Mini-Bulks In The Crosshairs

When it amended the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), EPA was required by Congress to promulgate regulations prescribing procedures and standards for container design and standards and the removal of pesticides from containers prior to disposal. The purpose of the rule is straightforward and clear:

■ Minimize human exposure during container handling and use.

■ Provide for a reasonable indication if anyone other than the authorized filler or refiller has introduced material into a refillable container.

■ Facilitate container disposal and recycling.

■ Encourage the use of refillable containers.

ALL containers — new or currently in use as refillable containers — must be compliant no later than Aug. 16, 2011, without exception. There are no grace period or “grandfathering” provisions in the rule.

Although the exact number is not known, it is estimated that there could be 400,000 to 500,000 containers currently being used as refillable containers for crop protection products that must be retrofitted to comply or be recycled in a responsible manner as prescribed by the label registrant in August 2011.

Looking At The Provisions

The key provisions of the section that pertains to refillable containers are:

Applicability. Any registrant of a product that packages the product in bulk or a refillable mini-bulk must ensure that the container is compliant. Any authorized refiller of a registrant’s product must also comply and only refill that registrant’s product into containers that the registrant has specifically identified as “acceptable containers” by description, part number, or other clear means.

Tamper-Evident Device and/or One-Way Valves. All portable refillable containers, when they leave the registrant as a filled package size, or an authorized refiller, must have a tamper-evident device and/or a one-way valve on all openings (except for vents) to be compliant. A tamper-evident device, such as a wire seal or crimp seal, that can be visually inspected to determine if the container has been opened will work for some openings, but for bottom drain valves that will be used by the applicator to extract the crop protection product, a one-way valve is needed or the container will need to be cleaned before refilling. In addition to 2-inch bungs such as container caps and bottom drain valve openings, EPA clarified the rule in De­cember 2009: Any pump that is integrally mounted to a refillable container and travels with the container to and from the authorized fill or refill point is an opening. The pump must have a one-way valve or tamper-evident seals that can be wire sealed to the container to provide “reasonable indication” that product from an unauthorized source was introduced into the container.

Unless a pumping system is specifically designed with a internal one-way check valve — not to be confused with a bypass valve that allows for recirculation of a product — the system, if it is integrally attached to a refillable container, may not comply with the intent of the EPA 2011 rule. For many of the system configurations in use today, there does not seem to be an effective and positive way to attach a wire seal to the different points between the discharge hose, pump, or meter/ball valve assembly of those pumps integrally attached to a refillable container that would provide a “reasonable indication” that an unauthorized source had introduced something into the container. Since there are no eyelets or other means through which a wire seal can be looped between the different threaded parts of today’s crop protection product pumping systems, someone could unscrew a meter and attach a discharge hose from another source and pump material back through the pump of the empty mini-bulk.

Farmchem’s solution is a 1-inch in-line check valve with a molded-in eyelet that will allow the container owner to wire seal the one-way valve to the container. This provides the “reasonable indication” that some unauthorized source has tampered with the container and complies with the EPA rule intent. The in-line check valve can be threaded into the discharge port of the pump and then the discharge hose threaded into the downstream port of the one-way valve.

Markings. The rule requires that each refillable container have a durable marking, which could be a non-repetitive serial number or other “unique” identifier. EPA is still in the process of issuing a clarification of what is durable and can withstand wear and tear or decay during normal use. Examples that have been given for durable are “etching, ink jetting, heat stamping, or mechanically attaching a plate with permanent and unique identifier.”

DOT Standards. If the crop protection product is DOT hazardous, the container into which it is filled or refilled must comply with applicable DOT regulations. If the product is not DOT hazardous, the refillable container must be designed and constructed to meet the DOT (UN) testing requirements for Packaging Group III.

Bulk Tanks. Besides containment requirements discussed in another section of the rule, bulk chemical tanks that are refilled by the product registrant are considered “refillable” containers. As with other refillable containers, the registrant must provide a description of acceptable containers and these tanks must also have a shut-off valve and vent, and no outside sight gauges are allowed.

