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2001 Final PRL Annual Report - Executive Summary

This report details the final 2001 pesticides sales and application data submitted under Environmental Conservation Law Article 33, Title 12, known as the Pesticide Reporting Law (PRL). The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (Department), in conjunction with Cornell University, presents a final data summary of commercial pesticide sales and use for calendar year 2001.

The Department and Cornell have quality assured the data. These finalized data have been incorporated into a master data base maintained by Cornell University. This data base is accessible by the public and is an information source for health researchers or other users of the data.

The final data show there were greater than 5.9 million "records" of applications and sales reported for 2001, totaling approximately 661 million keystrokes of data. The total amount of pesticides reported as applied by commercial applicators in 2001 was 2,270,744.77 gallons and 16,933,247.04 pounds. This compares to 2,936,143.16 gallons and 17,844,438.00 pounds applied in 2000.

Please note: Although the Department and Cornell have gone to great lengths to quality assure the data, there are still concerns regarding the quality of the data received from the regulated community. Users of the data should review Section III.D., Data Qualifications, prior to use. In addition, the Department and Cornell attempt to provide the users with best data available and, therefore, occasional revisions to the data are required. Please visit our website to check for updates.

Pesticide Reporting Program

The Department continued its efforts to increase the compliance rate for reporting in the year 2001, primarily through public outreach and education, supplemented by enforcement.

The Department, in conjunction with its computer contractor, continued to operate a user-friendly website for regulated entities to report their sales and applications data. This made it easier for those entities that keep their records in an electronic format to report their sales and applications to the Department.

For the 2001 report year, the total number of applicators, technicians and permittees reporting was:
  • 19,365 Commercial Applicators and Technicians
  • 351 Commercial Permittees (Sales)

These figures indicate that 95.8 percent of the 20,217 certified applicators and technicians, and 96 percent of the 382 commercial permittees reported for 2001. Despite direct mailings, discussions at Statewide workshops and meetings and other attempts by the Department to notify the community of the reporting requirements, many are still unaware they are required to report, even if they make no applications that year. The Department will continue to provide outreach and education to the regulated community in an attempt to achieve maximum compliance with the reporting requirement.

The Department's long-term goal is to continually improve the reporting rate and data quality by raising the threshold for report acceptance each year. The Department continues to refine its front-line quality control program where Department staff evaluate incoming reports to ensure basic criteria were met. The criteria were established to maximize the volume of data that would be transferable into Cornell's master data base. To be accepted, a report must:

  1. be in the Department's standard format;
  2. contain complete data in every column;
  3. have valid certification numbers for all certified commercial applicators and technicians or a valid commercial permit number;
  4. be legible;
  5. list the "undiluted" quantity of pesticide used;
  6. list an acceptable "unit of measurement";
  7. list the exact date of application; and
  8. contain complete addresses (including number and street, full name of city or village and zip code)

If a report did not meet these criteria, Department staff sought to correct the report, if possible, through telephone discussion or by mail, with the person filing the report. This approach minimized the number of rejected reports. If the errors were too numerous, the report was rejected and returned to the business or applicator to be corrected and resubmitted.

As part of our standard quality assurance processes, the Department and Cornell identified reports that contained quantities that appeared to fall outside of accepted parameters. Staff reviewed reports containing these "out of range" quantities and the responsible applicators and businesses were contacted. Many of these turned out to be reporting errors which were then corrected by staff with the approval of the applicator or business. These corrected data were tabulated and forwarded to Cornell, which has used them to supersede the original reports in the database.

Also, when the initial data was reviewed, an error in reporting for some cooling tower and wood preservative products was detected. Many applicators erroneously reported those applications in "pounds" rather than "gallons." This error dramatically inflated the quantities of those products in the data reports. Cornell was able to convert the quantities for 67 of those products from pounds to the liquid quantities. This resulted in converting what was originally reported as 2,166,025.09 pounds, into 185,937.57 gallons. The 2001 annual report reflects the corrected data.

The above procedures helped to eliminate some of the constraints on data quality identified in previous annual reports; however, some constraints remain. The Department intends to eliminate as many constraints as possible by expanding the list of acceptance criteria. In this way, the acceptance threshold will rise continuously but gradually, paralleling the learning curve for the regulated community, the Department and Cornell. The goal is to maximize the quantity and quality of data available to health researchers and other users of the data.

