Frequent Questions

Agricultural use exemption and chemicals used for fish farming

Sections 311 and 312 require facility owners or operators to submit Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) and annual inventory reports for any hazardous chemical subject to OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR §1910.1200(c)) which is present at a facility above a reportable threshold (40 CFR §370.10).  An owner or operator does not have to count toward threshold determinations the amount of a chemical exempt from the definition of a hazardous chemical under Section 311(e) and 40 CFR §370.66.

Pursuant to 40 CFR §370.66, any substance used in routine agricultural operations is exempt from the definition of hazardous chemical and therefore is not included in threshold determinations for reporting purposes.  Would this agricultural exemption apply to chemicals used for fish farming (i.e., aquaculture)?

As defined by the National Aquaculture Act of 1980 in 16 U.S.C. section 2802(1), aquaculture involves the propagation and rearing of aquatic species in controlled or selected environments, including, but not limited to, ocean ranching.  The agricultural exemption under Sections 311 and 312 applies to a wide range of growing operations including livestock production, nurseries, and other horticultural operations (October 15, 1987, 52 FR 38344).  Because aquaculture involves livestock and vegetation production, EPA considers it a type of agriculture, and thus the chemicals used for growing and breeding fish and aquatic plants in an aquacultural operation are excluded from Sections 311 and 312 reporting requirements.

Have more questions? Submit a request