Leave a Reply

Legislation Stories

CHS St. Paul, MN fertilizer terminal
LegislationICGA Praises President Trump’s Remarks on Waterways Infrastructure
June 12, 2017
Illinois Corn Growers Association President Justin Durdan, a farmer from Utica, issued the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s comments Read More
Corn soil
LegislationARA Member Testifies Before Senate Ag Committee
May 25, 2017
Agricultural retailers stand on the front-lines of the American economy. As trusted advisors to America’s farmers, ag retailers are uniquely Read More
Migrant farm workers
LegislationTrump: Immigration Crackdown Won’t Impact U.S. Agriculture
May 16, 2017
President Donald Trump said he would seek to keep his tough immigration enforcement policies from harming the U.S. farm industry Read More
Trump, Senate, Cabinet
LegislationTrump’s EPA Appointee Dismisses Half of Major Scientific Review Board at Agency
May 8, 2017
(Via NYTimes.com) EPA has dismissed at least five members of a major scientific review board, the latest signal of what Read More
Trending Articles
PrecisionAg Vision Conference
Precision AgPrecisionAg® Vision Conference: Focused on the Future
June 13, 2017
PrecisionAg® is pleased to announce the return of its PrecisionAg Vision Conference, October 10-12, 2017. Based on overwhelmingly positive response Read More
Redbanded-stinkbug-on-soybean-Photo-credit-Thomas-County-Ag
Crop InputsExperts: Mild Winter, Early Planting Will Increase Soybean Insect Threat
June 12, 2017
Higher than average temperatures this past winter affected much of the nation, especially the South and Midwest. The National Centers Read More
Eric SfiligojMonsanto ‘Picks Its Battles’ by Nixing Deere Deal
May 23, 2017
Having been in the trade journalism game since the mid-1980s, I remember several watershed moments during my career. One of Read More
Migrant farm workers
LegislationTrump: Immigration Crackdown Won’t Impact U.S. Agriculture
May 16, 2017
President Donald Trump said he would seek to keep his tough immigration enforcement policies from harming the U.S. farm industry Read More
AGCO Ratliff featured
Eric SfiligojRemembering Robert Ratliff
May 15, 2017
With all the fast-paced happenings in agriculture this spring, with multiple mergers in the works and planting season in full Read More
Case sprayer nozzle closeup
EquipmentSpray Application: A Nozzle Renaissance
May 2, 2017
If you had asked four-decade ag veteran Mark Bartel, President of Wilger Inc., just a few years ago what lay Read More
Latest News
ManagementDow Field Day and More Cooperative Consolidation
June 28, 2017
CropLife Editor discusses his recent attendance at the Dow AgroSciences Field Day in Indiana and shares news on another pair Read More
Young Corn Plants
Eric SfiligojLaunching New Seed Traits: Wait on China . . . Or Else!
June 26, 2017
In life, no one likes the waiting game. In agriculture, however, playing the waiting game is very important – especially Read More
Monsanto sign
Crop InputsMonsanto Speaks on Dicamba Issues in Arkansas
June 26, 2017
Monsanto’s Chief Technology Officer, Robb Fraley, issued the following statement following the Arkansas State Plant Board’s proposal to ban dicamba, Read More
Corn Field
Seed/BiotechCorn Insect Bt Technologies Offer Cost-effective, Proac…
June 26, 2017
When farm economics are challenging, farmers look for ways to bolster profit margins, including reducing input costs. Some may think Read More
Crop InputsArkansas Plant Board Votes to Ban Dicamba — Now W…
June 23, 2017
The Arkansas State Plant Board has voted to pass a proposed emergency rule to ban the use of in-crop dicamba, Read More
Engenia soybeans
Crop InputsBASF: ‘Closely Monitoring’ Dicamba Situatio…
June 22, 2017
BASF, whose Engenia herbicide is the target of more than 200 drift complaints in Arkansas, emailed the following statement to Read More
ManagementConsolidation Update
June 22, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss progress on manufacturer consolidation, and another big move for Midwest cooperative Central Valley Read More
Palmer pigweed seedhead in cotton
Crop InputsThreat of Dicamba Ban Looms in Arkansas
June 22, 2017
The Arkansas State Plant Board has rejected a proposed ban on the use of dicamba herbicide, but a procedural error Read More
Potash Agrium
Crop InputsAgrium-PotashCorp to become Nutrien upon Merger Complet…
June 21, 2017
Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. and Agrium Inc. have announced today that once the anticipated merger transaction closes, the new Read More
Crop InputsMidwestern BioAg Hosts TerraNu Fertilizer Plant Opening…
June 20, 2017
Last Friday, Midwestern BioAg was joined by over 80 local farmers, media and staff to celebrate the grand opening of Read More
Soybean Field
Industry NewsAligned Ag Distributors Names New President
June 19, 2017
Aligned Ag Distributors LLC announced this morning the appointment of Mary Tolke to the position of President/CEO, effective July 1. Read More
ManagementPlotting Corn, AGCO/Asmark’s Applicator Training Center…
June 15, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about their recent visits to Columbus, OH, and Bloomington, IL, along with an Read More
Seed/BiotechDow AgroSciences Announces Launch of Enlist Corn for 20…
June 14, 2017
Enlist corn will be commercially available in the U.S. for the 2018 growing season. Dow AgroSciences announced the launch today Read More
ASMARK AGCO Applicator Training Center
EmployeesAsmark, AGCO Open Training Center for Beginning Applica…
June 13, 2017
AGCO Corp. and the Asmark Institute have opened a new Applicator Training Center, created in a collaboration between the two Read More
Power to Do More Contest Winners
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences Announces Three Winners in Power to Do…
June 13, 2017
Thousands of votes have been cast and three farmers have been awarded the power to do more with a $10,000 Read More
Frogeye leaf spot
FungicidesStrobilurin-resistant Frogeye Leaf Spot Threat Looms wi…
June 13, 2017
Heavy spring rainfall throughout the South and Midwest delayed planting and created the perfect environment for diseases like frogeye leaf Read More
PrecisionAg Vision Conference
Precision AgPrecisionAg® Vision Conference: Focused on the Future
June 13, 2017
PrecisionAg® is pleased to announce the return of its PrecisionAg Vision Conference, October 10-12, 2017. Based on overwhelmingly positive response Read More
CHS St. Paul, MN fertilizer terminal
LegislationICGA Praises President Trump’s Remarks on Waterwa…
June 12, 2017
Illinois Corn Growers Association President Justin Durdan, a farmer from Utica, issued the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s comments Read More