IPM Pesticides and Regulations: A Lesson Plan


Title: Pesticide Laws and Regulations
Author: Carol Pilcher
Organization: Iowa State University
Topic: Government, History
Grade Level: 12
Time Frame: Four 50-minute periods

Overview: This module is designed to introduce students to the major laws and regulations associated with pesticides. In addition, this module explains the Congressional process of developing laws and regulations and the authorization of government agencies to enforce these laws and regulations.

Purpose: After completion of this module, the student will be able to

  • Describe the process by which environmental laws and regulations are developed, passed, and enforced.
  • Identify the major agency and office responsible for enforcing pesticide legislation.
  • Identify the major pesticide laws that have been passed throughout U.S. history.
  • Discover new pieces of legislation that have been proposed by the 107th Congress.


  • Computers with access to Internet service
  • LAW-1: United States Environmental Protection Agency: An Internet Activity
  • LAW-2: Major Federal Laws Concerning Pesticides: An Internet Activity. Government Printing Office. If Internet access is not available, use LAW-2.1
  • LAW-3: New Bills Concerning Pesticides. If Internet access is not available, use LAW-3.1

Getting Ready:

  • Review the technical information section.
  • Identify a location for Internet access for student activities. Verify access to Internet sites listed in Activities Section and the Internet Resources Section.
  • If a classroom situation is not available, the instructor may print the websites for class use or refer to alternate activities (LAW-2.1 and LAW 3.1).

Motivate (Engage): To introduce this activity the teacher should review the process of creating a law, including introduction of a bill by a member of Congress, committee assignment, approval by the House of Representatives and the Senate, followed by approval by the President of the United States. Have the students delineate the possible subject matter for laws made today; write their ideas on the board.

Activity (Explore): After reviewing the process of creating a law, shift the student focus to laws affecting chemical use, specifically pesticides.

  • Review the agency responsible for the pesticide regulation—United States Environmental Protection Agency, specifically the Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substance. Complete Internet Activity LAW-1.
  • Briefly discuss the major federal laws associated with pesticides—Federal Insecticide Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and the Food Quality Protection Act. Complete Internet Activity LAW-2.
  • Find and examine new pieces of legislation that have been proposed by the 107th Congress. Using the Internet, complete Internet Activity LAW-3.

Safety Tips: There are no special safety tips for this lesson.

Concept Discovery (Explanations): The students will be able to begin to understand the complexity of the legislative process for registration and use of pesticides. The students will gain an appreciation for the work of the US Congress by looking at the terminology used, the protocol followed, and the number of amendments to a given bill. The students will also begin to see the difficulties associated with enforcement of pesticide legislation.

Going Further (Extensions): Students that would like to do another activity should investigate pesticide legislation within their state. This would involve historical accounts and current legislation. Request a short report from these students for the entire class. Another extension would be to have a representative from the state department of agriculture or environmental health address the students concerning regulatory issues in their state.

Closure: Summarize this activity by discussing with the students what they have learned. Ask them what happens to the legislative process when bipartisan politics affect the outcome of a bill.

Assessment (Evaluation): Assess the student's knowledge about the pesticide legislation by their participation in activities and response on worksheets. Alternative assessment could involve the student completing a short report on the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) of 1996.


Environmental Health:

Discuss the benefits of pesticide legislation on the environment. Examine the effects of grass root movements on the success of restricting pesticide use or registration.

Social Studies:

Discuss how society has benefited from legislation restricting pesticide use. How are third world countries dealing with pesticide use?

Business/ Marketing:

When specific pesticides are banned from use in the United States, how do chemical companies shift their marketing strategies to overseas markets? Discuss the ethical considerations of such business moves.


    Published books

Botrell DR. 1979. (Council on Environmental Quality) Integrated pest management. Washington: Council on Environmental Quality. Available from: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Nownes AJ. 1991. Interest groups and the regulation of pesticides: Congress, coalitions, and closure. Policy Sciences 24: 1-18.

Sorenson AA. 1994. Proc. Natl. Integrated Pest Manage. Forum, Arlington, VA, June 17-19, 1992. DeKalb, IL: Am. Farmland Trust. 86 p.

United States Congress. 1993. Testimony of Carol M. Browner, Administrator EPA; Richard Rominger, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture; and David Kessler, Commissioner of FDA. Hearings before the Committee on Labor and Human Resources, U.S. Senate, and Subcommittee on Health and the Environment, Committee on Energy and Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives, September 22.

Ware GW. 1994. The pesticide book. 4th Ed. Fresno, CA: Thomson Publications. 386 p.

