Division of Agricultural Resources

The Division of Agricultural Resources works to promote, direct and ensure safe agricultural and environmental practices. The division registers pesticides, and trains and licenses pesticide applicators and chemigators. Coordination with agriculture professionals, agencies and the public has improved the processes in protecting human health, the environment and fish and wildlife species of the state from potential adverse effects of pesticides. Major functions are described below.

Pesticide Disposal Program The Enforcement Program investigates complaints of pesticide misuse, and monitors pesticide use throughout Idaho. ISDA works through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure compliance with federal and state pesticide laws and rules. Compliance is achieved through educational seminars and audits, compliance assistance and regulatory activities. In FY2010 the division conducted 238 investigations, inspections and compliance audits. Forty one allegations of pesticide misuse were filed with ISDA, which is the third lowest number of complaints received for a fiscal year. Two hundred seven enforcement actions were taken consisting of 11 hearings and seven civil complaints against applicators and/or dealers resulting in nine fines, and eight license suspensions. Other enforcement actions consisted of 33 warning letters, 101 regulatory letters, and 11 stop sale, use, or removal orders.

The Pesticide Licensing and Certification/Pesticide Applicator Training Program verified recertification credits for over 900 seminars throughout Idaho in FY2010, with ISDA actively conducting training in more than 140 of them. Five major applicator training events occurred during FY2010: Environmental Care Association Conferences, Idaho Potato School, Southwest Idaho Farm Show, Southeast Idaho Pesticide Applicator Certification Training and the North Idaho Pesticide Applicator Certification Training. ISDA provided for over 150 applicator testing sessions throughout Idaho during FY2010 to certify pesticide applicators. Over 8,100 pesticide applicators and dealers are licensed and supported.

Over 10,000 pesticide products were registered for sale and distribution in Idaho for calendar year 2009 by the Pesticide Registration Program. Pesticide labels are reviewed to ensure compliance with state and federal laws and rules. Label reviews also assist growers and industry through the registration of emergency and special, local need pesticides for agricultural pests.

The Idaho Worker Protection Standards/Farm Worker Safety Program has been recognized as a national leader for its accomplishments. Since implementation of the program, staff has logged over 70,000 contacts with the agriculture community including training 747 certified trainers, 11,041 handlers and 17,273 workers in safe pesticide use. The Worker Protection Program has increased pesticide awareness, promoted proper pesticide use, and encouraged the proper use of personal protective equipment. In FY2010, the field operations staff conducted 54 Tier I inspections, 15 Tier II inspections, and 56 WPS pesticide label inspections.

The Private Applicator Recordkeeping Program continues to work with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) that requires certified private applicators to properly maintain Restricted Use Pesticide application records for two years. In FY2010, ISDA conducted 150 initial recordkeeping inspections. Since entering into the cooperative agreement with USDA, ISDA has published recordkeeping handbooks in English and Spanish for private applicators in Idaho; published and distributed brochures that outline recordkeeping requirements for private applicators, professional applicators and dealers; and made over 7,000 personal contacts concerning the program.

The Container Recycling Project (CROP) is a service to users of pesticides to recycle empty pesticide containers that have been properly rinsed. In 2010, the two CROP program trucks were able to chip over 141,000 pounds of plastic. Since the program started in 1994, almost one and a half million containers have been recycled, keeping those cleaned containers out of the landfills or being disposed of illegally. The chipped plastic may be recycled into drain field pipe, pallets, fence posts, speed bumps, and parking lot stops.

The Pesticide Disposal Program (PDP) is another service the division offers for pesticide users to dispose of unusable pesticides in an environmentally conscientious manner. The program conducts two major collections each year - one in the north and one in southern Idaho. Those two major collections were able to safely collect and dispose of 74,210 pounds of unusable pesticides in 2009. The Pesticide Disposal Program was able to break the one million pounds of unusable pesticides that have been safely collected and properly disposed of in the spring of 2010.

The Water Quality Program implements agricultural water quality protection programs for ground and surface water primarily related to pesticides. Program activities include implementation of the Rules Governing Pesticide Management Plans for Ground Water Protection, ground and surface water quality monitoring for pesticides, water quality education of applicators and the public, and coordination with public and private partners to protect ground and surface water quality. ISDA implements ground and surface water monitoring and protection projects throughout the state related to pesticide impacts and coordinates these activities with other water quality agencies in Idaho.

he Idaho Pesticide and Chemigation law requires that a minimum of 250 chemigation equipment inspections be conducted each year—271 were conducted in FY2010. Also, as part of the EPA Cooperative Agreement, ISDA conducted five chemigation use inspections during FY2010. Working with industry, ISDA continues to add chemigation equipment to its list of approved equipment for chemigation.  Working with the Idaho State Department of Environmental Quality, ISDA has improved its ability to provide chemigators access to the latest list of approved backflow prevention valves for use on municipal and domestic water supplies. In Idaho there are currently 807 private applicators, 99 professional applicators, and 14 pesticide dealers with the chemigation category on their respective licenses.

The Urban Pesticide Program works with non-agriculture pesticide users to promote the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to control pests in urban situations. School workshops were conducted in the Treasure Valley with staff members of two of Idaho’s largest school districts ( Boise and Meridian) in attendance. The ISDA Urban Pesticide/IPM Program continues to provide mosquito abatement districts with information, training and compliance checks. A major effort was also put forth to stay involved in the development of the national general pesticide permit for the use of pesticides over, into and near the waters of the U.S.

Recent Achievements

  • Implemented Rules Governing Pesticide Management Plans for Ground Water Protection.
  • Collected and recycled over 141,000 pounds of emptied and cleaned plastic pesticide containers in the Container Recycling Operation (CROP) program in 2009.
  • In the spring of 2010 the Pesticide Disposal Program (PDP) reached the one million pounds of unusable pesticides collected and safely disposed of.
  • WPS staff has made over 70,000 contacts with the agricultural community since implementation of the worker protection standard program.
  • Chemigation Initial and Recertification exams were rewritten to better address contents of the revised Chemigation Study Manual.
  • Two IPM in Schools workshops were conducted in the Treasure Valley with staff members of two of Idaho’s largest school districts ( Boise and Meridian) in attendance.

Future Goals

  • Expand Container Recycling Program in eastern and northern Idaho.
  • Conduct outreach to dealers and applicators on the new pesticide containment rules.
  • Conduct outreach and compliance assistance with applicators and dealers on the new changes for soil fumigants.
  • Coordinate with EPA and industry on Clean Water Act NPDES Pesticide General Permit, and the Endangered Species Biological Options for Pesticides to Protect Salmonids.
  • Conduct outreach and compliance assistance with applicators on the use of pesticides in protecting Salmon and Steelhead.
  • Review ground and surface water monitoring programs for possible expansion in northern, south central and eastern Idaho.
  • Conduct IPM workshops in the Magic Valley and north central Idaho
  • Revised Initial and Recertification Chemigation exams will be reviewed and published in the fall of 2010.

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