Occupational Licensing Reform in the States
Occupational licensing reform is a serious issue for the structural pest management industry. As both Democrats and Republicans aim to reduce barriers to entry for certain licensed occupations (ex. hairbraiders, barbers, social workers, etc.), pesticide applicators are often grouped into the discussion of deregulation. While deregulation might sound good, the ramifications of deregulating our industry are potentially disastrous. The EPA regional office could end-up regulating pesticide applicators in your state instead of your State Lead Agency (ex. DPR) because many of these bills potentially violate FIFRA and the applicator certification agreements with EPA, untrained individuals could be permitted to apply restricted use pesticides, and unscrupulous operators could pose harm to customers and the industry’s reputation. Tennessee and West Virginia are two states that have recently introduced bills to severely weaken licensed pesticide applicator laws.
Tennessee: HB 1945/SB1914 was introduced this week and authorizes a person to perform pest control services, without a license, work for which a pesticide applicator license is normally required if the recipient of the work acknowledges the person's lack of licensure and waives claims against the person. This is a potentially disastrous piece of legislation and TPCA and TN SPARs Scott Burnett and Andy Yant are heavily engaged.West Virginia: SB 218 was introduced this month and would permit unlicensed persons to be hired by consumers to perform pest control services among every other licensed occupation except for a few medical occupations. We are currently monitoring