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Massachusetts regulations overview

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The Federal Government regulates pesticides through the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). FIFRA empowers the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to register pesticides and to regulate their use. FIFRA also allows for individual states to have primary enforcement responsibility for pesticide use within their borders

The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Pesticide Program regulates the use of pesticides in this state according to the 1978 Massachusetts Pesticide Control Act (Chapter 132 B of the Mass. General Laws). State regulations 333 CMR 1.00-14.00 have been promulgated pursuant to this law.

A brief overview of the specific parts of the regulation governing the application of pesticides by turf managers and in some instances other pesticide applicators follows. It is incumbent upon pesticide applicators to become familiar with the details of all aspects of the Pesticide Regulations, not just those listed here. For additional information on pesticide regulations, contact the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources Pesticide Program (see contact information in the side bar of this page).

To obtain a complete copy of the regulations, contact the MDAR Pesticide Program or the UMass Extension Pesticide Education Program. The regulations are also available for download at the MDAR Pesticide Program web site.

For More Information

UMass Extension Pesticide Education Program Agricultural Engineering Building University of Massachusetts Amherst, MA 01003 (413) 545-1044

Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources Pesticide Program 251 Causeway Street, Suite 500 Boston, MA 02114-2151 (617) 626-1720

Licensing and certification

The process of licensing and certification for those individuals who apply pesticides is conducted by the MDAR Pesticide Program under Massachusetts Pesticide Regulations 333 CMR 10.00. Applicators applying pesticides to the property of another or areas to which the public has access, both indoors and outdoors, must be licensed. Applicators must be certified in order to buy restricted use pesticides. Complete information on the procedures and exams for licensing and certification, as well as recertification and insurance requirements are detailed in the Pesticide Examination and License Information Bulletin, available annually from the MDAR Pesticide Program.

The UMass Extension Pesticide Education Program conducts regular workshops and trainings designed to assist applicators in preparation for licensing and certification exams. Study materials are also available for purchase. For additional information on Massachusetts pesticide applicator licensing and training visit the Pesticide License Information page of this web site.

Notification and posting for turf pesticide applications to residential and public or private non-residential properties

333 CMR 13.06 requires turf pesticide applicators provide to the entity with which they contract or the manager or superintendent of the contracting entity information about pesticides used, safety measures for humans and the environment, and specific application information. Provisions for pre-notification of application are covered in this regulation. It further requires that turf pesticide applicators post approved signs on properties prior to treatment and that signs remain in place for 24-72 hours. Further information on this regulation should be obtained from the MDAR Pesticide Program.

Record keeping

Regulation 333 CMR 10.14 requires that all licensed and certified commercial applicators or their employers keep true and accurate operational records on each application of a pesticide. The same regulation authorizes the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources to require annual records and reports of the information maintained in accordance with the regulation. Record keeping forms and/or a listing of specific information required is available from the MDAR Pesticide Program.