Issue 2, May 19, 2023

Use of Restricted Use Pesticides Banned Near Schools

The Illinois Pesticide Act has been amended to ban the application of Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs) within 500 feet of any school. If the pesticide label is more restrictive, then that should be followed. For specific changes to the Act, please see Public Act 102-0548. While this became effective January 1, 2022, the enforcement rules were recently determined by the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

The administrative rules state the following: Any person who uses a restricted use pesticide on or within 500 feet of school property during normal hours, except for whole structure fumigation, shall be assessed a penalty of $1,000. As used in this section, "normal school hours" means Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m., excluding days when classes are not in session.

A restricted use pesticide is a pesticide that, without additional regulatory restrictions, may cause unreasonable adverse effects to the environment or the applicator. An RUP is for retail sale to and use by only certified applicators or persons under their direct supervision and only for those uses covered by the certified applicator’s certification. Certified applicators have demonstrated that they have the knowledge to use these pesticides safely and effectively. Reasons for restricting product use include acute toxicity, environmental safely, and residue effects harmful to birds or other animals. Every pesticide is classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) at the time of registration. In classifying a pesticide for either general use or restricted use, the US EPA considers the toxicity of the pesticide, how the pesticide will be used, and its effect on the environment.

The pesticide label identifies RUPs with this statement: “Restricted use pesticide for retail sale to and use only by Certified Applicators or persons under their direct supervisions and only for those uses covered by the Certified Applicator’s certification.” Certain products are for use by certified applicators only, which will be specified in this box. Read carefully. The restricted-use statement must appear at the top of the front panel. Often this statement includes the specific hazard of the product (groundwater concerns, toxicity to fish, etc.)

Michelle Wiesbrook

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