Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 10:30 AM
KENNEWICK, Wash. -- New soil fumigation rules change who can be in the field during a chemical application, a state official says.
Anybody within the treated application area or buffer zones of soil fumigants must be trained to Environmental Protection Agency Worker Protection Standard requirements and as a soil fumigant handler, Tim Schultz, case review officer for the Washington State Department of Agriculture in Spokane, said. That includes repair service people and equipment dealers.
"I know as farming goes, everybody tries to help if they can," Schultz said. "With the new soil fumigation label, it does change that ability to offer help if needed."
The new rules make it more distinct who is in charge, who is allowed on the site and who isn't, Schultz said.
One applicator is in charge of the application, and other licensed people may supervise, as long as they are considered a handler.
"If your neighbor stops by just to see how that new tractor is running, he's not associated with that application or a handler, so if you're going to chat for a while, you need to be outside that buffer zone," Schultz said.
Farmers should maintain a list of training their handlers receive, Schultz said, in case of a department inspection or the department asks about handlers involved in a situation.
"Bottom line, once a year, bring your guys together, do the brief handler information training to keep them current," he said.
Schultz kicked off the general session of the Washington Oregon Potato Conference Jan. 30 in Kennewick, Wash.