On February 15, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) added resources to its website regarding the Worker Protection Standard (WPS) and the Application Exclusion Zone (AEZ) requirements of the WPS. As of January 2, 2018, full compliance is required with all of the AEZ-related requirements in the WPS. The new EPA website resources include:
- A WPS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document that includes answers to questions on implementation and applicability; training; notification and hazard communication; designated representative; AEZ; minimum age; personal protective equipment (PPE); decontamination; definitions; and exemptions and exceptions;
- An AEZ Question and Answer Fact Sheet that contains further explanation of the AEZ requirement in the WPS;
- A video that provides a visual representation of an AEZ titled Application Exclusion Zone in Outdoor Production Pesticide Applications; and
- A video that provides a visual representation of an AEZ on field borders titled Application Exclusion Zones on Field Borders for Pesticide Applications.
While many welcome EPA’s guidance on the many thorny issues presented by the WPS and AEZ requirements, some believe that in places, the newly issued guidance raises additional questions and leaves some significant questions unaddressed. Given the controversy over this rule, this new guidance should be reviewed closely.
More information on the WPS, including EPA’s December 2017 announcement of its intention to revise the AEZ and other WPS provisions, and current implementation deadlines can be found on our blog under key word WPS and key phrase Worker Protection Standard.