Regulation of Pesticides
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulates pesticides in groundwater with authority given to it by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act. EPA is working on the draft Final Rule document for the Pesticides and Ground Water State Management Plan Regulation which details the preferred approach to protecting groundwater resources from pesticide contamination.
Each state is to prepare Pesticide Management Plans (PMPs) for the protection of groundwater from specific pesticides. Should any state elect not to, then the specific pesticides will not be allowed to be manufactured, sold, or used within that state. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), in cooperation with the Texas Groundwater Protection Committee and its member agencies, is responsible for drafting PMPs. Texas' pesticide specific PMPs will be reviewed for approval by USEPA Region 6's Pesticide Programs.
- EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs
- EPA's Region 6 Pesticide Programs
- EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs provides electronically delivered updates on OPP's activities. The updates typically include information on new pesticides, phasing out of older ones, as well as pesticide-related rules and programs.
- Federal Registers on EPA pesticide issues
- Pesticide.net is updated by a legal firm and includes numerous pesticide issue updates, regulations, laws, Federal Register, guidance documents and more.
TCEQ is the lead agency for the regulation of waste discharges, including pesticide discharges, into waters of the state. Various divisions of the agency address many of the groundwater protection issues related to pesticides.
- TCEQ's Groundwater Planning and Assessment Team in the Water Rights Permitting and Availability Section of the Water Supply Division is responsible for ambient monitoring, investigations, and the Interagency Pesticide Database (IPD)
- TCEQ's Water Quality Division
- TCEQ's Public Drinking Water Section is responsible for the monitoring and compliance of public water systems
- Air Permits Division is responsible for air permitting of facilities that manufacture, blend, and package pesticides
- Industrial and Hazardous Waste Corrective Action Program is responsible for RCRA permitting
The TDA is the lead authority for pesticide regulation in Texas. In regulating pesticides, the TDA registers pesticide products, enforces pesticide label compliance, trains and licenses professional applicators and other prospective users of certain pesticides, and assesses the potential impact of agricultural chemicals.
DSHS's General Sanitation Division tests and certifies government employees that apply pesticides. The division licenses government employees that serve as health-related noncommercial pesticide applicators in the categories of vector control, rodent control, sanitation, and demonstration and research.
- DSHS General Sanitation Division's Page for Health-Related Noncommercial Pesticide Applicators
TGPC is a consortium of nine state agencies and the Texas Association of Groundwater Districts. The committee is charged with the state's preparation of the Pesticide Management Plans (PMPs). Much of this work is done through the Agricultural Chemicals Subcommittee (ACS). The Subcommittee is responsible for writing and revising generic and pesticide-specific state management plans. Texas Pesticide Management Plan for Prevention of Pesticide Contamination of Groundwater (PMP) was published by TNRCC/TCEQ in January of 2001. The plan describes the general policies and regulatory approaches the state will use in order to protect groundwater resources from risk of contamination by pesticides.
- Texas State Management Plan for Prevention of Pesticide Contamination of Groundwater (PDF. Help with PDF.)
The Texas Department of Agriculture's Structural Pest Control Service licenses and regulates pest management professionals who apply pesticides in and around structures.