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PDFWAC 16-228-1545

What are the pesticide licensing requirements?

(1) All individuals licensed or required to be licensed as commercial pesticide applicators, commercial pesticide operators, private-commercial applicators, demonstration and research applicators, public operators, structural pest inspectors, pest control consultants and public pest control consultants must be certified, through examination, in all pest control classifications defined in subsection (3)(a) and (b) of this section in which they operate, inspect or consult. Additionally, commercial pesticide applicators must be licensed in all classifications that the business operates. Licensed applicators may directly supervise unlicensed applicators only in those classifications in which they have a valid certification.
(2) To qualify for any pesticide license listed in subsection (1) of this section, applicants, except the structural pest inspector, must pass a "laws and safety" examination or equivalent, that includes, but is not limited to, the following: The state and federal laws governing pesticide use and the regulating agencies; general pesticide uses and application techniques; safe use of pesticides; general pesticide labeling comprehension; environmental fate of pesticides, and appropriate storage and disposal of pesticides and their containers. Individuals holding valid, passing scores on the private applicator or dealer manager exam are exempt from this examination requirement. Structural pest inspectors conducting complete wood destroying organism inspections must pass a "structural pest inspector laws and standards" examination or equivalent that includes, but is not limited to, the legal requirements governing structural pest inspectors and the standards for conducting complete wood destroying organism inspections.
(3) License classifications.
(a)(i) Aquatic: The control of aquatic pests in water areas including, but not limited to, canals, rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, marshes and pipe lines.
(ii) Aquatic irrigation: Limited to the control of aquatic pests in irrigation district water delivery systems where the pesticide is applied directly into the water or enters the water due to the application of the pesticide. Pests include, but are not limited to, moss, algae, cattails, pond weeds and other emersed and submersed aquatic weeds.
(iii) Insect and disease - Agricultural: The control of insects and diseases, except with soil fumigants, in agricultural crops including forest environments.
(iv) Insect and disease - Ornamental: The control of insects and diseases in ornamental, turf and rights of way situations including, but not limited to, golf courses, parks, schools, lawns, yards, gardens, greenhouses, hospitals and rest homes. This includes, but is not limited to, the use of insecticides, miticides, fungicides, bacteriocides, molluscides and nematocides.
(v) Pest animal: The control of pest animals in agricultural situations.
(vi) Pest control operator (PCO) - General: The control of in-sects, spiders, birds, rodents and animal pests in and around, but not limited to, the following situations: Residences, public buildings and grounds, commercial buildings and grounds, disposal sites, animal feed lots and farmsteads, including buildings and transportation equipment.
(vii) Pest control operator (PCO) - Structural: The control of structurally destructive pests including, but not limited to, fungus, termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees and wood-boring beetles. This classification allows a licensee to perform specific wood destroying organism inspections.
(viii) Public health: Application of pesticides by governmental employees and certain others in public health programs such as, but not limited to, mosquito control, rodent control and insect control in situations having medical and public health importance.
(ix) Seed treatment: The application of pesticides to seeds to control destructive insects and diseases.
(x) Soil fumigation - Risk mitigation measures (RMM): The use of soil fumigants to control pests including weeds, insects, and diseases. This category addresses risk mitigation measures on soil fumigant labels as a result of EPA's reregistration eligibility decision process.
(xi) Stored grain: The use of pesticides (including fumigants and rodenticides) in grain storing facilities and railcars.
(xii) Structural pest inspector: Allows for the commercial inspection of buildings for structurally destructive pests, their damage and conditions conducive to their development. This classification is required to perform complete wood destroying organism inspections.
(xiii) Stump treatment: The use of herbicides on cut stumps to control resprouting.
(xiv) Weeds - Agricultural: The control of weeds, except with soil fumigants, in all agricultural crops including forest environments, and in former agricultural lands now in a noncrop status.
(xv) Weeds - Rights of way: The control of weeds, including cut stumps on, but not limited to, terrestrial rights of way locations such as roads and/or highways, railroads, power lines and irrigation ditches and to industrial sites including, but not limited to, airports, industrial parks, and large parking areas.
(xvi) Weeds - Turf and ornamental: The control of weeds (and moss), including cut stumps, in ornamental and turf situations, which includes, but is not limited to, golf courses, parks, schools, lawns, yards, gardens, hospitals, vacant lots and open noncrop waste areas.
(b) Limited-specialty: Pest control classification made available by the department for certain pest control activities not included in one of the defined license classifications specified in (a) of this subsection. The department may maintain a list of currently available limited-specialty subclassifications on the department website. The department at its discretion may, by rule, recategorize a limited-specialty subclassification under (b) of this subsection as a license classification under (a) of this subsection.
(4) All examinations required under this section shall be written and taken without the aid of any materials that contain information relevant to the exam content. Reading of exams by an individual other than the applicant is not permitted.
(5) A passing score of seventy percent is established for all the examinations required under this section. The department may establish separate passing scores for the examinations if a validated process is used. Passing scores are valid for obtaining a license in the calendar year in which the examination is taken plus the following calendar year.
(6) The department may waive any of the examination requirements contained in this section for any person holding a valid certification with similar classifications from an EPA or Canadian approved federal, state or provincial certification program with comparable examination and recertification standards.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 15.58.040, 17.21.030, and chapter 34.05 RCW. WSR 16-24-052, § 16-228-1545, filed 12/2/16, effective 1/2/17. Statutory Authority: RCW 17.21.060, 15.58.040, chapter 34.05 RCW and 2012 2nd sp.s. c 7. WSR 13-02-024, § 16-228-1545, filed 12/20/12, effective 1/20/13. Statutory Authority: Chapters 17.21, 15.58, 34.05 RCW. WSR 03-22-029, § 16-228-1545, filed 10/28/03, effective 11/28/03. Statutory Authority: Chapters 15.58 and 17.21 RCW. WSR 00-24-013, § 16-228-1545, filed 11/27/00, effective 12/28/00.]
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