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Pesticides

DEC regulates pesticides and is responsible for compliance assistance, public outreach activities and, enforcement of the requirements in the Environmental Conservation Law.

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Chlorpyrifos Pesticide Registration Cancellations and Proposed Regulation

On January 27, 2021, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced the release of a proposed regulation to prohibit the sale, distribution, possession, and use of pesticide products containing the active ingredient chlorpyrifos. This proposed regulation will add chlorpyrifos to the list of prohibited pesticides in 6 NYCRR 326.2(c) of New York's pesticide registration regulations. Furthermore, on December 31, 2020, the New York State pesticide registrations were cancelled for 29 pesticide products containing chlorpyrifos. These products can no longer be sold, offered for sale, distributed, or used in New York State. An additional 15 chlorpyrifos pesticide products, that allow for applications to apple tree trunks, remain registered for sale, offer for sale, use, and distribution in the state until July 31, 2021.

Enforcement Discretion - Applicators and Businesses

In April 2020, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation issued a letter announcing it would exercise its enforcement discretion (PDF) with respect to certain provisions of the 6 NYCRR Part 325 regulations. DEC took this action to alleviate hardships certified pesticide applicators and registered pesticide businesses and agencies were experiencing due to the COVID-19 emergency. The enforcement discretion letter indicated that it would expire 60 days after the expiration of DEC's Emergency Declaration, or any extensions issued thereto. DEC's Emergency Declaration expired on September 23, 2020. Therefore, this enforcement discretion expired on November 23, 2020.

Upon expiration of this enforcement discretion, all provisions of 6 NYCRR Part 325 will be in effect, and any violation thereto will be subject to enforcement action by DEC. Beginning November 24, 2020, certified pesticide applicators will be required to have a valid, current certification identification (ID) card in their possession in order to make any commercial or private applications of pesticides and registered pesticide businesses and agencies will be required to have a current registration to operate as a pesticide business or agency.

DEC will continue to waive assessing six additional recertification ("penalty") credits for 90 days past the expiration of the enforcement discretion or until February 23, 2021. Please be aware, during the 90 day period, you may not apply pesticides without a valid certification ID card in your possession. Beginning February 24, 2021, DEC will assess penalty credits as prescribed in regulation.

Neighbor Notifications in Spanish Language

In 2020, Sections 33-1004 and 33-1005 of the Environmental Conservation Law were further amended to include the requirement that the 48 hour prior notification for certain commercial lawn applications, the information sign posted by retailers, and the visual notification markers posted for residential lawn applications be printed in both the English and Spanish languages and any other languages if the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation deems it necessary, pursuant to rules and regulations. The requirements of the amendments, like the Neighbor Notification Law, Rule and Regulation described above, would be effective in a County, or city with a population of one million or more, that has adopted a local law to "opt into" the Neighbor Notification Law in its entirety and without any changes.

Stakeholder Meetings - Pesticide Regulations

DEC recently held two stakeholder webinars to obtain input on potential changes to current pesticide regulations. Stakeholders were encouraged to take this opportunity to hear about the potential revisions, express views, provide input and participate in a collaborative effort to develop a comprehensive set of regulations.

Fact sheets (PDF), Slide Presentations (PDF), and a Comment Form (PDF) are available for those who are interested in participating in the process. Stakeholder input for pesticides regulations can be submitted by email to pestregs@dec.ny.gov. You may also provide input regarding aquatic pesticides regulations to AQpestregs@dec.ny.gov.

Recertification

Certified applicators and technicians are required to have a valid certification ID card in their possession in order to work. Many of them will not be able to obtain the continuing education credits required for recertification because all classroom courses are cancelled in the near term. Additionally, the only other method of qualifying for recertification, via a recertification exam, is not an option because the certification exam sessions through the end of April will be cancelled. There is computer-based training available, but that is not a good option for people in remote parts of the state or those who do not have access to computers or are not computer proficient. Enforcement discretion is being pursued to delay enforcement of the pesticide certification period. Please see the letter in the Important Links area on the right side of this page for more information.

At this time, DEC will allow any applicator whose certification lapsed on or after November 1, 2019, to continue to operate until 60 days after the expiration of Executive Order 202 and any extensions issued to it. Penalty training credits that would otherwise be required for these applicators, will also be waived. This extension will allow time for courses to start opening back up, recertification exams to become available, and for staff to keep pace with pending applications.

