Frequent Questions

Pesticide applicator quantity applied to threshold or transportation exemption

A farmer contracts with an applicator to spray pesticides on his fields.  The applicator drives a tank truck onto the farmers' field and sprays the pesticide from the truck onto the fields.  For purposes of Section 302 emergency planning requirements, are the EHSs in the truck considered present at the facility and reportable if above the threshold planning quantity?  Or are they covered by the transportation exemption?

The transportation exemption is intended to exempt substances being transported in commerce and when stored incident to that transportation. The interpretation of storage is limited to storage under active shipping papers. Once a transportation vehicle arrives at its intended destination, it is no longer considered in transportation. If the substance which was transported to the site is not stored under active shipping papers, it is also not considered exempt. Thus, the EHS in excess of a TPQ, even though still contained in a truck would be considered present at the facility and, as such be reportable. The owner or operator of the facility (in this case the farm fields) is required to report if there are EHSs present at the facility in amounts in excess of their threshold planning quantities. If the pesticide is a non-reactive EHS solid in solution, first multiply the quantity of the solid on-site by 0.2 before comparing it to the lower TPQ listed for the EHS solid.

However, the required report is simply an identification of the facility and a facility coordinator who can be contacted for further information, to the local emergency planning committee (LEPC). Thus, it is anticipated (although not required) that in making a report to the LEPC, the owner or operator of the facility at which the EHS is applied, would indicate that the chemical is in intermittent use at a variety of sites and briefly explain the periods of time and locations where this application takes place. This will provide the LEPC with the necessary information to determine the nature of the risk posed by this facility or facilities, without placing an undue burden on the owner or operator of the facility.

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