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Responsibilities of All Pesticide Applicators in Virginia

All pesticide applicators must apply pesticides responsibly. These guidelines apply to all pesticide applications in Virginia. Additional responsibilities apply to certified private or commercial applicators.

I. Follow the Pesticide Label

The pesticide label is a legal agreement between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the product manufacturer, and the user. Pesticide product labels provide instructions for all stages/phases of use. Applicators must read, understand, and follow label directions carefully. Pesticides may not be applied to any site not listed on the product label. Materials may not be applied more often, or at rates higher, than the label directs. Pesticide applicators are bound to follow all label directions for transport, mixing, loading, application, storage, and disposal of pesticide products and containers. State and federal laws prohibit the use of any pesticide in a way that is not consistent with its label. There are state and federal penalties for violations.


For more information on understanding pesticide labels see EPA's Read the Label First factsheet.


II. Handle Pesticides Safely

Although there are no specific storage and disposal regulations in Virginia, unsafe use/handling/storage/disposal practices can be cited under the enforcement regulation 2 VAC 20-20-10 through 20-220 (VAC is the Virginia Administrative Code).


A. Provisions to Note:

Handling and Storage:
"No person shall handle, transport, store, display, or distribute pesticides in a manner which may endanger humans or the environment, or food or feed or other products..."


"No person shall dispose of, discard, or store any pesticide or pesticide containers in a manner that may cause injury...or pollute..."


Application Equipment:
" in good working order...dispense the proper amount of leakproof...have cutoff valves and backflow prevention..."


Service Container Labeling:
Containers other than the original registrant's or manufacturer's containers used for the temporary storage or transportation of pesticide concentrates or end-use dilutions must have abbreviated labeling for identification.


Pesticide Concentrate:

1. If the pesticide to be temporarily stored or transported is a concentrate to be further diluted, the container shall bear a securely attached label with the following information:

  • Product name (brand name from product label);
  • EPA registration number (from the product label);
  • Name and percentage of active ingredient(s) from the product label; and
  • Appropriate signal word; i.e., Poison, Danger, Warning, Caution (from the product label).

2. The above labeling is required for concentrate service containers, regardless of container type, size, or capacity. (Note: If possible, keep pesticides in their original container.)


Pesticide End-Use Dilutions or End-Use Concentrates:

1. If the pesticide to be temporarily stored or transported will be applied without further dilution, its container must bear a securely attached label with the following information:

  • Product name (brand name from product label) preceded by the word "Diluted" or "End-Use Concentrate";
  • EPA registration number from the concentrate product label;
  • Name of active ingredient(s) and percentage(s) of end-use dilution; and
  • Appropriate signal word; i.e., Poison, Danger, Warning, Caution (from the product label).

2. Exemptions: abbreviated service container labeling is not required for:

  • End-use dilution containers not exceeding 3 gallons liquid or 3 pounds dry capacity, when such containers are used as application devices; i.e., hand-held sprayers, dusters, puffers, etc.
  • Containers used by farm-supply dealers for the temporary storage or transportation of pesticide concentrate or end-use dilution, provided that sales invoices or delivery tickets adequately identifying the pesticide(s) accompany each shipment or delivery.
  • Farm concentrate or end-use dilution containers or application equipment used for the temporary storage or transportation of such pesticides for agricultural use.
  • Aircraft-mounted containers used for temporary storage or transportation of concentrate or end-use dilution pesticides, provided that aircraft logs or other documents on board adequately identify the pesticide(s).


III. Report Pesticide Accidents

Pesticide accidents or incidents that constitute a threat to any person, to public health or safety, and/or to the environment must be reported. Initial notification must be made by telephone within 48 hours of the occurrence. A written report describing the accident or incident must be filed within 10 days of the initial notification. Telephone contacts and written reports should be directed to:


Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Office of Pesticide Services/Enforcement and Field Operations
P. O. Box 1163
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 371-6560

If the accident or incident involves a spill, the applicator should contact VDACS/OPS to determine whether the release is governed under SARA Title III also known as the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). Reporting under SARA Title III is determined by the chemical hazard and the volume of the released chemical. If so, the applicator must also notify the U.S. National Response Team at 1-800-424-8802.


In the event of an emergency release that would harm other people or property, notify the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at 1-800-468-8892.

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