The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has developed an easy-to-use, Web-based database to provide information on pesticides allowed for use on a limited basis under emergency conditions, DPR Director Brian R. Leahy announced.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), under Section 18 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), authorizes states to allow an unregistered use of a pesticide for a limited time for an emergency condition. An “emergency condition” is defined as an urgent, non-routine situation that requires the use of a pesticide. Requests are made when there are no other alternatives to control the pest.

If, after scientific review of the risks, DPR and U.S. EPA determine the emergency to be valid and the risks acceptable, an emergency exemption is approved. In California, all uses under Section 18 require a restricted materials permit from the agricultural commissioner in the county in which the application is proposed. 

“This database provides immediate access to information on both active and inactive Section 18 emergency exemptions,” Leahy said.

“Growers, farm advisers and licensed pest control advisers/applicators can use the Section 18 database to identify pesticide products authorized for a limited time on relatively unusual pest/crop combinations. County agricultural commissioners can identify whether a particular Section 18 product is authorized for use in their county for enforcement purposes.”

Previously, stakeholders could only access DPR’s Section 18 website for active Section 18 exemptions, and the website did not have searchable capabilities.

Similar to DPR’s special local needs pesticides database established last year, users can now enter crop/site, pest, county, chemical, brand name, Section 18 number, U.S. EPA registration number and other criteria to generate a list of Section 18 emergency exemptions. The Section 18 database is posted at http://apps.cdpr.ca.gov/section18/.

“The Section 18 database is part of DPR’s commitment to expand our Web-based services for growers and other stakeholders so information can be provided as quickly, cost-efficiently and securely as possible,” Leahy added.