§ 23-25-9. Authority of director Determinations Rules and regulations Restricted use and limited use of pesticides and uniformity.
(a) The director is authorized after due notice and an opportunity for a hearing:
(1) To declare as a pest any form of plant or animal life (other than humans and other than bacteria, viruses, and other micro-organisms on or in living humans or other living animals) which is injurious to health or the environment;
(2) To determine whether pesticides registered under the authority of § 24(c) of FIFRA, 7 U.S.C. § 136v(c), are highly toxic to humans. The definition of highly toxic, as defined in title 40, Code of Federal Regulations 162.8, as issued or amended, shall govern the director's determination; and
(3) To determine pesticides and quantities of substances contained in pesticides which are injurious to the environment. The director shall be guided by EPA regulations in this determination.
(b) The director is authorized after due notice and a public hearing as provided for in the Administrative Procedures Act, chapter 35 of title 42, to make appropriate regulations where those regulations are necessary for the enforcement and administration of this chapter, including but not limited to regulations providing for:
(1) The collection, examination, and reporting of samples of pesticides or devices pursuant to § 23-25-19;
(2) The safe handling, transportation, storage, display, distribution, and disposal of pesticides and their containers;
(3) Labeling requirements of all pesticides required to be registered under provisions of this chapter; provided, that the regulations shall not impose any requirements for federally registered labels in addition to or different from those required pursuant to FIFRA;
(4) Specifying classes of devices which shall be subject to the provisions of § 23-25-5(1);
(5) Prescribing methods to be used in the application of pesticides where the director finds that these regulations are necessary to carry out the purpose and intent of this chapter. The regulations may relate to the time, place, manner, methods, materials, and amounts and concentrations in connection with the application of the pesticide, may restrict or prohibit use of pesticides in designated areas during specified periods of time, and shall encompass all reasonable factors which the director deems necessary to prevent damage or injury by drift or misapplication to: plants, including forage plants, on adjacent or nearby lands; wildlife in the adjoining or nearby areas; fish and other aquatic life in waters in reasonable proximity to the area to be treated; and humans, animals, or beneficial insects.
(6) In issuing the regulations referred to in subdivision (5) of this subsection, the director shall give consideration to pertinent research findings and recommendations of other agencies of the state, the federal government, or other reliable sources. The director may by regulation require that notice of a proposed application of a pesticide be given to the public, if he or she finds that the notice is necessary to carry out the purpose of this chapter.
(7) Prescribing regulations requiring any pesticide registered for special local needs to be colored or discolored if he or she determines that the requirement is feasible and is necessary for the protection of health and the environment. The regulations promulgated by EPA pursuant to § 25(c)(5) of FIFRA, 7 U.S.C. § 136w(c)(5), shall govern this determination.
(8) Prescribing regulations establishing standards for the packages, containers, and wrappings of pesticides registered for local needs. The regulations shall be consistent with the regulations promulgated by EPA pursuant to § 25(c)(3) of FIFRA, 7 U.S.C. § 136w(c)(3).
(c) For the purpose of uniformity and in order to enter into cooperative agreements, the director may:
(1) In addition to those "restricted use pesticides" classified by the administrator of EPA, the director may also, by regulation, after a public hearing following due notice, classify a pesticide as a "state limited use pesticide" for the state of Rhode Island. If the director determines that the pesticide (when applied in accordance with its directions for use, warnings, and cautions, and for uses for which it is registered) may cause without additional restrictions, unreasonable adverse effects on the environment, including injury to the applicator or other persons because of acute dermal or inhalation toxicity of the pesticide, the pesticide shall be applied only by or under the direct supervision of a certified applicator, or be subject to any other restrictions as the director may determine. These other restrictions may include, but are not limited to, the conditions of use as provided in subdivision (b)(5) of this section for "state limited use pesticides", may require a permit for the purchase, possession, and application of pesticides labeled as "state limited use pesticides", and may further require that application of that pesticide be only under the direct supervision of the director.
(2) Adopt regulations in conformity with the primary pesticide standards, particularly as to labeling and registration requirements, as established by EPA or other federal or state agencies.
(d) Regulations adopted under this chapter shall not permit any pesticide use which is prohibited by FIFRA and regulations or orders issued under it.
(e) Regulations adopted under this chapter as to certified applicators of "restricted use pesticides" as designated under FIFRA and regulations adopted as to experimental use permits as authorized by FIFRA shall not be inconsistent with the requirements of FIFRA and regulations promulgated under it.
(f) In order to comply with § 4 of FIFRA, 7 U.S.C. § 136b, the director is authorized to make any reports to the EPA in any form and containing any information that the agency may from time to time require.
(P.L. 1976, ch. 191, § 2; G.L. 1956, § 23-41.1-9; P.L. 1979, ch. 39, § 1.)