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WSPRS News Items Move to Facebook and Twitter

As of July 2017, we are posting news items relevant to our clientele exclusively on the WSU WSPRS Facebook page (Washington State Pest Management Resource Service) and Twitter account (@PICOL_mgr). Announcements and news items already posted on this page will remain for historical reference.

All other aspects on our site, e.g., links to databases and other programs, employee resources, etc. are remaining here and will be actively maintained; only news items and announcements are moving. Questions? Comments? You can reach us at or

Clarification and Time Extension for Water Soluble Packaging Instructions

The Environmental Protection Agency is extending the time for registrants to submit revised labels for products with water soluble packaging. The new language is designed to correct misuse and protect handlers from exposure, and it will clarify that the changes only apply to large mix tanks, such as those often used in agricultural settings, versus smaller tanks, such as handheld or backpack sprayers. The deadline for submitting revised label instructions, originally April 5, has been extended to October 5, 2017.

When used properly, water soluble packaging can significantly reduce handler exposure during the mixing and loading of pesticides and qualifies as a closed mixing/loading system under the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard. However, some unintended practices in the field can actually increase the risks, negating the intention of the technology.

EPA worked with a task force of pesticide registrants and state officials to examine the issue and develop the improved language to eliminate misuse and to protect handlers.

The Agricultural Handler Exposure Task Force (a group formed by registrants of agricultural products to generate data to support registration) uncovered this problem while conducting exposure studies for water soluble packaging. They observed improper use of products in water soluble packaging, such as spraying the products with high pressure water and intentionally breaking water soluble bags. The task force notified EPA of their observations and offered to work with the agency to draft label language to address the improper use of the products.

Comment Periods Re-opened for Linuron and Pyrethroids

EPA is re-opening a 60-day comment period on the ecological risk assessment for several pyrethroids (bifenthrin, cyfluthrins, cypermethrin, cyphenothrin, D-phenothrin, deltamethrin, esfenvalerate, etofenprox, fenpropathrin, flumethrin, gamma-cyhalothrin, imiprothrin, lambda-cyhalothrin, momfluorothrin, permethrin, prallethrin, pyrethrins, tau-fluvalinate, tefluthrin and tetramethrin); due date is July 7, 2017.

For the chemical linuron, EPA is re-opening a 30-day comment period on the human health and ecological risk assessments; due date is June 7, 2017.

Docket numbers for each of the individual assessments is listed in Tables 1 and 2 in the May 8 Federal Register Comments must be submitted to the Federal eRulemaking Portal, at, using the correct docket number.

EPA and the Dept. of the Army Announce Intention to Review the Clean Water Rule and Rescind or Revise It

As announced in the Federal Register Vol. 82, No. 42 (

Through new rulemaking, the EPA and the Army seek to provide greater clarity and regulatory certainty concerning the definition of “waters of the United States,” consistent with the principles outlined in the [recent] Executive Order and the agencies’ legal authority.

Agencies have inherent authority to reconsider past decisions and to revise, replace or repeal a decision to the extent permitted by law and supported by a reasoned explanation. Importantly, such a revised decision need not be based upon a change of facts or circumstances. A revised rulemaking based “on a reevaluation of which policy would be better in light of the facts” is “well within an agency’s discretion,” and “[a] change in administration brought about by the people casting their votes is a perfectly reasonable basis for an executive agency’s reappraisal of the costs and benefits of its programs and regulations.”

Register for January 24 Webinar on Controlling Public Health Pests

On Tuesday, January 24, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. ET, EPA’s Center of Expertise for School IPM will offer a webinar titled, “Pests of Public Health Importance and the Role of Integrated Pest Management in Schools.” Recent developments in pest-borne diseases, such as the emergence of Zika virus and spread of Lyme disease, signal the need to continually assess the threat of pests to public health. Illnesses carried by insects, rodents, and other pests affect all races, ethnicities, ages and cultures. Vector-borne illnesses are an ever-present threat and efforts to prevent them are critical to protecting public health.

We strive to keep our school playgrounds and other outdoor environments free of pests. The control of vector-borne diseases hinges on understanding the pest and how it becomes established in an ecosystem and ultimately infects a susceptible host. Integrated pest management (IPM) is an approach that uses a hierarchy of practices, including education, pest exclusion, sanitation and other biological and mechanical methods, to reduce unnecessary pesticide exposure while providing sustainable pest control.

Join us as we discuss the primary pests of public health concern, review control strategies, and describe tactics to reduce exposure in your school district.

Our presenters will be:

  • Richard Pollack, PhD, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Pearl English, DNP, Nurse, School District of Philadelphia (PA)
  • Marcia Anderson, PhD, EPA Center of Expertise for School IPM

Upcoming webinars include:

  • More Than Just a Firm Handshake: Bid and Contract Guidance for Securing IPM-Based Services for Schools | February 21, 2017
  • Feed the Kids, Not the Pests: Effective IPM for Cafeterias and Kitchen | March 14, 2017
  • Contending with Invasive Plants on School Grounds | April 17, 2017

Actions you can take:

EPA Takes Action to Prevent Poisonings from Herbicide

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing safety measures to stop poisonings caused by ingestion of the herbicide paraquat, which can also cause severe injuries or death from skin or eye exposure.

