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Final 2003 PRL Annual Report - Executive Summary

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (Department), in conjunction with Cornell University, presents this report on the final 2003 pesticides sales and application data submitted under Environmental Conservation Law Article 33, Title 12, known as the Pesticide Reporting Law (PRL). These finalized data have been incorporated into a master database maintained by Cornell University. This database 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 2003, totaling approximately 578.2 million keystrokes of data. The total amount of pesticides reported as applied by commercial applicators in 2003 was 2,679,129.58 gallons and 18,644,311.21 pounds. This compares to 2,448,330.51 gallons and 16,073,931.22 pounds applied in 2002.

Please note: Although the Department and Cornell have gone to great lengths to assure the quality of 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 the best data available and, therefore, occasional revisions to the data are required. Users are advised to go to the following website for the most recent data: New York State Pesticide Sales and Applications Annual Reports

The detailed data on applications and sales are voluminous, and contained in the eight separate data summaries included as part of this report (see Section III. C. Data Summaries Overview, for a description of each summary). These data summaries are available on the Department's website or on CD ROM. For a copy on CD ROM, please call 1-518-402-8748.

For the 2003 report year, the total number of applicators, technicians and permittees reporting was:

  • 18,715 Commercial Applicators and Technicians
  • 356 Commercial Permittees (Sales)

These figures indicate 95.3 percent of the 19,639 certified applicators and technicians, and 91.5 percent of the 389 commercial permittees reported for 2003. 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, in conjunction with its computer contractor, continues to operate a website for regulated entities to report their sales and applications data. The electronic reporting programs enable users to keep their pesticide records on a computer and to report their sales and applications to the Department. The data can be submitted to the Department via e-mail, floppy disk, CD ROM, or FTP (File Transfer Protocol). This user-friendly approach to submission improves the quality of the data received and facilitates the transmission of such data to Cornell. It is also a more cost effective method of reporting for both the regulated community and the Department.

Electronic PRL sales and applications reports for 2003 increased by 68%, compared with 2002. These submissions contained data for 7,829 applicators/technicians and 129 commercial permit holders, compared to 4,653 applicators/technicians and 85 commercial permit holders in 2002. The total number of 2003 records was 3,540,499 compared to 1,890,787 records in 2002, an 87% increase.

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. Reporting errors were corrected by staff with the approval of the applicator or business. These corrected data were forwarded to Cornell to supercede the original reports in the database.

Several applicators incorrectly reported applications for some cooling tower and wood preservative products in pounds rather than gallons. Also, some of the data from sales of these type products were reported incorrectly. These errors dramatically inflated the quantities of those products in the data reports. Cornell was able to convert the quantities for 51 of those products from pounds to the liquid quantities. This resulted in converting 1,170,075.77 pounds (as originally reported), into 85,493.83 gallons. We also converted 782,000 pounds (for restricted pesticide sales) into 52,171.59 gallons. The 2003 annual report reflects the corrected data.

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 transferrable into Cornell's master database. If a report did not meet these criteria, Department staff sought to correct the report with the person filing the report. If the errors were too numerous, the report was rejected and returned to the business or applicator to be corrected and resubmitted.

The above procedures helped 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 took enforcement actions against those entities who failed to report for the year 2003. An Order on Consent was sent to approximately 1,836 certified commercial pesticide applicators and technicians and commercial permit holders who did not report for the year 2003. As a result of this action, many of those entities were assessed a civil penalty. Many other 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.

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 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 12,872 registered products in New York State. Of these, approximately 6,900 are liquid formulations. To date, the specific gravity data for most of those products has been obtained. We expect to complete this transition within the coming months and at that point, will be able to 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 2003:

  • 2,679,129.58 Gallons
  • 18,644,311.21 Pounds

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

  • Lesco Pre-M Plus Fertilizer Insecticide (EPA Registration No. 10404-82)
  • Fertilizer with Merit Insecticide (EPA Registration No. 3125-474-9198)
  • Dimension 0.10% plus Fertilizer (EPA Registration No. 10404-85)

This product contains 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:

  • Hypochlorite Solution Disinfectant (EPA Registration No. 52483-1)
  • Surchlor Plus Disinfectant (EPA Registration No. 9359-2)
  • Sunnysol 150 Disinfectant (EPA Registration No. 1744-20001)
Total amount of pesticides sold to private applicators for agricultural use in New York State in 2003:
  • 798,106.86 Gallons
  • 6,557,657.23 Pounds
The three largest total amounts of pesticide products sold to private applicators, by weight, were:
  • Lorsban Insecticide (EPA Registration No. 62719-34)
  • Penncozeb 75 DF Fungicide (EPA Registration No. 4581-370)
  • Force 3G Insecticide (EPA Registration No. 100-1075)
The three largest total amounts of pesticide products sold to private applicators, by volume, were:
  • Damoil Dormant and Summer Spray Oil Insecticide/Miticide (EPA Registration No. 19713-123)
  • Prowl 3.3 EC Herbicide (EPA Registration No. 241-337)
  • Lumax Selective Herbicide (EPA Registration No. 100-1152)
Total amount of pesticides sold to distributors for resale in New York State in 2003 was:
  • 779,277.20 Gallons
  • 5,620,793.75 Pounds
Total amount of pesticides sold to applicators for end use in New York State in 2003 was:
  • 77,658.14 Gallons
  • 1,685,326.08 Pounds

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