Aerial application for pesticides near Niarada
Aerial application for pesticides near Niarada

Background and History of the Pesticides Program

In 2006, the Pesticides Program was added to the Environmental Protection Division and entered into a Tribal Pesticide Circuit Rider Program with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), Region 8 (R8). The US EPA, Region 8 offices are located in Denver, Colorado and the Region 8 consists of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah. The Pesticide Program is funded by an annual USEPA Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) grant. FIFRA is a national law that regulates pesticides and there use while seeking to educate pesticide users to reduce misuse and to protect public health and the environment.  In 2007, Wilhelmina Keenan obtained her EPA FIFRA inspector credentials. In 2009, with increasing inspections and misuse investigations and added FIFRA inspection quotas a second staff member, Jasmine Courville-Brown was hired. Ms. Brown attended EPA required courses and training to obtain her EPA federal credentials in 2010. The program consists of two FIFRA credentialed inspectors and a pesticide compliance/outreach coordinator.

Circuit Rider Program

The Tribal Pesticide Circuit Rider Program is a cooperative effort by the U.S. E.P.A., Region 8 and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes to implement the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) in Indian Country. FIFRA is the national law that regulates pesticides and their use.

USEPA Region 8 entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on September 13, 2007 with the Blackfeet Tribe and Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. This MOA serves to increase compliance monitoring efforts with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection on pesticide imports on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. The Reservation has 65 miles of international border and the two ports of entry, the Del Bonita and Port of Peigan. On May 26, 2010 the USEPA (R8) then entered into an agreement with the Crow Nation for their participation in the Tribal Circuit Rider Program and in 2009; a two year process began with Northern Cheyenne Tribe (NCT). Representatives successfully entered into a MOA on December 9, 2011. These cooperative agreements allow the CSKT inspectors to implement FIFRA regulations and to provide technical and compliance assistance on behalf of EPA in Indian Country.

Employee during a local cherry orchard inspection
Employee during a local cherry orchard inspection

Compliance Monitoring

Use Inspections: Pesticide use inspections consist of ensuring that the applicator is following all label requirements, including applicator certification requirements and Worker Protections Standards when applicable. Use inspections are subdivided into two categories: agricultural use inspections and non-agricultural use inspections. Agricultural use inspections involve the inspection of pesticide applications in conjunction with the production of agricultural commodities (plants or animals) while non-agricultural inspections involve non-agricultural pesticide applications.
For Cause Inspections: For cause inspections are initiated in response to a complaint, damage report, referral or tip. For cause inspections are also subdivided into agricultural and non-agricultural categories.

Restricted Use Pesticide (RUP) Dealer Records Inspection: A RUP dealer inspection is conducted on-site at a dealer who sells RUPs. The purpose of such inspections is to determine if the dealer is maintaining the required records and to determine if RUPs are being sold exclusively to certified applicators or other properly authorized persons.
Certified Commercial Applicator Records Inspection: A certified commercial applicator records inspection is normally conducted at the certified applicator’s place of business. The purpose of such inspection is to determine if the applicator is properly certified, is maintaining the required records, and is complying with the applicable laws and regulations.

Marketplace Inspection: A marketplace inspection is an inspection conducted at the retail or wholesale level for the purpose of determining product registration status, proper storage and display, labeling violations and product composition.

Producer Establishment Inspection: A producer establishment inspection is an inspection of an establishment where pesticides or devices are produced and held for distribution or sale. The purpose of such inspection is to determine if the producer is maintaining the appropriate records, producing only registered pesticides and using accepted labeling.

The circuit rider will notify EPA Region 8 within one week of the discovery of any suspected violations of FIFRA and will forward the inspection file to EPA for any appropriate enforcement response. EPA Region 8 will review the inspection file provided by the circuit rider, determine if there are FIFRA violations and, if appropriate, and initiate enforcement action.

Pesticide Labels

The pesticide label provides valuable information about proper handling and use of the pesticide, potential risks the pesticide may pose to humans, animals, plants and the environment, and instructions on how to minimize or avoid those risk. Every person who applies pesticides has the responsibility to read and follow the label information so no harm results from handling pesticides from the time of purchase through ultimate use or disposal.

Before you buy a pesticide, read the label to determine these basics:

  • Where the pesticide can and cannot be applied
  • If the pesticide will control the pest or pests
  • If the pesticide can be applied safely and legally under the application conditions
  • Necessary application and safety equipment
  • Amount of pesticide needed for the application (buy only the amount needed)
  • Relevant restrictions for use of the pesticide

Pesticide labels are legal documents. Except where otherwise allowed by law, the applicator must conform with all label instructions. The most common violations of pesticide law involve use inconsistent with the label.

PLASTIC PESTICIDE CONTAINER RECYCLING

Our project’s goal is to provide a place where the community can keep pesticide containers out of landfills, saving money, energy and our environment. Recycling plastics are converted into fence posts, pallets, field drain tiles, speed bumps and parking stops.

The Montana Department of Agriculture purchased a Pesticide container Recycling Truck that drives through the state of Montana and arrives at pre-determined collection sites to collect and grind all clean #2HPDE agricultural pesticide container plastic. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes (CSKT), the Lake County Weed Control and the Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) are working cooperatively to provide this service to the Flathead Reservation businesses and applicators.

The drop off location is at Lake County Weed Control Facility near the transfer-station off of HWY 93 between Polson and Pablo.

The containers must be:

  • Tripled rinsed & punctured;
  • Label booklets & foil, lids removed; (stuck on labels may remain)
  • 5+ Gallon and Larger Gallon Containers must be cut into 3 sections to fit into shredder;
  • There will be a disposal container set up at the Lake County Weed facility;
  • Any containers un-cleaned will be REJECTED!

For more information please contact:

CSKT Pesticide Program: Willie Keenan, Jasmine Brown 406-883-2888
Montana Department of Agriculture: Leonard Berry or Ron Ahlgran 406-444-5400
Lake County Weed Control: Tom Benson 406-883-7330

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