Federal and state regulations govern pesticide use in the United States. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revised the 1992 Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) regulation on November 2, 2015 to increase protection from pesticide exposure for the nation’s two million agricultural workers and their families. These changes will afford farmworkers similar health protections that are already afforded to workers in other industries while taking into account the unique working environment of many agricultural jobs.
Information on the Federal Revisions for Agricultural Employers
- 40 CFR 170. Revisions to the Agricultural Protection Standard (PDF). November 2, 2015. EPA.
- How to Comply With the 2015 Revised Worker Protection Standard For Agricultural Pesticides (PDF). The purpose of this online guide is to help users of agricultural pesticides comply with the requirements of the revised federal Worker Protection Standard. EPA/PERC.
- Quick Reference Guide to the Worker Protection Standard (WPS) as Revised in 2015 (PDF). This one-page double-sided chart outlines requirements with direct hyperlinks to the text of the regulation for each item being cited in the chart. It is also available in Spanish (PDF). EPA/PERC.
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on EPA’s Revised Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides (WPS) 40 CFR Part 170 (PDF). 4/14/2016. EPA.
- EPA Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) Comparison of the New Protections to the Existing Protections. October 2015; English (PDF). December 2015; Spanish (PDF). US EPA.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJ DEP) regulations [N.J.A.C. Subchapter 12] provide New Jersey’s regulations for Worker Protection. Prior to EPA’s revision of the WPS in 2015, New Jersey’s Agricultural Worker Protection regulations were more stringent than EPA’s 1992 Worker Protection Standard (as amended). Some of the more stringent New Jersey regulations included: worker and handler training recordkeeping; annual “refresher” training; and additional information required to be posted in the Central Posting Area.
EPA’s 2015 revision of the WPS now includes many of the requirements of New Jersey’s original Worker Protection regulations. The NJDEP proposed revision of their pesticide regulations for the Pesticide Control Code on May 20, 2019. The proposed revisions to N.J.A.C. 7:30 incorporated new federal requirements not previously addressed by New Jersey regulations. Additionally, the proposed revisions addressed conflicts between the State and federal rules.
A Public Hearing was held at NJDEP in Trenton on June 25, 2019. Written comments were accepted through July 19, 2019. The final revisions to the NJDEP pesticide regulations at N.J.A.C. 7:30 for the Pesticide Control Code were adopted on April 6, 2020. Public comments received on NJDEP’s proposed revisions to the regulations were addressed and published in the final rule adoption.
On July 14, 2020, the NJDEP announced that the final rule amendments to the New Jersey Pesticide Control Code were posted on their pesticide regulations webpage, highlighting changes in red. It is an unofficial copy of the rules to illustrate changes for educational purposes, and will be posted in this format for a limited time (approximately 18 months). The table of contents page also highlights sections in red to point the reader to the sections that were amended.
New Jersey’s Agricultural Worker Protection regulations [final revised Subchapter 12] will be integrated into this Rutgers NJAES WPS website with topics highlighted as updates to the Plant and Pest Advisory.
For Further Information:
See the NJDEP Worker Protection website. For specific questions about NJDEP’s implementation of the revised WPS, please contact Supervisor of the Worker Protection Unit Nancy Santiago at 609-984-6568, or contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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