Internet web sites
Congressional Bills, 107th Congress (2000-2001)

Congressional Documents

Ehler LE, Bottrell DG. 2000. The illusion of integrated pest management. Issues in Science and Technology (Spring)

Environmental Protection Agency

Federal Register (2001), Vol. 66

U.S. Code

Technical Information

    History of Pesticide Legislation:

The first federal regulation of pesticides occurred in 1910 with the passage of the Insecticide Act. The focus of this legislation was to protect farmers from fraudulent pesticides (Ware 1994). This act proved to be no more than a passive piece of legislation because it only required that the contents of the package be identified.

The insecticide era began with the use of DDT, during World War II, to combat insects carrying diseases such as malaria, typhus fever, cholera, and encephalitis (Botrell 1979). After the War, other synthetic agricultural pesticides were manufactured on a wide scale. “Farmers heralded the impressive accomplishments of chemical technology, producers anticipated profits and prosperity, and government shared a euphoric enthusiasm for pesticides” (Nownes 1991).

However, problems with reliance on chemical controls quickly were discovered. Insecticide resistance, resurgence, and replacement became prevalent. In addition, disadvantageous environmental impacts occurred. As a result, Congress repealed the Insecticide Act and implemented the Federal Insecticide, Rodenticide, and Fungicide Act (FIFRA) in 1947. This act required that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) register chemical pesticides (Ware 1994). In addition, this Act required pesticides carry a label with the manufacturer's name and address, directions for use and appropriate warning statements (Ware 1994).

An increase in public concern of toxic chemicals heightened in the 1960's. This awareness can be attributed to the actions of Rachel Carson, a marine biologist and writer for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Carson and her scientific colleagues became alarmed by the widespread use of DDT and other persistent chemicals. They were especially concerned with the potential negative environmental impacts associated with use of these substances. As a result of these concerns, Carson began publishing her work in the New Yorker and subsequently wrote Silent Spring. This book sparked concern over the welfare of the environment, especially the detrimental effects associated with pesticide use. In 1970, the Nixon Administration responded by establishing the Environmental Protection Agency (Nownes 1991). Furthermore, IPM was formulated into national policy in February 1972. President Nixon directed federal agencies to advance the concept and apply IPM in all relevant sectors (Ehler and Bottrell 2000).

The next administration to address IPM was the Carter Administration. “In 1979, President Carter established an interagency IPM Coordinating Committee to ensure development and implementation of IPM practices” (Ehler and Bottrell 2000).

The Clinton Administration also advocated IPM. In September 1993, this administration announced its commitment to reducing pesticide use and promoting sustainable agriculture through promotion of IPM on U.S. crop acreage (US Congress 1993). In fact, a goal was set to adopt IPM on 75 percent of the U.S. crop acreage by the year 2000 (Sorenson 1994).

In 1996, the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) was signed into law. IPM is an important component of FQPA (Section 303) because IPM is an information-intensive approach to managing pests that employs tactics that often result in better environmental conservation. By promoting IPM, FQPA is promoting the further adoption of IPM, and thus promoting the more judicious use of pesticides.

  Environmental Protection Agency. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) is responsible for pesticide regulation. “The mission of the US EPA is to protect human health and to safeguard the natural environment—air, water, and land—upon which life depends” (U.S. EPA, 2001). The EPA currently has 10 Regions in the United States. In addition, EPA has 13 Offices including: Office of Environmental Information, Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances, Office of Research and Development, and the Office of Water.

      Office of Pesticide Programs. The Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) deals specifically with pesticide regulations, safety, and education. The mission of the OPP is “to protect public health and the environment from the risks posed by pesticides and to promote safer means of pest control” (U.S. EPA, 2001). OPP conducts the following activities: 1) evaluates new pesticides with regard to their registration, 2) reviews existing pesticides to assess their safety, and 3) communicates safe practices through educational programs. Some of the specific programs OPP include: Worker Protection Standard—a program to protect workers from the harmful aspects of pesticides, Certification and Training—a program to educate people how to properly apply pesticides, Endangered Species Protection Plans—a program to work with endangered species, and Protecting Groundwater—a program to assist states with developing programs to protect their groundwater.

LAW-1: United States Environmental Protection Agency: An Internet Activity

  1. Find the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Website.

    1. What is the URL for this site:

    2. Who is the Administrator of the EPA:



  2. Select the Programs/Offices of this agency.
    1. What is the URL for this site:

    2. Which Program is responsible for dealing directly with pesticides:

    3. What is the mission of this program:



  3. When browsing the EPA Topics Section of the EPA Website, look under the category “Pesticides”. Locate the site that explains “What IPM Means”. What does IPM mean according to the Environmental Protection Agency?


