Pesticide Enforcement and Compliance Assistance
The North Dakota Department of Agriculture is the lead pesticide regulatory agency in North Dakota and has primary authority to enforce state pesticide laws and administrative rules. The Department works in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and receives partial funding for its pesticide regulatory programs under a cooperative agreement with the Agency.
The Pesticide Enforcement and Compliance Assistance Program regulate pesticides under the authority created by three different chapters of the North Dakota Century Code (N.D.C.C.). N.D.C.C. Chapter 4-35 provides authority for the Department to regulate the distribution, storage, transportation, and application, along with the disposal of pesticide containers. The chapter also regulates chemigation, the process of applying pesticides and fertilizers through irrigation equipment, and specifies the design requirements for chemigation equipment. N.D.C.C. 19-18 is the state’s pesticide registration law, and it requires all pesticides to be registered with the Department prior to their sale, offering for sale, distribution, and transport.
It should be noted that the North Dakota Pesticide Control Board, consisting of the Agricultural Commission, Director of NDSU Extension Service, and the Director of the North Dakota Agriculture Experiment Station, has administrative authority over N.D.C.C. 4-35. However, N.D.C.C. 4-35 provides authority to Agriculture Commissioner to enforce the chapter.
What We Do
The Department recognizes that pesticide laws and regulations are intended to protect human health and the environment. When persons fail to comply with these requirements, they are increasing the risk of adverse effects to themselves, co-workers, family, and the environment, as well as threatening the safety of our food supply. We allocate our resources on those activities that pose the greatest risk to human health and the environment.
The Department uses both regulatory and non-regulatory strategies to bring the regulated community into compliance with pesticide laws and administrative rules. Staff from the enforcement and compliance assistance program conducts a large number of inspections each year of agricultural and non-agricultural pesticide dealers, commercial and private applicators, farmers, bulk pesticide handling facilities, and other members of the regulated community. The purpose of these inspections is to verify compliance requirements found in laws and administrative rules, as well as to perform one-on-one outreach and education.
Outreach and compliance assistance is an area of focus for the program. Staff members host and participate in public meetings with pesticide applicators and dealers, as well as providing a presence in applicator and dealer certification sessions. The purpose of these outreach opportunities is to communicate requirements found in pesticide laws and administrative rules, discuss areas of concern, communicate the risks associated with non-compliance, and discuss recent or pending changes to regulation, all in an effort to bring the public into compliance to mitigate the risk of pesticides to human health and the environment.
Department staff also respond to complaints filed by citizens alleging a violation of pesticide law and rules, most commonly involving pesticide misapplication, drift, and improper disposal. A complaint may be filed by anyone by calling or writing to the Pesticide Enforcement and Compliance Assistance Program. After gathering the necessary information, an inspector will be assigned to conduct an investigation. The inspector gathers as much information as possible to determine whether anything illegal has occurred, including conducting interviews with the complainant and others, gathering foliage and soil samples for chemical analysis, taking photos for documentation, reviewing pesticide application and weather data, and other information.
Please visit the following page for information on how to file a pesticide complaint:
Penalties for Non-compliance
The Department takes violations of pesticide laws and administrative rules seriously because we recognize that non-compliance increases the risk of adverse effects to health, safety, and the environment. When violations are identified, we can respond in a number of ways to bring people into compliance, including using warnings and education, suspension or revocation of certification, or the issuance of civil penalties. We use a variety of criteria to decide on the appropriate response to violations, including the regulatory history of the person(s) involved and the risk that the violation posed to human health or the environment.
For more information please contact:
North Dakota Department of Agriculture
600 E Boulevard Ave Dept 602
Bismarck ND 58505-0020
Phone: (701) 328-4922
FAX: (701) 328-4567