On May 11, 2017, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced a 12-month extension on the implementation of the revised final Certification and Training of Pesticide Applicators Rule. The extension is meant to provide states and stakeholders with more time and resources to ready themselves for compliance. Dr. Barbara P. Glenn, Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) commented that “states are facing a range of on-going logistical, resource, and capacity challenges. These challenges are amplified as they also implement other recent EPA requirements, such as the Worker Protection Standard. Extending the certification timeline will help alleviate some of those challenges.” Pruitt said “Extending the timeline for implementation of this rule will enable EPA to consult with states, assist with education, training and guidance, and prevent unnecessary burdens from overshadowing the rule’s intended benefits.”
The extension falls in line with Pruitt’s vision for the direction he believes the EPA should move in the future. He recently announced his Back-to-Basics agenda at Harvey Mine in Sycamore, Pennsylvania, in which he promoted the EPA’s protection of the environment through responsiveness to the concerns of state, local, and tribal governments, leading to economic growth.