Lawn Care Pesticides:

EPA Needs to Assess State Notification Programs

RCED-91-208: Published: Sep 25, 1991. Publicly Released: Oct 7, 1991.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the kind of notice the public receives when commercial applicators apply pesticides.

GAO found that: (1) state notification requirements vary in terms of who should be provided with information, when the information should be provided, what information should be provided, and whether the information must be requested; (2) 23 states require commercial applicators to provide notification when applying lawn care pesticides on residential sites, and as of April 1991, six additional states were considering requiring notification; (3) the primary notification methods include direct notification to customers, direct notification to neighbors upon request, and the posting of warning signs on treated lawns; (4) none of the 23 states that required notification had formally assessed the notification requirements' effectiveness; (5) EPA stated that they were aware of state notification programs, but lacked sufficient information to determine the programs' effectiveness; and (6) a lawn-care industry trade organization supported states' efforts to require pesticide application notification.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: EPA is collecting data on state programs, and plans to report its findings to states in late spring 1993.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, EPA, after collecting data on state notification programs, should analyze the data to the extent practical to determine the most effective programs and provide the results to all states.

    Agency Affected: Environmental Protection Agency


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