LAW-2: Major Federal Laws Concerning Pesticides: An Internet Activity

  1. Find the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Website.

    1. What is the URL for this site:



  2. Select Laws and Regulations.
    1. What is the URL for this site:



  3. Select the Major Environmental Laws
    1. What is the URL for this site:

    2. Identify the major law directly related to pesticide registration:



  4. Select this law and determine what section directly relates to Integrated Pest Management.
    1. What section relates directly to IPM?

    2. What department is responsible for working directly with IPM?


LAW-2.1 Major Federal Laws Concerning Pesticides:



121 to 134. Repealed.

135 to 135k. Omitted.

(See http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/7/136.html for each section of this law. For section 136a, simply replace the “136” in the above URL with “136a”. This process works for each of the sections on the following pages.)

  • §136. Definitions.

    • (a) Active ingredient.
    • (b) Administrator.
    • (c) Adulterated.
    • (d) Animal.
    • (e) Certified applicator, etc.
    • (f) Defoliant.
    • (g) Desiccant.
    • (h) Device.
    • (i) District court.
    • (j) Environment.
    • (k) Fungus.
    • (l) Imminent hazard.
    • (m) Inert ingredient.
    • (n) Ingredient statement.
    • (o) Insect.
    • (p) Label and labeling.
    • (q) Misbranded.
    • (r) Nematode.
    • (s) Person.
    • (t) Pest.
    • (u) Pesticide.
    • (v) Plant regulator.
    • (w) Producer and produce.
    • (x) Protect health and the environment.
    • (y) Registrant.
    • (z) Registration.
    • (aa) State.
    • (bb) Unreasonable adverse effects on the environment.
    • (cc) Weed.
    • (dd) Establishment.
    • (ee) To use any registered pesticide in a manner inconsistent with its labeling.
    • (ff) Outstanding data requirement.
    • (gg) To distribute or sell.
    • (hh) Nitrogen stabilizer.
    • (jj) Maintenance applicator.
    • (kk) Service technician.
    • (ll) Minor use.
    • (mm) Antimicrobial pesticide.
    • (nn) Public health pesticide.
    • (oo) Vector.
  • §136a. Registration of pesticides.
    • (a) Requirement of registration.
    • (b) Exemptions.
    • (c) Procedure for registration.
    • (d) Classification of pesticides.
    • (e) Products with same formulation and claims.
    • (f) Miscellaneous.
    • (g) Registration review.
    • (h) Registration requirements for antimicrobial pesticides.
  • §136a-1. Reregistration of registered pesticides.
    • (a) General rule.
    • (b) Reregistration phases.
    • (c) Phase one.
    • (d) Phase two.
    • (e) Phase three.
    • (f) Phase four.
    • (g) Phase five.
    • (h) Compensation of data submitter.
    • (i) Fees.
    • (j) Exemption of certain registrants.
    • (k) Reregistration and expedited processing fund.
    • (l) Performance measures and goals.
    • (m) Judicial review.
    • (n) Authorization of funds to develop public health data.
  • §136b. Transferred.
  • §136c. Experimental use permits.
    • (a) Issuance.
    • (b) Temporary tolerance level.
    • (c) Use under permit.
    • (d) Studies.
    • (e) Revocation.
    • (f) State issuance of permits.
    • (g) Exemption for agricultural research agencies.
  • §136d. Administrative review; suspension.
    • (a) Existing stocks and information.
    • (b) Cancellation and change in classification.
    • (c) Suspension.
    • (d) Public hearings and scientific review.
    • (e) Conditional registration.
    • (f) General provisions.
    • (g) Notice for stored pesticides with canceled or suspended registrations.
    • (h) Judicial review.
  • §136e. Registration of establishments.
    • (a) Requirement.
    • (b) Registration.
    • (c) Information required.
    • (d) Confidential records and information.
  • §136f. Books and records.
    • (a) Requirements.
    • (b) Inspection.
  • §136g. Inspection of establishments, etc.
    • (a) In general.
    • (b) Warrants.
    • (c) Enforcement.
  • §136h. Protection of trade secrets and other information.
    • (a) In general.
    • (b) Disclosure.
    • (c) Disputes.
    • (d) Limitations.
    • (e) Disclosure to contractors.
    • (f) Penalty for disclosure by Federal employees.
    • (g) Disclosure to foreign and multinational pesticide producers.
  • §136i. Use of restricted use pesticides; applicators.
    • (a) Certification procedure.
    • (b) State plans.
    • (c) Instruction in integrated pest management techniques.
    • (d) In general.