Since 2000, there have been 17 deaths—three involving children—caused by accidental ingestion of paraquat. These cases have resulted from the pesticide being illegally transferred to beverage containers and later mistaken for a drink and consumed. A single sip can be fatal. To prevent these tragedies, EPA is requiring:

  • new closed-system packaging designed to make it impossible to transfer or remove the pesticide except directly into the proper application equipment;
  • special training for certified applicators who use paraquat to emphasize that the chemical must not be transferred to or stored in improper containers; and
  • changes to the pesticide label and warning materials to highlight the toxicity and risks associated with paraquat.

In addition to the deaths by accidental ingestion, since 2000 there have been three deaths and many severe injuries caused by the pesticide getting onto the skin or into the eyes of those working with the herbicide. To reduce exposure to workers who mix, load and apply paraquat, EPA is restricting the use of paraquat to certified pesticide applicators only. Uncertified individuals working under the supervision of a certified applicator will be prohibited from using paraquat.

Paraquat is one of the most widely used herbicides in the U.S. for the control of weeds in many agricultural and non-agricultural settings and is also used as a defoliant on crops such as cotton prior to harvest.

Learn more about paraquat and the new measures to reduce risk:

Learn about EPA’s Certification and Training Rule:

Learn about EPA’s Worker Protection Standard:

To view the docket on EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0855-0112

EPA to Rebroadcast the Public Symposium on Regulation of Plant-Incorporated Protectants

Register for the November 18, 2016 Webinar

In September 2016, EPA held a public symposium on data that support registration of plant incorporated protectants (PIPs). The information from that symposium will be rebroadcast as a webinar on Thursday, November 18, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The symposium provided a forum for PIP developers (e.g., registrants), the agricultural sector and the general public to get firsthand information on the scope of the scientific review process that determines the safety of PIPs and on the pesticide registration process as a whole. The majority of PIPs registered in the past 20-plus years use insecticidal traits of bacterial proteins to enhance the plant’s resistance to insect herbivores. In this webinar, EPA, FDA and USDA representatives give an overview of the regulatory system as it applies to biotechnology in the United States, specifically in the context of the Coordinated Framework for Regulation of Biotechnology.

For those interested in just the recording, EPA plans to post a recording of the webinar on their website in early December 2016.

View information about the rebroadcast and register.

View the presentation materials from the symposium.
More information about regulation of biotechnology.

Report Southern Green Stink Bugs!

The Southern Green Stink Bug is a new pest in Washington State, and we need your help to map its spread! Use the link below to submit relevant details regarding a sighting of the Southern Green Stink Bug in Washington State. The most reliable way for us to track this pest is for you to upload a picture of your suspect bug. Pictures allow us to verify the identification, which is important since some stink bugs can look very similar. You may also mail suspect specimens and collection information to WSU Extension, c/o Mike Bush, 2403 S 18th Street, Suite 100, Union Gap, WA 98903.

Report your stinkbug sightings here.

EPA Issues Sulfoxaflor Registration for Some Uses

Following the decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to vacate the registration of sulfoxaflor, EPA has reevaluated the data supporting the use of sulfoxaflor and is approving a registration that meets all requirements of the court. Sulfoxaflor will now have fewer uses and additional requirements that will protect bees. EPA will consider the other uses at a later date as data become available to support those uses. EPA made this decision after careful consideration of public comments and supporting science.

EPA is registering sulfoxaflor for use only on crops that are not attractive to pollinators or for crop-production scenarios that minimize or eliminate potential exposure to bees. The registration is very protective of pollinators and includes fewer crops than were allowed under sulfoxaflor’s previous registration. For those crops that are included and that are bee attractive, sulfoxaflor will be allowed only post bloom, when bees are not expected to be present, and will not be allowed on any crops grown for seed, including turf. These restrictions practically eliminate exposure to bees in the field, which reduces the risk below EPA’s level of concern such that no additional data requirements to protect bees are triggered.

EPA is also prohibiting application if wind speeds exceed 10 mph and requiring a 12-foot on-field buffer on the down-wind edge to protect bees from spray drift if there is blooming vegetation bordering the treated field. EPA is prohibiting tank mixing of sulfoxaflor with pesticides that have shown evidence of synergistic activity with sulfoxaflor. The product label directs applicators to more information and a list of these pesticides.

Sulfoxaflor is a sulfoximine, a new insecticide class that is an alternative to organophosphates, which are considered to be much harsher on non-target organisms and the environment. Sulfoxaflor will control a number of difficult insect pests and is proven to work against challenging pests that carbamate, neonicotinoid, organophosphate, and pyrethroid insecticides fail to control.

EPA Guidance on How to Comply with the Revised Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides

Today, EPA in conjunction with the Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative (PERC) is making available a guide to help users of agricultural pesticides comply with the requirements of the 2015 revised federal Worker Protection Standard. You should read this manual if you employ agricultural workers or handlers, are involved in the production of agricultural plants as an owner/manager of an agricultural establishment or a commercial (for-hire) pesticide handling establishment, or work as a crop advisor.

This “How to Comply” manual includes:

  • details to help you determine if the WPS requirements apply to you;
  • information on how to comply with the WPS requirements, including exceptions, restrictions, exemptions, options, and examples;
  • “Quick Reference Guide”- a list of the basic requirements (excluding exemptions, exceptions, etc.);
  • new or revised definitions that may affect your WPS responsibilities; and
  • explanations to help you better understand the WPS requirements and how they may apply to you.

This updated 2016 WPS How to Comply Manual supersedes the 2005 version.