Fumigant management plans now required by EPA

New EPA regulations require additional documentation for fumigation in 2011.

April 5, 2011 - Author: Erin Lizotte, Michigan State University Extension

The EPA’s Amended Reregistration Eligibility Decisions (REDs) for many fumigants involves multiple strategies to minimize the risk of human exposure including; worker protections, good agricultural practices, buffer zones, posting requirements, emergency preparedness and response measures, and now fumigation management plans (FMP).  Fumigants commonly used in many production systems are affected under this new regulation, including products containing; chloropicrin, sodium methyldithiocarbamate, chloropicrin + 1,3-D, chloropicrin + iodomethane, dazomet, and methyl bromide. All labels should be carefully read and followed before use to ensure accordance with the law. Labels for affected products that originated in 2010 and later will list the new FMP requirement on the label.   

The information required by the FMP is listed in detail on the label and includes the following areas:

  • Applicator information
  • General site information
  • General application information
  • Tarp information and procedures for repair, perforation and removal (if tarp is used)
  • Soil conditions
  • Weather conditions
  • Buffer zones
  • Respirators and other personal protective
  • Emergency procedures
  • Posting procedures
  • Site-specific response and management (if applicable)
  • State and tribal lead agency notification
  • Communication plan
  • Authorized on-site personnel
  • Air monitoring plan
  • Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs)
  • Description of hazard communication
  • Record-keeping procedures

If portions of the FMP do not change for multiple sites, only elements that have changed need to be updated in the site-specific FMP.  The certified applicator supervising the application must verify that the FMP is current and applicable to the site before it is fumigated (this must be documented in the site-specific FMP).  Lastly, recordkeeping requirements must be followed for the entire FMP (even elements that do not change).  Once the application begins, the certified applicator must make a copy of the FMP available for viewing by handlers involved in the fumigation. The certified applicator or the owner/operator of the application block must also provide a copy of the FMP to any federal, state, tribal, or local enforcement personnel who request the FMP. In the case of an emergency, the FMP must be made available when requested by federal/state/local emergency response and enforcement personnel.

As part of the new regulations, growers and applicators will also need to produce a post application summary report that documents any deviations from the FMP within 30 days of completing the application.  The post fumigation application summary describes any deviations from the FMP that occurred, measurements taken to comply with GAPs, and any complaints/incidents that have been reported.  The new requirements for post application summary reports are listed specifically on the label and may require inclusion of the following elements:

  • General application information
  • Summary of weather conditions
  • Soil temperature measurement (if applicable)
  • Tarp damage and repair information (if applicable)
  • Tarp removal details (if applicable)
  • Complaint details (if applicable)
  • Description of incidents, equipment failure, or other emergency procedures followed (if applicable)
  • Details of elevated air concentrations (if applicable)
  • Date of sign removal
  • Any deviations from the FMP

Both the applicator and owner/operator of the application block are required to keep a signed copy of the site-specific FMP and the post-application summary record for 2 years from the date of application.  Applicators may use the EPA templates or prepare their own FMP templates.  For more information visit www.epa.gov.

Tags: fruit & nuts, msu extension, vegetables

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