I just wanted to pass along something that I received from Sonia Cotto-Febo on Proposed Changes to WPS. The docket opened on February 20, 2014 for comments. Currently, there are 13 comments as Crystal Snodgrass and I found out today when we were teaching a WPS class.
I've attached the PDF which compares the proposed changes to the current protections for your convienence.
Please pass it on to your producers, other agents who teach the WPS T-T-T or have producers that may be effected by these changes.
Cami Esmel McAvoy
Proposed Agricultural Worker Protection Standard: EPA Needs Your Input
On February 20, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency announced proposed changes to the agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) to increase protections from pesticide exposure for the nation's 2 million agricultural workers and their families. This is an important milestone for the farm workers who plant, tend, and harvest the food that we put on our tables each day.
We are seeking your input by the date specified in the Federal Register notice, which will publish within 10 days at http://www.regulations.gov identified by docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0184-0002. In the meantime, read the pre-publication copy (346 pp, 969k, About PDF). Your comments will help EPA to determine the final version of this regulation.
Camille "Cami" E. Esmel McAvoy, Ph.D.
University of Florida/IFAS Extension
Multi-County Commercial Horticulture Agent
Sumter & Pasco Counties
7620 SR 471, Ste. 2
Bushnell, FL 33513-8716
(352)793-2728 Ext. 234
The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information, and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions, or affiliations. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A&M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating.
"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways." - JFK
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 20, 2014
EPA Proposes New Safety Measures to Protect Farm Workers from Pesticide Exposure
WASHINGTON —Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced proposed revisions to the Worker Protection Standard in order to protect the nation's two million farm workers and their families from pesticide exposure.
"Today marks an important milestone for the farm workers who plant, tend, and harvest the food that we put on our tables each day," said Gina McCarthy, EPA Administrator. "EPA's revised Worker Protection Standard will afford farm workers similar health protections to those already enjoyed by workers in other jobs. Protecting our nation's farm workers from pesticide exposure is at the core of EPA's work to ensure environmental justice."
EPA is proposing significant improvements to worker training regarding the safe usage of pesticides, including how to prevent and effectively treat pesticide exposure. Increased training and signage will inform farm workers about the protections they are afforded under the law and will help them protect themselves and their families from pesticide exposure.
Workers and others near treated fields will now be protected from pesticide overspray and fumes. In addition, EPA has proposed that children under 16 be legally barred from handling all pesticides, with an exemption for family farms. These revisions protect workers while ensuring agricultural productivity and preserving the traditions of family farms.
This proposal represents more than a decade of extensive stakeholder input by federal and state partners and from across the agricultural community including farm workers, farmers, and industry on the current EPA Worker Protection Standard (WPS) for Agricultural Pesticides first established in 1992.
For more information on the EPA's Proposed Worker Protection Standard: http://www.epa.gov/oppfead1/safety/workers/proposed/index.html