About 70 insecticides and herbicides are subject to these new state regulations.

The regulatory pain California farmers feel when using fumigants is spreading nationwide under a new set of rules for using soil fumigants.

According to Katy Wilcoxen with EPA in San Francisco more stringent fumigant use rules will be phased in two parts. Many of the rules EPA is imposing are now part of the California Department of Pesticide Regulations fumigant regulations. Others are new.

The major change is that fumigants will now become restricted use materials nationwide, thus requiring permits to apply. They are already restricted use products in California.

The fumigants covered include: chloropicrin, dazomet, metam sodium/potassium, and methyl bromide and the soil fumigants 1,3-dichloropropene (Telone) and iodomethane (methyl iodide). Iodomethane was registered in October 2007. The agency will re-examine the mitigation required for iodomethane to ensure consistency with other currently registered fumigants. Idomethane was recently registered in California with far more rigorous use restrictions than required on the federal label.

Along with the new restricted use designation as part of the Phase 1 of the new regulations that went into effect in December, respirators will be required of all applicators, as they are now in California.

What were suggested recommended practices will not be mandatory as part of the federal label. There are rate reductions on some of the products and federal re-entry restrictions have been extended from 48 hours to five days.

Manual applications of fumigants will be largely eliminated. Fumigants can now be only mechanically applied nationwide.

Phase 2 of the new regulations effective in 2012 includes wider buffer zones, yet to be established. Wilcoxen said EPA will eventually require that all fumigant applicators be licensed nationwide as they are in California.

The new EPA rules for fumigants are part of the federally mandated agchem re-registration process for all products that has been going on for several years. Fumigants were among the last to face re-registration.

Wilcoxen said EPA will start over with fumigant re-registrations in 2013.

hcline@farmpress.com