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Pesticide License? Yes or No


The Pesticide/Herbicide Applicator License Question and Cemeteries


The question of whether or not someone at a cemetery should acquire and hold a non-commercial pesticide applicator license is determined by what type of pesticides or herbicides the cemetery uses if someone at the cemetery will be the one applying the chemicals.

The Texas Agricultural Code states:


(a) Except as provided by Section 76.003(e), a person may not purchase or use a restricted-use or state-limited-use pesticide or regulated herbicide unless the person is:

(1)  licensed as a commercial applicator, noncommercial applicator, or private applicator and authorized by the license to purchase or use the restricted-use or state-limited-use pesticide or regulated herbicide in the license use categories covering the proposed pesticide use;

(2)  an individual acting under the direct supervision of a licensed applicator, except as provided by Subsection (b) of this section and by Sections 76.003(e) and 76.116(f); or

(3) a certified private applicator as defined in Section 76.112(j) of this code.

Cemeteries are not exempt from this law.

If the cemetery uses general use pesticides that can be purchased and used by the general public, then no applicator license is required.

However, if the cemetery purchases and uses any of the following, then a license is required:

Restricted-Use pesticides will state “restricted-use” on the product label as required by the EPA. They may only be purchased and used by certified pesticide applicators or people under their direct supervision.

State-Limited-Use pesticides contain certain active ingredients that have the potential to cause adverse effects to nontargeted vegetation and are classified as SLU when distributed in containers larger than one quart liquid or 2 pounds dry or solid. Also includes pesticides or devices for predation control.

Regulated Herbicides are designated by the Department of Agriculture. If used as directed or in accordance with widespread and commonly recognized practice, these herbicides require additional restrictions to prevent a hazard to desirable vegetation caused by drift or an uncontrolled application.

Under law only the licensed applicator or a person under the direct supervision of the licensed applicator can purchase or use those pesticides.  There are rather onerous reporting regulations that must be followed by a holder of an applicator’s license. Note that even if you are applying a general use pesticide that can be purchased and used by the general public, if you are a licensed applicator, you must still keep the following records of all pesticide and herbicide applications.  The reporting requirements are set out below.

The Texas Administrative Code states:


(a) The following records of pesticide use shall be maintained for a period of two years:

(1) A person required by the Act to be licensed as a commercial applicator or a noncommercial applicator shall maintain records of each pesticide application regardless of the use classification of the pesticide applied . . . .

(b) The record of each pesticide use required by this section shall contain:

(1) the date of the application;

(2) the beginning time for the application;

(3) the name of the person for whom the application was made;

(4) the location of the land where the application was made stated in a manner that would permit inspection by an authorized party;

(5) for each pesticide applied:

(A) the product name;

(B) the product EPA registration number;

(C) the rate of product per unit;

(D) the total volume of spray mix, dust, granules, or other materials applied per unit;

(E) the name of the pest for which the product was used;

(6) the site treated (e.g., name of crop, kind of animal, etc.);

(7) total acres or volume of area treated (e.g., acre, square feet, number of head, etc.);

(8) wind direction and velocity and air temperature;

(9) the FAA “N” number for aerial application equipment or identification number or decal number for other types of application equipment;

(10) the name and department license number of the applicator responsible for the application and, if different, the name of the person actually making the application; and

(11) the spray permit number for regulated herbicides applied in a regulated county.

Getting an applicator’s license can also be an onerous process with classes, studying, testing and fees involved.  Keeping your license, which expires annually and requires continuing education hours as well as annual fees, can also be a yearly headache.  So the question comes down simply to whether or not the cemetery upkeep requires the application of those chemicals that are restricted and regulated by statute.  If not, then there is no need to acquire and keep the applicator’s license.

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