Environmental laws will not be effective unless facilities comply. Pesticides are regulated under several laws, primarily the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) which authorizes EPA to oversee the registration, distribution, sale, and use of pesticides. The Act applies to all types of pesticides, including insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, rodenticides, and antimicrobials. EPA works to assure compliance with federal environmental laws.
Individuals applying pesticides must do so in a manner not only consistent with federal laws, but also consistent with state laws and regulations which differ from state to state. In general, states have primary authority for compliance monitoring and enforcing against use of pesticides in violation of the labeling requirements. Additionally, the agency with primary responsibility for pesticides differs from state to state. Usually it is a state's department of agriculture, but may be a state's environmental agency or other agency.
EPA provides compliance and enforcement information through nine broad topic areas: Compliance, Enforcement, Environmental Justice, Governmental Collaboration, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and Data, Planning, Results.
Pesticide-specific compliance and enforcement information is provided by EPA on the following topics - Compliance Assistance, Compliance Monitoring, Enforcement, Compliance Incentives, Compliance Auditing, and Tips and Complaints - Reporting an Environmental Violation.
Compliance Assistance helps regulated entities to comply with environmental regulations. EPA supplies sector- and statute-specific tools and programs to help users understand and meet their environmental obligations. EPA also administers the Compliance Assistance Centers, sector-specific Centers working to improve environmental compliance.
Compliance Monitoring assesses the behavior and performance of the regulated universe. Monitoring enables EPA to determine compliance with applicable laws, regulations, permit conditions, orders, and settlement agreements; review and evaluate activities of the regulated community; and determine whether specific conditions present imminent and substantial endangerment. EPA’s compliance monitoring efforts include audits of laboratories that conduct pesticide registration studies.
Enforcement focuses on violations of federal environmental law. EPA specifically addresses civil, cleanup, and criminal enforcement. Civil enforcement deals with unintentional and non-criminal environmental violations. Cleanup enforcement strives to ensure the complete remediation or cleanup at contaminated sites. Criminal enforcement works toward the prosecution of intentional or deliberate acts.
Compliance Incentives are policies and programs that eliminate, reduce, or waive penalties under certain conditions for business, industry, and government facilities which voluntarily discover, promptly disclose, and expeditiously correct environmental problems. Information is provided about these incentives, self-disclosure programs, related tools such as environmental audit protocols, Environmental Management Systems, Pollution Prevention, other innovation projects and programs, and the environmental benefits achieved by such programs.
Compliance Auditing discusses the Auditing Policy, which provides major incentives for regulated entities that voluntarily discover, promptly disclose, and expeditiously correct noncompliance, rendering formal EPA investigation and enforcement action unnecessary.
Tips and Complaints - Reporting an Environmental Violation: We appreciate your assistance and concern about the protection of the environment. Although most environmental violations are handled by your state environmental office, tips or complaints provided through this web site will be reviewed by the Regional EPA office responsible for your area for further action.