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Legislative Issues

We work hard to educate decision makers about the value of our industry!



EPA is seeking to change the rules for certified pesticide applicators.
These rules apply to recertification requirements. Many thanks to Pat Hipkins of Virginia Tech for bringing this information to our attention. Download a summary sheet prepared by Pat.
Here are some of the points:
- The proposed regulations are only for users of restricted-use pesticides (RUP); however, it is very unlikely states such as Virginia will have separate recertification tracks for RUP users and for applicators who do not use RUPs.
- The proposed regulations call for a three year renewal cycle. Virginia exceeds that regulation with a two year requirement; however, Virginia (and other states) fall far short of other requirements:
a) the number of hours required for recertification increases dramatically (for example, persons holding 3A and 3B would need 18 hours of training every three years - 6 for the core and 6 more for each of the categories held);
b) persons cannot wait until the end of the three year cycle to obtain their training hours;
c) a government issued picture identification must be presented prior to renewal; and
d) many others points that are included in the summary sheet and in the EPA document.

EPA agrees about the benefits of a dense healthy turf in preventing runoff related pollution so spread the word. Download the entire report or download page 29, which is a critical page for our industry.
As the VTC repeatedly states, we strongly advocate for the proper selection, establishment, and maintenance of turfgrass - and such actions are good for the environment. The EPA report supports our position.
(excerpt from page 29 of the report)
Lawn Care Practice 2. Maintain a dense vegetative cover of turf grass to reduce runoff, prevent erosion, and retain nutrients The research demonstrates that dense vegetative cover helps to reduce surface runoff which can be responsible for significant nutrient export from the lawn, regardless of whether it is fertilized or not. Dense cover has been shown to reduce surface runoff volumes in a wide range of geographic settings and soil conditions (Easton and Petrovic, 2004, 2008a,b, Garn, 2002, Bierman et al 2010, Ohno et al, 2007, Raciti et al, 2008, Shuman, 2004, Vlach et al, 2008, Legg et al, 1996 and Spence et al, 2012).
 
If a lawn does not have a dense cover, it has an elevated risk for nutrient export, especially if soils are compacted or slopes are steep. In these situations, the primary nutrient management practice is to identify the factors responsible for the poor turf cover, and implement practices to improve it (e.g., tilling, soil amendments, fertilization or conservation landscaping).

Certified Fertilizer Applicator Program Requirements
What does the Code of Virginia require? We have placed relevant parts of the Code into a training unit. You may download a pdf file of that unit.

How do you train your persons to be trained applicators (not the same as a "certified fertilizer applicator")? Methods vary, but be very sure to include the following ten core areas in any training you provide:
1. Proper nutrient management practices such as allowable rate of application for nutrients for various types of vegetation and determining quantity of product to apply based on nutrient analysis;
2.Timing of applicationduring appropriate seasons for various types of vegetation and restrictions on intervals for reapplication;
3. Soil analysis techniques and interpretation of soil analysis results such as proper frequency and depth of sampling and determining appropriate rates of application based on soil analyses;
4. Equipment calibration techniques and procedures for liquid and dry fertilizer applicators and determination of size of application areas;
5. Understanding and interpreting fertilizer labels;
6. Proper handling and appropriate notification procedures of accidents and incidents;
7. Proper methods of storing, mixing, loading, transporting, handling, applying, and disposing of fertilizer;
8. Managing applications near impervious surfaces such as streets, driveways, sidewalks, or paved ditches, as well as near water bodies to avoid off-target applications;
9. Safety and health, including proper use of personalprotective equipment; and
10. Recordkeeping and reporting requirements of this regulation.

Download a copy of DCR's Standards and Criteria Manual. This is the document that is used as the guiding reference for fertilizer applications.

Download an abbreviated copy (only contains turfgrass pages) of DCR's Standards and Criteria Manual. This is the document that is used as the guiding reference for fertilizer applications.
Links for State Wide Issues
Virginia AgriBusiness Council
The Unified Voice of Virginia Agriculture and Forestry

Virginia Public Access Project 
This is a site devoted to presenting information on Virginia politics, including extensive information on members of the General Assembly.

Virginia's General Assembly?
Link to Virginia's General Assembly page for current information specific legislators, laws, regulations and legislative process.

Virginia Town Hall
This Commonwealth of Virginia site is a source of information about proposed changes to Virginia's regulations, including a meetings calendar and board minutes. This site also facilitates public participation through online comment forums and an email notification service.