State Pesticide Regulation - California

California has the most extensive and complex pesticide regulation program in the United States. Pesticides are regulated by the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal-EPA), which has departments that oversee chemical and pesticide issues. The Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is responsible for pesticide registration, although pesticides are also subject to  air and water quality requirements, and oversight by other state and county officials. Manufacturers and distributors of pesticides may also be subject to additional regulations arising from requirements imposed upon them under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (Proposition 65), the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL).

Data Requirements

Rather than accept federal registration as the basis for licensing in California, DPR conducts a comprehensive review of all the data submitted to support federal registration and imposes additional data requirements of its own, in order to determine whether applicants have satisfied criteria for registration that are embodied in state statutes and regulations.

Additional data that are required by DPR, and not typically required by EPA, include the following:

Efficacy Data. California requires applicants to submit efficacy data to support all pesticidal claims made on the product label. The scope of this requirement is much broader than that imposed by EPA, which generally waives the submission of efficacy data for all products other than antimicrobial products, products that are used to promote or protect health, and other products on a case-by-case basis.

Phytotoxicity Data. Data are required for all products that come into contact with plants. These data are typically produced as part of efficacy studies.

Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Data. Data showing the potential for volatile emissions (thermogravametric analysis) are required for most agricultural use products. VOC data for consumer products are regulated by the
California Air Resources Board (CARB).

Labeling Requirements

California strictly enforces labeling requirements and established federal regulations under FIFRA. Typically, these requirements and prohibitions mirror those established by EPA under FIFRA. However, California also imposes requirements that are different, which requires registrants to seek EPA approvals for labeling mandates by California law. To the extent that any requirements imposed under California law differ from or add to requirements imposed under FIFRA, they should be preempted under FIFRA 24(b).

California prohibits misbranding, which should be avoided if a pesticide label conforms to the label approved by EPA and DPR. Nevertheless, misbranding provisions give DPR broad authority to prosecute “misbranding,” such as mistakes in labeling, application of an approved label to the wrong product, or sale of a product with an altered label.

Services

TSG’s state experts know the intricacies of the Cal-EPA and work closely with regulatory staff, scientists and management to promote timely registration and address issues that could impact a product registration. TSG provides registration assistance for all types of products, including antimicrobial, biopesticide, conventional pesticides, plant and insect growth regulators, as well as adjuvants. With a California office located near the state capitol, TSG’s dedicated state staff use their substantial knowledge of California pesticide regulation to provide comprehensive support for companies with the most complex, or routine, issues that arise in California.

TSG’s California pesticide services include:


▲Developing registration strategies

▲Identifying data requirements

▲Coordinating pre-registration meetings

▲Preparing and submitting applications for registration

▲Providing scientific and technical support

▲Addressing data call-ins and maintaining on-going product compliance and defense.