0,000 private and commercial applicators holding PSEP certification in 2010, including more than 100,000 new certifications and more than 225,000 applicators pursuing recertification. In addition, the program has educated more than a million other pesticide users.
"With nearly a 75 percent reduction in federal support for PSEP over the past decade, there is no question that states will not be able to deliver the same quality of PSEP training or to certify the same number of individuals," says Carol Ishimaru, APS president.
Earlier today, WSSA released a technical paper on PSEP that addresses its history, goals and funding. The paper also discusses proposed ideas for ensuring more stable financial resources for PSEP in the future. Examples include:
- Allocating additional dollars from federal and state pesticide product registration fees to cover education on the proper use of pesticides.
- Pursuing grants from pesticide companies, commodity groups, conservation groups and others with an interest in pesticide safety education.
- Changing policies, regulations and statutes to better support funding. For example, most states direct fines for improper use of pesticides into their general funds. These dollars would be an especially appropriate source of support for pesticide safety education.
"There is no one solution to the increasingly precarious state of the Pesticide Safety Education Program," Van Wychen says. "A grassroots effort is needed by stakeholders at the state and national level to overcome policy and regulatory impediments and to ensure the program's sustainability and focus."
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