Thursday, October 16, 2008

EPA: Soil Fumigant Risk Mitigation

EPA is reviewing soil fumigants for re-registration and a number of mitigations have been proposed. The use of soil fumigants is very important to some vegetable growers in WNC and the proposed changes will change the way these products are used or whether or not vegetable growers will even be able to use soil fumigants in a practical and cost effective manner.

Proposed changes include the following measures:
  • Buffer zones
  • Posting requirements
  • Agricultural worker protection
  • Good agricultural practices
  • Application method, practices and rate restrictions
  • Restricted use pesticide classification
  • Community outreach and education programs, etc.

Here is the link to the EPA information page on the Aug. 28, 2008 Soil Fumigant Mitigation Methods. This link provides all the details of the changes and measures.

This is a very important issue and threatens vegetable production as we know it. Although these soil fumigant decisions are final, public comments on implementation of the risk mitigation measures are due to EPA by October 30, 2008. EPA has indicated that, based on the comments it receives, it may modify the rule or some of the mitigation measures it has published. Word is that they have received very few comments, thus far. So if this issue is something that you feel strongly about, please send the EPA your comments soon.