tional data on wildlife are required only case by case. Subpart G also requires acute toxicity tests on honeybees and various toxicity tests on freshwater fishes, freshwater invertebrates, and estuarine and marine organisms. Subpart L sets forth requirements for spray-drift data, and Subpart N sets forth requirements for environmental fate data, which are targeted at assessing “the presence of widely distributed and persistent pesticides in the environment which may result in loss of usable land, surface water, ground water, and wildlife resources, and…the potential environmental exposure of other nontarget organisms, such as fish and wildlife, to pesticides” [40 C.F.R § 158.130(h)(l)].

If, after evaluating the data submitted, EPA determines that the applicant has demonstrated that the standard for registration has been met, it will issue a registration. The registration will specify use restrictions that EPA has determined are necessary to meet the standard for registration. Most important, the registration will require that the pesticide be labeled with specific product information, directions for use, and hazard information. The product label dictates legal use of the pesticide. FIFRA provides that it is a violation of federal law “to use any registered pesticide in a manner inconsistent with its labeling” [§ 136 (j)(a)(2)(G)], and every registered pesticide product is required to bear a label containing this warning. Accordingly, the label is the vehicle not only for providing important information to end users but for mandating the purposes for which and the manner in which end users may use the pesticide product. The label instructions are necessary to ensure that the pesticide meets the standard for registration. A pesticide that might have an unreasonable adverse effect on the environment if used at a particular dosage, for a particular crop type, or in a particular manner might not have an unreasonable adverse effect if its use is restricted to other specified crops or specified application rates or restricted in other ways to minimize human health or environmental risks. Thus, the label language is EPA’s primary regulatory tool for reducing pesticide risk under FIFRA. Users who fail to comply with label directions can incur penalties, although in practice it is extremely difficult to monitor every pesticide application to determine whether it was carried out according to the label.

Once a pesticide is registered, EPA does not require a permit or any other approvals before it is used. That is, there is no evaluation of specific pesticide applications; thus, the geographic and temporal factors specific to an application site or timing are not evaluated before the pesticide is released into the environment. However, some states have their own pesticide-permitting programs that apply to specific types of pesticide use (for example, aerial application). Furthermore, EPA has the authority under FIFRA to classify specific pesticides as “restricted use pesticides.” Those pesticides can be used only under the supervision of a certified applicator who has received training in the proper handling and use of the pesticide in question. However, even when there are state permitting requirements and certified-applicator-training requirements, most pesticide use is regulated only by label restrictions without a requirement for a permit or other approval before use.

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