DEC will re-assess the situation periodically to determine if this allowance for certifications will need to be extended further. Certified applicators for whom this extension applies can carry a copy of the enforcement discretion letter along with their ID card to show customers, inspectors, commercial permittees, and others, as necessary, that they are still allowed to operate.

Business Registration

DEC will allow businesses and agencies whose registrations lapsed on or after March 1, 2020, to continue to operate during the current crisis, until 60 days after the expiration of Executive Order 202 and any extensions issued to it. This allowance for business registration expiration shall also apply to the expiration date on the pesticide application equipment/vehicle decals. The equipment/vehicle operator can carry a copy of the enforcement discretion letter as part of their proof that they are still allowed to operate. The letter can be downloaded in the Important Links area on the right side of this page.

Even though we will allow these applicators with expired certifications and businesses and agencies with expired registrations to continue to operate during this time, pesticide applicators and pesticide businesses are encouraged to submit their recertification and business registration renewal information to the DEC as soon as possible to avoid any future delays in the processing of these items. This action will not change recertification dates and when the recertification paperwork is completed applicators will remain on their current recertification cycle.

COVID-19 Pesticide Information: Pesticide products used to disinfect surfaces or objects must first be registered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and then by DEC. EPA has activated its Emerging Viral Pathogens Guidance for Antimicrobial Products in order to enable the use of certain EPA-registered disinfectant products against COVID-19. EPA identified products which can be used against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

DEC has created a list of products registered in New York State that correspond to the list of products identified by the EPA. The list can be downloaded below:

DEC List of Products to Disinfect COVID-19 (Updated April 14, 2021)(PDF)

Note: This list is subject to change. DEC recommends users check back regularly for an updated list.

DEC reminds users to strictly follow the label directions for disinfecting surfaces for viruses, including adherence to contact times and appropriate personal protective equipment (if applicable) as listed on each product label.

For more information related to COVID-19, please visit the following webpages:

New York State Department of Health Coronavirus Webpage (leaves DEC website)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Webpage (leaves DEC website)

Questions about pesticide products used in relation to COVID-19 should be directed to DEC's Pesticide Product Registration Section at 518-402-8768 or ppr@dec.ny.gov

Pay your Pesticide Applicator/Technician Certification and Business/Agency Registration Application Fees Electronically Online: You can now pay your pesticide certification and business/agency fees electronically. Please do not submit a check with your application. After reviewing your application, we will mail you an invoice that you can pay via electronic check, debit card or credit card. Note: Certain payment types incur related transaction fees. Please visit the On-Line Invoicing section of the Doing Business with DEC webpage, the Pesticide Applicator/Technician Certification webpage, or the Business/Agency Pesticide Information webpage for more information regarding electronic payments.

Pollinator Protection - Information on reporting a "Pollinator Incident" and resources available to you for protecting and encouraging pollinators.

Enforcement Discretion Letters - DEC will exercise its authority to utilize enforcement discretion with respect to certain provisions of the Environmental Conservation Law and associated regulations relating to commercial pesticide applicator certification requirements in the following areas:

Compliance Checklists - A business compliance checklist (PDF) and Worker Protection Standard (WPS) compliance checklist (PDF) have been developed for Registered Pesticide Businesses, Certified Pesticide Applicators, and farmers that can be used to check compliance with some of the basic regulatory requirements.

NYSPAD Product Search - The NYSPAD product search can be used to obtain information regarding all pesticide products registered in New York. In addition, pesticide product labels can be viewed or downloaded within the NYSPAD search. Please click on the icon below to enter the NYSPAD search webpage.

NYSPAD Icon

Contact Us

The Pesticide Reporting and Certification Section can be contacted at 518-402-8748 or PestMgt@dec.ny.gov.

The Pesticide Product Registration Section can be contacted at 518-402-8768 or PPR@dec.ny.gov.

The Pesticide Compliance Section can be contacted at 518-402-8727 or PesticideCompliance@dec.ny.gov.

For questions regarding The Pesticide Reporting Law (PRL), call 518-402-8748 or email prl@dec.ny.gov.

PesticidesUpdates Listserv

The PesticidesUpdates list is for DEC to provide the list members with information announcements only.

Sign up for the PesticidesUpdates e-mail notification listserv and get notices sent right to your inbox. Subscribe to DEC Delivers, enter your e-mail address, complete and submit the requested information on the "New Subscriber" page. On the "Quick Subscription" page you will see all of the additional topics that you can receive email updates on from DEC. Scroll to the "Prevent and Control Pollution" category and check the box next to "Pesticides." You will receive a welcome email from DEC confirming your subscription(s).


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