Section 18 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) authorizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to allow Emergency Exemptions (also called “Section 18s”) for unregistered uses of pesticides to address emergency conditions. Under such an exemption, EPA allows use of a pesticide in Minnesota for a limited period of time once EPA confirms that the situation meets the statutory definition of "emergency condition."
Definition of “Emergency Condition”
Federal regulations define an emergency condition as an urgent, non-routine situation that requires the use of a pesticide(s). Any emergency condition exists only when the situation is urgent and non-routine and all three conditions are met:
- No effective registered pesticides are available.
- No feasible alternative control practices are available.
- The situation a) involves the introduction or spread of a new pest, b) will present significant risks to human health or the environment, or c) will cause significant economic loss.
What is the process in Minnesota for requesting Section 18?
Requests historically come from crop growers and other persons faced with an emergency situation. The process generally takes place as follows.
- Growers identify a problem situation which registered pesticides will not alleviate.
- The growers contact their technical expert at the University of Minnesota.
- The technical expert contacts the registrant of the requested pesticide to determine if the registrant supports a Section 18.
- The MDA encourages the technical expert to contact MDA at this point, prior to submitting an application.
- The technical expert prepares and submits an application package to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA). The expert uses the federal application requirements found at Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 166 to create an outline format for the application package.
- The MDA conducts a review of the application package for completeness and makes a preliminary determination of whether the application successfully demonstrates an emergency condition exists, and provides feedback to the expert as needed.
- If the MDA determines the request is warranted, the MDA may then submit the application package to the EPA.
- The EPA reviews the package. To be as responsive as possible to the states and growers, EPA attempts to make decisions on the requests within 50 days of receipt.
- If EPA issues an exemption, the exemption and Minnesota-specific Section 18 label are in effect for a limited time (no longer than one year), to address the emergency situation.
Visit the EPA’s website for more information regarding requirements and process. Note, there are no Section 18 Emergency Exemptions authorized for Minnesota at this time.
What are the application requirements?
- A completed “Application for Pesticide Special Registration”.
- An application fee of $400 per product (payable by check), if the product is not already registered in Minnesota for the requested calendar year. There is no application fee if the requested product is already registered.
- The federal application requirements found at Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 166 to create an outline format for the application package