Regulation of Pesticides

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulates pesticides in groundwater with authority given to it by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act. EPA is working on the draft Final Rule document for the Pesticides and Ground Water State Management Plan Regulation which details the preferred approach to protecting groundwater resources from pesticide contamination.

Each state is to prepare Pesticide Management Plans (PMPs) for the protection of groundwater from specific pesticides. Should any state elect not to, then the specific pesticides will not be allowed to be manufactured, sold, or used within that state. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), in cooperation with the Texas Groundwater Protection Committee and its member agencies, is responsible for drafting PMPs. Texas' pesticide specific PMPs will be reviewed for approval by USEPA Region 6's Pesticide Programs.

  • EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs provides electronically delivered updates on OPP's activities. The updates typically include information on new pesticides, phasing out of older ones, as well as pesticide-related rules and programs.
  • EPA's Region 6 Pesticide Programs
  • is updated by a legal firm and includes numerous pesticide issue updates, regulations, laws, Federal Register, guidance documents and more.

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)

TCEQ is the lead agency for the regulation of waste discharges, including pesticide discharges, into waters of the state. Various divisions of the agency address many of the groundwater protection issues related to pesticides.

Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA)

The TDA is the lead authority for pesticide regulation in Texas. In regulating pesticides, the TDA registers pesticide products, enforces pesticide label compliance, trains and licenses professional applicators and other prospective users of certain pesticides, and assesses the potential impact of agricultural chemicals.

Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)

DSHS's Public Health Sanitation Program tests and certifies government employees that apply pesticides. The division licenses government employees that serve as health-related noncommercial pesticide applicators in the categories of vector control, rodent control, sanitation, and demonstration and research.

Texas Groundwater Protection Committee (TGPC)

TGPC is a consortium of nine state agencies and the Texas Association of Groundwater Districts. The committee is charged with the state's preparation of the Pesticide Management Plans (PMPs). Much of this work is done through the Agricultural Chemicals Task Force of the Groundwater Issues Subcommittee. The Task Force is responsible for writing and revising generic and pesticide-specific state management plans. Texas Pesticide Management Plan for Prevention of Pesticide Contamination of Groundwater (PMP) was published by TNRCC/TCEQ in January of 2001. The plan describes the general policies and regulatory approaches the state will use in order to protect groundwater resources from risk of contamination by pesticides.

TDA Structural Pest Control Service

The Texas Department of Agriculture's Structural Pest Control Service licenses and regulates pest management professionals who apply pesticides in and around structures.