EPA’s Refillable Container and Repackaging Requirements

On October 29, 2008, EPA published a final rule that amended the pesticide container and containment regulations to provide a one year extension of the labeling compliance date; to make some other changes to the label requirements; and to correct typographical and other minor errors. See below for more details about the final amendments. On October 8, 2010, EPA published a final rule that extended the labeling compliance date to August 16, 2011. The pesticide container and containment regulations include five sections, which are described below.

  1. Nonrefillable Containers: This section addresses “one-way” or disposable containers and applies to pesticide registrants. The purpose of these standards is to ensure that containers are strong and durable, minimize human exposure during container handling and facilitate container disposal and recycling.
  2. Refillable Containers: This section applies to containers that are intended to be refilled and reused more than once and applies to pesticide registrants. The purpose of these standards is to ensure that containers are strong and durable, minimize cross-contamination of pesticides distributed in refillable containers, and encourage the use of refillable containers to reduce container disposal problems.
  3. Repackaging: This section, which describes procedures and other safeguards for repackaging pesticide into refillable containers, applies to pesticide registrants and anyone who refills pesticide containers for sale (registrants, formulators, distributors and dealers). These regulations are intended to minimize cross-contamination of pesticides distributed in refillable containers, codify safe refilling management practices and encourage the use of refillable containers to reduce container disposal problems.
  4. Labeling: The labeling segment includes instructions for how to properly clean pesticide containers and a statement identifying the container as nonrefillable or refillable. Pesticide registrants are required to ensure that labels include the specified information. Pesticide users are required to comply with the instructions on the labels.
  5. Containment Structures: This section establishes standards for secondary containment structures at certain bulk storage sites and for containment pads at certain pesticide dispensing operations. Pesticide dealers who repackage pesticides, commercial applicators and custom blenders have to comply with the requirements. The purpose of these standards is to protect the environment from leaks and spills at bulk storage areas and from contamination due to pesticide dispensing operations.

Goals of the New Regulation

  • Ensure the integrity/strength of refillable containers
  • Minimize the potential for cross contamination
  • Ensure that containers and repackaging comply with federal pesticide law (FIFRA)
  • Encourage the use of refillable containers

Table 1.Refillable Container and Repackaging Rule Overview

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Category Who must comply?Major Requirements Compliance Date
1 Nonrefillable Containers Registrants – DOT container design, construction & marking standard
– Dispensing capability
– Standard closures
– Residue removal (99.99% removal)
8/17/2009
2 Refillable Containers Registrants – DOT container design, construction & marking standards
– One-way valves or tamper-evident devices
– Vent, gauge & shutoff valve standards for large tanks
8/17/2011
3 Repackaging Products Registrants
Refillers
– Registrants & refillers comply with specified condition
– Registrants develop & provide certain information
– Refillers obtain and follow information; and clean, inspect & label containers before refilling them
8/17/2011
4 Container Labeling Registrants
Users
– Identify container as nonrefillable or refillable (all)-Statement to prohibit reuse and offer for recycling; batch code (all nonrefillables)
– Cleaning instructions (some nonrefillables)
– Cleaning instructions before disposal (all refillables)
8/17/2011
5 Containment Structures 1. Ag retailers
2. Com Ag applicators
3. Ag custom blenders
– Secondary containment structures (dikes) around large tanks
– Containment pads for pesticide dispensing areas
– Good operating procedures
– Monthly inspections of tanks & structures
8/17/2009

Container Frequently asked Questions

  1. Is this container a service container or a portable refillable container?
  2. Can I fill this large portable refillable container (greater than 119 gallons)?
  3. Can I fill this small portable refillable container?