Pesticides regulations & environmental compliance analysis

Pesticides: What you need to know

Governing Law and Regulations

Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), 7 USC 136 as amended by the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 (FQPA), Public Law 104-170

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Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), 21 USC 301 to 397

Pesticide regulations: 40 CFR 152 to 180

Regulatory Agency

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Pesticides Programs

See ADDRESSES & CONTACTS for addresses and telephone numbers.


FIFRA is one of several laws regulating pesticides. FIFRA requires all pesticides sold or distributed in the United States (including imported pesticides) to be registered by EPA, although unregistered pesticides or pesticides registered for other uses can be used when approved by EPA and the state to address emergencies and special local needs. Use of each registered pesticide must be consistent with use directions contained on the label or labeling.

FFDCA regulates the establishment of pesticide tolerances. A tolerance is the maximum permissible level for pesticide residues allowed in or on commodities for human food and animal feed.

Under FQPA, a 1996 law that amended both FIFRA and FFDCA, EPA must follow strict criteria for the registration of pesticides, including additional protection for infants and children and consideration of all risks posed by pesticides with similar modes of action. Under FQPA, EPA must find that a pesticide poses a "reasonable certainty of no harm" before that pesticide can be registered. FQPA requires EPA to accelerate the registration of reduced-risk pesticides and complete the reregistration of older pesticides. FIFRA regulates pesticide registration, labeling, export, storage, and disposal. FIFRA applies to companies that manufacture, store, ...

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