    • (e) Separate standards.
  • §136i-1. Pesticide recordkeeping.
    • (a) Requirements.
    • (b) Access.
    • (c) Health care personnel.
    • (d) Penalty.
    • (e) Federal or State provisions.
    • (f) Surveys and reports.
    • (g) Regulations.
  • §136i-2. Collection of pesticide use information.
    • (a) In general.
    • (b) Collection.
    • (c) Coordination.
  • §136j. Unlawful acts.
    • (a) In general.
    • (b) Exemptions.
  • §136k. Stop sale, use, removal, and seizure.
    • (a) Stop sale, etc., orders.
    • (b) Seizure.
    • (c) Disposition after condemnation.
    • (d) Court costs, etc.
  • §136l. Penalties.
    • (a) Civil penalties.
    • (b) Criminal penalties.
  • §136m. Indemnities.
    • (a) General indemnification.
    • (b) Indemnification of end users, dealers, and distributors.
    • (c) Amount of payment.
  • §136n. Administrative procedure; judicial review.
    • (a) District court review.
    • (b) Review by court of appeals.
    • (c) Jurisdiction of district courts.
    • (d) Notice of judgments.
  • §136o. Imports and exports.
    • (a) Pesticides and devices intended for export.
    • (b) Cancellation notices furnished to foreign governments.
    • (c) Importation of pesticides and devices.
    • (d) Cooperation in international efforts.
    • (e) Regulations.
  • §136p. Exemption of Federal and State agencies.
  • §136q. Storage, disposal, transportation, and recall.
    • (a) Storage, disposal, and transportation.
    • (b) Recalls.
    • (c) Storage costs.
    • (d) Administration of storage, disposal, transportation, and recall programs.
    • (e) Container design.
    • (f) Pesticide residue removal.
    • (g) Pesticide container study.
    • (h) Relationship to Solid Waste Disposal Act.
  • §136r. Research and monitoring.
    • (a) Research.
    • (b) National monitoring plan.
    • (c) Monitoring.
  • §136r-1. Integrated Pest Management.
  • §136s. Solicitation of comments; notice of public hearings.
    • (a) Secretary of Agriculture.
    • (b) Secretary of Health and Human Services.
    • (c) Views.
    • (d) Notice.
  • §136t. Delegation and cooperation.
    • (a) Delegation.
    • (b) Cooperation.
  • §136u. State cooperation, aid, and training.
    • (a) Cooperative agreements.
    • (b) Contracts for training.
    • (c) Information and education.
  • §136v. Authority of States.
    • (a) In general.
    • (b) Uniformity.
    • (c) Additional uses.
  • §136w. Authority of Administrator.
    • (a) In general.
    • (b) Exemption of pesticides.
    • (c) Other authority.
    • (d) Scientific advisory panel.
    • (e) Peer review.
  • §136w-1. State primary enforcement responsibility.
    • (a) In general.
    • (b) Special rules.
    • (c) Administrator.
  • §136w-2. Failure by the State to assure enforcement of State pesticide use regulations.
    • (a) Referral.
    • (b) Notice.
    • (c) Construction.
  • §136w-3. Identification of pests; cooperation with Department of Agriculture's program.
    • (a) In general.
    • (b) Pest control availability.
    • (c) Integrated pest management.
    • (d) Public health pests.
  • §136w-4. Annual report.
  • §136w-5. Minimum requirements for training of maintenance applicators and service technicians.
  • §136w-6. Environmental Protection Agency minor use program.
  • §136w-7. Department of Agriculture minor use program.
    • (a) In general.
    • (b) Minor use pesticide data and revolving fund.
  • §136x. Severability.
  • §136y. Authorization of appropriations.

LAW-3: New Bills Concerning Pesticides: An Internet Activity

  1. Find the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Website.

    1. What is the URL for this site:



  2. Locate the United States Code Database.
    1. What is the URL for this site:



  3. Locate Congressional Bills, 107th Congress (2000-2001)
    1. What is the URL for this site:



  4. Identify at least three search words that would be helpful for this search.





  5. Research two bills that have been recently introduced.
    1. Bill One

      1. What is the Short Title of Bill?

      2. Where was the bill first introduced (House of Representatives or Senate)?

      3. What is the general purpose of the bill?

    2. Bill Two
      1. What is the Short Title of Bill?

      2. Where was the bill first introduced (House of Representatives or Senate)?

      3. What is the general purpose of the bill?


LAW-3.1 New Bills Concerning Pesticides

The following bills were introduced into Congress (2001).


