Web-Cote Goes to Washington, DC

April 29, 2024
April 29, 2024 Susan Masciarelli

Web-Cote Industries attended the National Pest Management Association’s (NPMA) annual Legislative Day event for the first time this year.

Not only was it educational and a fantastic networking opportunity, but we were happy to be able to participate as part of the New Jersey caucus for Hill Day. Our group visited the offices of Senator Cory Booker, Congressmen Bill Pascrell and Donald Payne, and Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill advocating for congress to codify the exclusive role of state lead agencies as pesticide co-regulators with the EPA in the 2024 Farm Bill. In recent years, more and more localities are attempting to regulate pesticide use and sale, overruling both the EPA and their state lead agency charged with pesticide regulation. This creates a patchwork of regulations which cause confusion and complexity for professional pest control operators and farmers. Another problem with this is that localities also lack the scientific expertise of the state and EPA, and usually cannot fund the hiring of someone to provide this background. The majority of pest control operators and farmers are small businesses with five or less employees, so it is important that pesticide regulations be clear, consistent and uniform, to ensure equal protection of public health, food, and property.

Although this particular issue does not directly impact our specific business, it affects our customers and the end-users of our products, so we believe it is important to do our part to support the industry as a whole.



How is a Pesticide Registered?

Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), a pesticide manufacturer obtains permission from the EPA to sell, distribute or use a pesticide. Before approval, each prospective registrant must provide the EPA with a proposed label (which outlines the conditions of use) and close to one hundred studies showing that product is effective.

State Limitations on the Use of a Pesticide

Once a pesticide is registered federally, a state’s lead regulatory agency will serve as a co-regulator with the EPA, assuring inhabitants and businesses of that state that the pesticide is safe, and placing any additional restriction on the conditions of use. It is illegal to use a pesticide that has not been properly evaluated and approved by both the EPA and the lead regulatory authority in a state where the pesticide is being sold, distributed, or used.

What is Pesticide Preemption?

Pesticide preemption is the concept that the EPA and the state-lead agency have the technical expertise and resources to best evaluate whether a pesticide is safe and effective. That is, the state lead agency preempts (overrules) the local government when it comes to the highly technical work of determining how pest control products and services are employed. In states with preemption (currently 45), the state lead agency works with the EPA on all pesticide usage, sale, or distribution. Alaska, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Nevada do not have a pesticide preemption law, meaning that localities in the state can and do have different regulations.

Why is this important?

When it comes to issues like public health, which typically require specialized scientific knowledge and a significant budget to ensure compliance and enforcement, localities are not best suited to make those specific decisions. Localities do not employ soil scientists, water quality specialists, toxicologists, and inspectors like the EPA or state lead agencies, nor do they have a budget to hire this expertise or provide enforcement. There have been efforts in some of the 45 states with pesticide preemption to roll this back so that towns, cities, or counties can regulate pesticides despite the lack of scientific and technical resources available at the local level. NPMA strongly believes that the EPA and the state lead agency should be the only regulatory entities responsible for pesticide registration, sale, and use. Until Congress clarifies the exclusive role of the state lead agencies, localities can continue to impose conflicting regulatory restrictions without scientific assessment, economic analysis, consideration of the rights of property owners to control pests, or the responsibility of public health agencies to control disease vectors.


FAQ’s taken from National Pest Management Association education materials.

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Web-Cote Industries
141 Wheatsworth Rd.
Hamburg, NJ 07419, USA
Tel: 973-827-2299
Fax: 973-827-0069

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