Bulk Pesticides and Fertilizers, Containers and Containment


In August of 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implemented a new federal regulation that required all people and companies that handled bulk pesticides to meet certain minimum requirements for storage and transfer of those products. The new federal regulations allowed states with existing regulations to use them instead of the federal regulations, so long as EPA determined the state regulations were at least as stringent as the new federal rule. Nebraska received this determination in 2009 and, therefore, continues to regulate bulk storage and transfer of pesticides under Title 198, which is administered by the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE). These state regulations are often referred to as the pesticide and fertilizer bulk containment and loadout regulations, and specify design and construction standards, minimum storage capacities, and certain exemptions to the rule.

In addition to the federal regulation on bulk pesticide containment, EPA also implemented a federal regulation on bulk pesticide containers and their labels. This part of the federal rule was not already part of any state law or regulation, so NDA now administers the federal rule under the authority granted to it by a cooperative agreement with EPA. This portion of the federal regulation is called the bulk container labeling rule, and includes stationary bulk containers, portable intermediate bulk containers (IBCs), and smaller bulk containers of 119 gallons or less in size. The components of the bulk pesticide container label rule include specific methods of tank marking, inspection and cleanout instructions, refilling requirements, and directions for waste pesticide and container disposal. This portion of the federal rule is complicated, and includes references to Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations on tank classification and marking. Indeed, it is the DOT regulations that are perhaps the most difficult part to understand. When EPA wrote the new federal regulation, they recognized this, and intentionally chose not to write new rules that were already established in regulation and administered by DOT. This avoided duplication of regulations, but also required more bulk pesticide handling establishments to learn DOT rules on transportation of IBCs.

The following links provide further information on NDEE, EPA, and DOT regulations that will hopefully provide you the information needed to comply with the container and containment rules. If you are unable to find the answers to your questions using these references, please contact Tim Creger at NDA at 402-471-2351 for assistance.

Container Rule Questions and Answers

EPA Pesticide Container and Repackaging Regulations Flowchart

Retest and Inspection Requirements for Intermediate Bulk Containers

EPA’s Pesticide Container and Containment Rule

Fertilizer and Pesticide Containment in Nebraska (NDEE Guidance)

NDEE Title 198 (Agricultural Chemical Containment and Loadout)