From IPM in the South
By Rosemary Hallberg
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded $585,730 to the Texas Department of Agriculture to support a wide range of pesticide programs, including enforcement and outreach efforts.
“At EPA, we are protecting the environment by engaging our state partners,” said Administrator Scott Pruitt. “This grant represents what EPA is all about, empowering our states to protect their environment.”
“Pesticides play an important role in growing and sustaining our nation’s food supply,” said Acting Regional Administrator Sam Coleman. “Making sure they are used correctly helps protect our food, environment, and agricultural workers.”
“This EPA grant will help the Texas Department of Agriculture provide the best, most up-to-date pesticide safety training and outreach effort,” Commissioner Miller said. “Our mission in regulating pesticides in Texas is to protect all Texans and this federal grant will help us do that. I appreciate the opportunity to work with EPA to bring this money to Texas.”
The grant funds a cooperative agreement between EPA and the State of Texas for the state to implement pesticide regulatory and enforcement programs. These programs include compliance monitoring, enforcement, certification and training for pesticide applicators, worker protection safety, and outreach and education.
EPA and states regulate pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, which governs the registration, distribution, sale, and use of pesticides in the United States. The main purpose of the act is to ensure that, when applied as instructed, pesticides will not generally cause unreasonable risk to human health or the environment.
The Texas Department of Agriculture is designated as the state’s lead agency in the regulation of pesticide use and application. TDA is responsible for licensing and training pesticide applicators, overseeing worker protection, registering pesticides for sale in the state and working to minimize unnecessary impacts to agriculture while enhancing protection of endangered and threatened species.