1st Session

H. R. 2343

To support research and development programs in agricultural biotechnology and genetic engineering targeted to addressing the food and economic needs of the developing world.


June 27, 2001

Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas (for herself, Mrs. Clayton, and Mr. Reyes) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture


To support research and development programs in agricultural biotechnology and genetic engineering targeted to addressing the food and economic needs of the developing world.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the "Biotechnology and Agriculture in the Developing World Act of 2001".


Congress finds the following:

  1. Portions of the developing world are facing a pandemic of malnutrition and disease. 200,000,000 people on the African continent alone are chronically malnourished. Traditional farming practices cannot meet the growing needs of the developing world. Africa's crop production is the lowest in the world and even with about 2/3 of its labor force engaged in agriculture, Africa currently imports more than 25 percent of its grain for food and feed.
  2. Biotechnology can help developing countries produce higher crop yields while using fewer pesticides and herbicides.
  3. Biotechnology can also promote sustainable agriculture, leading to food and economic security.
  4. The quality and nutritional content of food can be improved through biotechnology.
  5. Vitamin-enhanced foods, foods higher in protein, and fruits and vegetables with a longer shelf-life have been developed using biotechnology.
  6. Biotechnology offers the prospect of delivering vaccines to immunize against life-threatening illnesses through agricultural products in a safe and effective manner that overcomes the infrastructure and cost limitations faced by traditional vaccination methods in the developing world.
  7. Biotechnology can play a useful role in increasing crop yields and thus reduce the amount of land that needs to be farmed. Since most food production and farming in the developing world is done by women, such an increase in productivity enables women to spend their time on other productive activities and better care for their families.
  8. One obstacle for biotechnology in the developing world is the capacity of scientific organizations and public funding for agricultural research. Increased funding for international research programs from the United States would have a great impact.
  9. To get the full environmental, food, and economic benefits of biotechnology for the developing world, it must be available in the international marketplace.



  1. Grant Program.--The Secretary of Agriculture shall establish a program to award grants to entities described in subsection (b) for the development of agricultural biotechnology with respect to the developing world. The Secretary shall administer and oversee the program through the Foreign Agricultural Service of the Department of Agriculture.
  2. Partnerships.--(1) In order to be eligible to receive a grant under this section, the grantee must be a participating institution of higher education, a nonprofit organization, or consortium of for profit institutions with in-country agricultural research institutions.

To amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act to require local educational agencies and schools to implement integrated pest management systems to minimize the use of pesticides in schools and to provide parents, guardians, and employees with notice of the use of pesticides in schools, and for other purposes.


January 3, 2001

Mr. Holt introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture


To amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act to require local educational agencies and schools to implement integrated pest management systems to minimize the use of pesticides in schools and to provide parents, guardians, and employees with notice of the use of pesticides in schools, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the "School Environment Protection Act of 2001".


Congress finds that—

  1. in 1992, the National Parent Teacher Association passed a resolution calling for the reduced use of pesticides in schools and calling on policymakers to consider all possible alternatives before using any pesticides;
  2. the National Education Association and many other national public interest organizations have announced support for reducing or eliminating pesticide use in schools;
  3. childhood cancer is continuing to increase at the alarming rate of 1 percent per year;
  4. the overall incidence of childhood cancer increased 10 percent between 1974 and 1991, making cancer the leading cause of childhood death from disease;
  5. approximately 4,800,000 children in the United States under the age of 18 have asthma, the most common chronic illness in children, and the incidence of asthma is on the rise;
  6. children are more susceptible to hazardous impacts from pesticides than are adults;
  7. numerous scientific studies have linked both cancer and asthma to pesticide exposure;
  8. the Environmental Protection Agency has recommended the use of an integrated pest management system by local educational agencies, which emphasizes nonchemical ways of reducing pests, such as sanitation and maintenance;
  9. integrated pest management—
    1. promotes nonchemical methods of pest prevention and management using least toxic pesticides after all other methods have been exhausted; and
    2. requires a notification process by which each student, parent, guardian, staff member, and teacher shall be notified of a pesticide application;
  10. parents and guardians have a right to know that there is an integrated pest management system in their children's schools;
  11. an integrated pest management system provides long-term health and economic benefits; and
  12. parents and guardians wish to and have a right to be notified in advance of any use of a pesticide in their children's schools.

Iowa State University School IPM suggested curriculum - August 2001

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