The Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) provides training for Alaskans intent on becoming certified pesticide applicators with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Pesticide Branch as well as those maintaining their certifications. Pesticide applicator certification is required for individuals who sell, purchase, or apply restricted use pesticides; apply any pesticides on property other than their own or their employers; apply pesticides on public school (K-12) grounds and facilities or other public places; advise regarding the use of pesticides; and/or apply pesticides under a permit with the Alaska DEC Pesticide Branch.
The secondary purpose of PSEP is to provide consumers and the public with information on pesticide safety and pesticide hazards. The program encourages communication between pesticide safety educators, pesticide regulators, pesticide applicators and the public. PSEP is a workforce training program and an environmental conservation program.
The Pesticide Safety Training Program is a partnership between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the USDA (NIFA) , the State of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation – Pesticide Branch (ADEC) , and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service (UAF – CES).
Alaska Pesticide Regulations are described in 18 AK Annotated Code Chapter 90 as amended through March 7, 2013. DEC’s pesticide regulations include all aspects of EPA’s pesticide regulations plus additional restrictions specific to Alaska’s laws and regulations. Primary authority for pesticide manufacture, sale, use and distribution in the United States rests with US EPA. EPA’s authority for pesticide oversight is included in the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) as amended. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has significant input on pesticide and food issues. Knowledge of Alaska DEC pesticide regulations is essential for anyone wishing to purchase and use pesticides in Alaska. Certified pesticide applicators must be able to read and follow label instructions and regulations. Pesticide applicators are responsible for safe, accurate, and legal pesticide applications.
Starting in the Spring of 2012 distance delivered education (smart classroom) has been utilized to save on travel costs. Annually, at least two separate training sessions are conducted tying in major locations through out Alaska including, Anchorage, Delta, Fairbanks, Homer, Juneau, Kodiak, and Soldotna.
The PSEP provides training materials and workshops and administers DEC pesticide applicator exams as a service to persons involved in the trainings. The main trainings take three days plus additional time for testing. Also, persons may opt for a self paced home study of PSEP materials and arrange for a locally administered DEC pesticide certification exam.
The annual Anchorage Certified Pesticide Applicator workshop is a separate opportunity to earn continuing education units (CEU’s) for applicators maintaining their certification. This event is generally in March and has evolved into a two-day workshop with one day being dedicated to ornamental and turf pest management and the other focused on structural, health related pest management.
The following are the DEC pesticide Applicator categories:
Category # 1- Regulatory Pest Control
Category #2 - Pesticide Consultation and Demonstration
Category #3 - Private Agricultural Pest Control
Category #4 - Ornamental and Turf Pest Control
Category #5 - Anti-fouling Paint
Category #6 - Aquatic Pest Control
Category #7 - Structural Pest Control
Category #8 - Public Health Pest Control
Category #9 - Right-of-Way Pest Control
Category #10 - Mosquito and Biting Fly Pest Control
Category #11 - Aerial Pest Control
Category #12 - Forest Pest Control
Category #13 - Restricted-Use Dealer
Category #14 - Pesticide Research
Category #15 - Soil Fumigation
Category #16 - Non-Soil Fumigations
Category #17A - Full Vertebrate Pest Control
Category #17B - Limited Vertebrate Pest Control
Category #17C - Limited Vertebrate Pest Control
Category #18 - Oilfield Biocides
Category #19 - Pesticide Technician
UAF Cooperative Extension Service PSEP uses a variety of sources for training materials. The National Pesticide Applicator Certification Core Manual is the main text. Additional training materials are sourced from Washington State University and other state university’s Cooperative Extension Service. We also utilize training materials from the Alaska DEC and the EPA.
Phil Kaspari manages the PSEP for Alaska. He is also an instructor with assistance from CES employees: Steve Brown, Gino Graziano, Casey Matney, Julie Riley, Steven Seefeldt; Alaska Division of Agriculture employee, Heather Stewart; and DEC employee, Mariah Jerman.