Herbicides have proven to be effective tools for controlling weeds in some situations; however, there are number of risks associated with their use and public perception of chemical treatments is often negative. To address these problems herbicide use tends to be subject to a number of regulations. For regulatory purposes herbicides are often grouped under the category of "pesticides" which can also include insecticides, fungicides and rodenticides. The following links are intended to provide a starting point for understanding the rules, regulations and ecological considerations that may be important to the successful use of herbicides as a land management tool.

Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Final Vegetation Treatments Using Herbicides Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) and Record of Decision (ROD)

This website provides access to the BLM’s Record of Decision (ROD) and Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) on Vegetation Treatments using Herbicides. These documents are intended to provide national guidance for using herbicides and other vegetation and fuel reduction treatments on BLM-administered public lands in 17 western states. The ROD contains lists of the herbicide active ingredients both approved and not approved for use on BLM lands as well as the particular states in which their use is approved. 

EPA Office of Pesticide Programs

This site gives the most recent news on pesticide rulings and discussions being held by the EPA.  Also includes useful links to pages discussing environmental effects (including information on ecological risk assessments), pesticide regulation and compliance and enforcement.

EPA’s FIFRA Overview
The EPA provides a detailed summary of the original FIFRA document as well as additional information relevant to the topic, including resources on FIFRA compliance and enforcement.

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)

http://www.nal.usda.gov/speccoll/findaids/agentorange/ text/05248.pdf
This document describes federal regulations regarding the handling, registration, application standards, storing, and other details pertaining to the handling and usage of all pesticides, including herbicides.

National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC)

This site is a compilation of resources put together by the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) to provide answers to questions about regulations related to pesticide use in the United States.

The Nature Conservancy Weed Control Methods Handbook:  Tools and Techniques for Use in Natural Areas

This handbook contains a chapter on guidelines for herbicide use as well an appendix explaining how herbicides are regulated in the US and another appendix listing state regulatory agencies with contact information.

US Department of Agriculture Departmental Regulation Participation in a National Agricultural Pesticide Impact Assessment Program

This document establishes a process for managing and coordinating USDA State (Land Grant University, Extension and State Regulatory Agency) activities to develop information and analyze pesticide use and impacts of pesticide regulations on agricultural products, product prices, and environmental issues.

USDA Forest Service Pesticide Use Policy

The Forest Service policy on pesticide use is outlined here and links to additional resources are provided, including a link to worksheets prepared by the Forest Service to aid in assessing the human health and ecological risks of using any one of the approved pesticides. 

<<Back to Introduction