The Department will continue to work with the reporting community to achieve maximum compliance. As a supplement to the education and outreach efforts, the Department took enforcement actions against those entities who failed to report for the year 2001. An Order on Consent was sent to approximately 1,680 certified commercial pesticide applicators and technicians and commercial permit holders who did not report for the year 2001. As a result of this action, many of those entities were assessed a civil penalty. Total civil penalties assessed for not reporting for the year 2001 were approximately $46,000. Many applicators and technicians elected to voluntarily surrender their certification instead of paying a penalty. The result of this surrender is they are no longer certified to make commercial pesticide applications. Those entities who did not settle the violation will not be granted renewal privileges until their violation is resolved.

The detailed data on applications and sales are voluminous, and contained in the eight separate data summaries included as part of this report (see the Table of Contents for a description of each summary). These detailed data summaries are available on the Department's website or on CD ROM. For a copy on CD ROM, please call 1-888-457-0110.

To make the information presented more easily understood and in response to recommendations, the Department is moving toward translating the volume (gallons) of pesticides reported into pounds. In order to convert the volume of a liquid into pounds, the specific gravity of the liquid must be known. The Department has changed its product registration practices to capture the specific gravity of each liquid pesticide product as it is registered for sale or use in New York State. There are currently 12,286 registered products in New York State. Of these, approximately 5,500 are liquid formulations. Cornell was able to obtain specific gravity data from California on approximately 3,700 of those products, leaving about 1,800 products for the Department to obtain. At the time of this report, the Department has captured the specific gravity data for approximately 1,500 of those products. It will be approximately one year before the Department is able to complete this transition and provide the information as pounds only.

The following totals are those most frequently requested:

Total amount of pesticides applied by commercial applicators in New York State in 2001:

  • 2,270,744.77 Gallons
  • 16,933,247.04 Pounds

The three largest total amounts of pesticide products applied by commercial applicators, by weight, were:

  • Lesco Pre-M Plus Fertilizer (EPA Registration No. 10404-82)*
  • Fertilizer with Merit Insecticide (EPA Registration No. 3125-474-9198)*
  • Lesco Merit 0.2 plus Fertilizer (EPA Registration No. 3125-474-10404)*

*These products contain small amounts of pesticides combined with large amounts of fertilizer and other ingredients. The weight reported here is the weight of all ingredients, not the weight of pesticides alone.

The three largest total amounts of pesticide products applied by commercial applicators, by volume, were:

  • Sunnysol 150 (EPA Registration No. 1744-20001)
  • Surchlor Disinfectant (EPA Registration No. 9359-2)
  • Lesco Pre-M Plus Fertilizer (EPA Registration No. 10404-82)**

** These products consist of small amounts of pesticides combined with large amounts of fertilizer. The weight reported here is the weight of all ingredients, not just pesticides.

Total amount of pesticides sold to private applicators for agricultural use in New York State in 2001:

  • 1,005,461.36 Gallons
  • 5,414,188.06 Pounds

The three largest total amounts of pesticide products sold to private applicators, by weight, were:

  • Lorsban Insecticide (EPA Registration No. 62719-34)
  • Force 3G Insecticide (EPA Registration No. 10182-373)
  • Dithane DF Agricultural Fungicide (EPA Registration No. 707-180)

The three largest total amounts of pesticide products sold to private applicators, by volume, were:

  • Prowl 3.3 EC Herbicide (EPA Registration No. 241-337)
  • Bicep Lite II Magnum (EPA Registration No. 100-827)
  • Roundup Ultramax (EPA Registration No. 524-512)

Total amount of pesticides sold to distributors for resale in New York State in 2001 was:

  • 284,158.84 Gallons
  • 3,196,046.03 Pounds

Total amount of pesticides sold to applicators for end use in New York State in 2001 was:

  • 159,316.71 Gallons
  • 1,878,873.11 Pounds

Please note: Although the Department and Cornell have gone to great lengths to quality assure the data, there are still concerns regarding the quality of the data received from the regulated community. Users of the data should review Section III.D., Data Qualifications, prior to use. In addition, the Department and Cornell attempt to provide the users with best data available and, therefore, occasional revisions to the data are required. Please visit our website to check for updates.


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