40 CFR § 170.609 - Equivalency requests.

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§ 170.609 Equivalency requests.

(a) States and Tribes that have promulgated worker protection regulations to protect agricultural workers and pesticide handlers from occupational pesticide exposure effective prior to January 1, 2016, have the option of requesting authority to continue implementing any provision(s) of the State's or Tribe's existing regulations that provides equivalent or greater protection in lieu of implementing any similar provision(s) in this part.

(b) States or Tribes must submit requests for the authority to continue implementing State or Tribal regulation provision(s) in lieu of any similar provision(s) in this part by June 29, 2016. The request must be in the form of a letter from the State or Tribe to EPA that includes all of the following:

(1) Identification of the provision(s) of this part for which the State or Tribe is requesting regulatory equivalency.

(2) Appropriate documentation establishing that the pertinent State or Tribal worker protection provision(s) provides environmental and human health protection that meets or exceeds the protections provided by the identified provision(s) in this part.

(3) Identification of any additional modifications to existing State or Tribal regulations that would be necessary in order to provide environmental and human health protection that meets or exceeds the similar provisions of this part, and an estimated timetable for the State or Tribe to effect these changes.

(4) The expected economic impact of requiring compliance with the requirement(s) of this part in comparison with compliance with the State or Tribal requirement(s), and an explanation of why it is important that employers subject to the State or Tribal authority comply with the State or Tribal requirement(s) in lieu of similar provision(s) in this part.

(5) The signature of the designated representative of the State or Tribal agency responsible for pesticide enforcement.

(c) EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs will review the State's or Tribe's letter and supporting materials and determine whether the State or Tribal provision(s) provide environmental and human health protection that meets or exceeds the comparable provision(s) of this part.

(d) EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs will inform the State or Tribe of its determination through a letter. The letter will either:

(1) Authorize the State or Tribe to continue implementing its worker protection regulatory provision(s) in lieu of the comparable provision(s) of this part; or

(2) Deny the State or Tribe authorization to continue implementing its worker protection regulatory provision(s) in lieu of the comparable provision(s) of this part and detail any reasons for declining authorization.

(e) Subsequent revisions. Any State or Tribe that has received authorization from EPA through the process outlined in this section to continue implementing its State or Tribal worker protection regulatory provision(s) must inform EPA by letter within six months of any revision to the State or Tribal worker protection laws or regulations. The letter must contain the same information outlined in paragraph (b) of this section. The State or Tribe may continue implementing provisions of its worker protection regulations identified under paragraph (b) of this section unless and until EPA informs the State or Tribe through a letter that EPA has determined that the State's or Tribe's worker protection regulations no longer provide environmental and human health protection that meets or exceeds the comparable provision(s) of this part based on the revisions.