New Fumigant Pesticide Restrictions Issued

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued final safety measures for soil fumigant pesticides, which agency officials said will increase protections for agricultural workers and bystanders near sites where the fumigants are being applied. Creating buffer zones, enforcing posting requirements, adding measures to protect agricultural workers and strengthening training programs are among the new safety measures, according to EPA.  The measures will be implemented starting in the 2010 and 2011 growing seasons.  Fumigants, which include methyl bromide and metam sodium, are used primarily on potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries, carrots and peppers.
 AFBF, with the help from Ohio Farm Bureau and other state Farm Bureaus, were successful in urging EPA to eliminate some unworkable requirements, including several of the more controversial buffer requirements, from the final safety measures. “Nonetheless, over the next couple of years growers will have to make some adjustments in their operations to comply with these new EPA regulations,” said Tyler Wegemyer, director of congressional relations with AFBF.