UNL CropWatch March 15, 2011: Nebraska Rules for Non-Refillable Pesticide Containers

UNL CropWatch March 15, 2011: Nebraska Rules for Non-Refillable Pesticide Containers

March 15, 2011

This is the second in a three-part series on Nebraska pesticide container and secondary containment. The first article, Nebraska Pesticide Container and Secondary Containment:  The Rules for Refillable Pesticide Containers, was published March 4. The third article will discuss rules for secondary containment of pesticides.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Pesticide Container and Containment (PCC) Rule ensures that containers are strong and durable and that cross-contamination or other problems do not occur. The PCC Rule may apply if you are a pesticide registrant, distributor, retailer, commercial applicator, custom blender, or end user. Its purpose is to

  • minimize human pesticide exposure while handling containers;
  • facilitate pesticide container disposal and recycling; and
  • protect the environment from pesticide spills, leaks, or other accidents at bulk storage sites during the pesticide refilling or dispensing process.

The EPA Rules

The PCC Rule addresses labeling on pesticide containers, including requirements for cleaning and disposing of empty containers.

Registrants, formulators, distributors, and dealers are responsible for ensuring that their non-refillables meet standards. EPA’s publication, A Snapshot of the EPA Container and Containment Rule, explains that containers for products that are not Restricted Use and are in Toxicity Categories III and IV must meet basic Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements (Code of Federal Regulations, 49 CFR 173.24).

Packaging for all other products -- Restricted Use Products (RUP) and/or toxicity categories I or II -- must meet the non-refillable container requirements. Non-refillables must:

  • meet certain requirements for DOT construction, design, and marking (for example, containers of five gallons or less should be capable of having 99.99% of the residue removed, and containers of three gallons or less require special lids).
  • be vented so product does not surge and will pour in a continuous stream (for example, not “glug”); also, only minimal dripping will occur outside the container.

Labels for non-refillables include a “do not reuse” statement. The label also contains cleaning/rinsing and container disposal instructions, recycling instructions, and a lot number identifying the batch.

Erin Bauer, Extension Associate
Clyde Ogg, Extension Educator
Pierce Hansen, Extension Assistant
Jan Hygnstrom, Project Coordinator