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Pesticide Safety Education Program

Overview

Georgia's Pesticide Safety Education Program promotes the responsible and safe use of pesticides throughout Georgia. We accomplish this by providing the educational resources, training programs, and materials needed to help both private and commercial pesticide applicators achieve certification and subsequently to maintain the knowledge to safely and effectively make use of restricted-use and all other pesticides. Our educational resources cover a broad range of pesticide safety topics including pest identification, personal safety, safe storage and disposal of pesticides, environmental protection, pesticide drift and runoff prevention, threatened and endangered species protection, water quality protection, and food safety.

Announcements

EPA Issues Compliance Advisory after a high number of reports of crop damage apparently related to MISUSE of herbicides containing dicamba.

Current News

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published their newly revised certification and training rules in the Federal Register on January 4, 2017 with an effective date of March 6, 2017 (Federal Register Vol. 82, No. 2, pages 952-1050 Wednesday, January 4, 2017 Rules and Regulations).  A detailed comparison chart between the old and new certification and training rules is available at:  https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-worker-safety/certification-pesticide-applicators-revised-rule-comparison)

The new Final EPA Worker Protection Rule was published in the Federal Register on 2 November 2015 and went into effect in January 2016. Read the summary.

Which license do I need, Private or Commercial?

A Private Pesticide Applicator license is needed if either of the following statements is true...

  • I want to purchase and use a Restricted-Use pesticide (RUP) on my property or the property of my employer to produce an agricultural, ornamental, or forestry commodity.
  • I want to supervise the use of a Restricted-Use pesticide (RUP) on my property or the property of my employer to produce an agricultural, ornamental, or forestry commodity.

For more detailed information, visit our Private Applicators webpage.

A Commercial Pesticide Applicator license...

  • is required if you want to apply a Restricted-Use pesticide (RUP) and you do not qualify as a private applicator.
  • is required if you work for or as a licensed Pesticide Contractor applying any pesticide to the lands of another for a fee unless you work under the supervision of someone else who has a Commercial Pesticide Applicator license.
  • does not permit you to charge a fee unless you also have a Pesticide Contractor license.
  • is required for Restricted-Use pesticide purchases, and these must be confined to only those categories for which you are authorized by your license.

For more detailed information, visit our Commercial Applicators webpage.

What materials are available for training my agricultural workers to meet the requirements of the 2015 Revised Worker Protection Standard?

UGA’s Pesticide Safety Program has obtained copies of the How to Comply With the 2015 Revised Worker Protection Standard For Agricultural Pesticides - What Owners and Employers Need To Know that are available at a nominal cost from the UGA Extension Publication Store .  Additional materials for training agricultural workers are being developed and will be available from the Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative (PERC ) website as they are approved by EPA.

Among the currently available resources are updated WPS videos in both English and Spanish for both workers and forestry workers.  There are new WPS handouts and an inventory of training materials that has downloadable training videos, sample forms, modifiable presentations, and more.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on 29 December 2016 that it had denied the petition by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) and American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) to delay implementation by a year of the 2015 Worker Protection Standard.

How do I get pesticide safety education if I neither need nor want a license?

Everyone in Georgia who handles and applies general use or unclassified pesticides should be trained in how to correctly and safely use pesticides. The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) and the University of Georgia’s Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) have jointly developed the Georgia Competent Applicators of Pesticides Program (GCAPP) to provide Georgians who might wish training and certification in the proper and safe use of pesticides. The GCAPP program is free and does not require documentation or recertification through GDA. Once GCAPP students have completed the training and passed an examination, they receive a five-year certificate from UGA’s PSEP and GDA. Group training (minimum of 6 participants) may be arranged by contacting Dr. Mickey Taylor (mickeyt@uga.edu), the Associate PSEP Coordinator. It requires a 4.5-5.5 hour time commitment by all participants.

Websites

UGA-affiliated

External sites

Training

UGA Extension offers training within local communities on a wide array of topics. To see if there are training events in your area, please visit our calendar.