The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) began the pesticide enforcement program in 1994 as a gradually phased-in transfer of authority from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). During the initial six months, NDA inspectors conducted introductory visits to pesticide dealers and commercial applicators. These visits allowed the inspectors and the facilities to become acquainted.
In May of 1994, the NDA started to conduct follow-up investigations of complaints of pesticide misuse. NDA inspectors began routine inspections during August of pesticide dealerships, marketplaces, and the businesses which commercially apply pesticides.
The NDA was granted full authority to administer the Nebraska Pesticide Act on January 1, 1995. Since that time, the NDA has issued enforcement actions for violations of the act.
NDA pesticide inspectors follow a specific protocol when conducting an inspection or complaint investigation. In order to assure unbiased, objective enforcement, certain documents must be signed and collected. Inspection forms outline the criteria for determining if there are violations.
Inspectors have been instructed to assist the manager or owner of the inspected facility in understanding the pesticide laws and regulations. They may often carry a large volume of compliance materials, which can be provided to the regulated community. If an inspector does not have some particular information, he or she can usually attain it from the NDA office. Please consult The Pesticide Enforcement Process for additional information on how pesticides are regulated, how investigations are conducted, how violations and penalties are determined, and how individual cases are reviewed.
The NDA does not regulate the process of applying pesticides in irrigation water (chemigation) or facilities where pesticides are mixed or loaded. These two functions are regulated by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ). Interested persons should look for Chemigation and Agricultural Chemical Secondary Containment under the Agriculture Programs heading on NDEQ's web page for more information.