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New Rules on Mini-Bulk Containers Take Effect

New Rules on Mini-Bulk Containers Take Effect

Farmers who use these containers for insecticide, fungicide and rodenticide should prepare now.

The Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association wants Kansas producers to be aware of the new rules regarding standards for the design and handling of insecticide, fungicide and rodenticide containers called "mini-bulk" containers that go into effect on August 16.

These new rules will change the handling of mini-bulks from manufacture to retailer to field. The rules also mean that retailers might have new or additional requirements of handling mini-bulks or filling farmer-owned tanks.

The rules, first published in August of 2006, have been delayed in implementation several times.

The new rules include five sections.

Nonrefillable Containers: This section addresses "one-way" or disposable containers and applies to pesticide registrants. The purpose of these standards is to ensure that containers are strong and durable, minimize human exposure during container handling and facilitate container disposal and recycling.

Refillable Containers: This section applies to containers that are intended to be refilled and reused more than once and applies to pesticide registrants.  The purpose of these standards is to ensure that containers are strong and durable, minimize cross-contamination of pesticides distributed in refillable containers, and encourage the use of refillable containers to reduce container disposal problems.

Repackaging: This section, which describes procedures and other safeguards for repackaging pesticide into refillable containers, applies to pesticide registrants and anyone who refills pesticide containers for sale (registrants, formulators, distributors and dealers).  These regulations are intended to minimize cross-contamination of pesticides distributed in refillable containers, codify safe refilling management practices and encourage the use of refillable containers to reduce container disposal problems.

Labeling: The labeling segment includes instructions for how to properly clean pesticide containers and a statement identifying the container as nonrefillable or refillable. Pesticide registrants are required to ensure that labels include the specified information. Pesticide users are required to comply with the instructions on the labels.

Containment Structures: This section establishes standards for secondary containment structures at certain bulk storage sites and for containment pads at certain pesticide dispensing operations. Pesticide dealers who repackage pesticides, commercial applicators and custom blenders have to comply with the requirements. The purpose of these standards is to protect the environment from leaks and spills at bulk storage areas and from contamination due to pesticide dispensing operations.

Tanks are refillable will have several requirements:

All openings (except vents) must have one way valves, tamper evident devices or both; the container must have a unique method of identification (serial number or barcode); the container must be compatible with the pesticide; the container must meet DOT design, construction and marking for packaging group III, or be listed as "an approved container for refill," in the registrant agreement and EPA Est. # and net contents must be on product label.

If you use mini-bulks in your farming operation, start preparing for this rule by recycling old tanks that do not meet the new requirements. Additionally, contact your local retailer to see if they have any new requirements for using their mini-bulks, such as not breaking the tamper device or triple rinsing. More information on the new regulation can be found at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/regulating/containers.htm.

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