in Indian country; therefore, to use RUPs legally in Indian country, pesticide applicators must obtain a federal certification from their EPA regional office.

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Chemical safety under TSCA

EPA directly implements TSCA in Indian country, and works in partnership with tribes to protect human health and the environment from toxic chemicals.

Current Chemical Risk Reduction Activities

As part of EPA’s comprehensive efforts to enhance the Agency’s chemicals management program, EPA has developed chemical action plans on the chemicals that highlight the Agency’s concerns with the chemicals and possible actions for addressing those concerns.

Some regulatory measures taken under TSCA apply to specific chemical substances.

Assessment for TSCA Work Plan Chemicals

EPA has identified a work plan of chemicals for further assessment under TSCA. The 2014 changes to the TSCA Work Plan reflect updated data submitted to EPA by chemical companies on chemical releases and potential exposures.

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Pollution Prevention (P2) under PPA

EPA issues pollution prevention grants to federally recognized tribes and states to promote P2 through source reduction and resource conservation. P2 includes practices that increase efficiency in the use of energy, water or other natural resources, and protect resources through conservation.

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