NPDES Permits for Pesticide Applicators

Under the Clean Water Act, pesticide applications to, over or near water generally require permits. The required permit is a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. In New Mexico these permits are issued by US EPA; questions should be addressed to:

Kilty Baskin
EPA Region 6 (Dallas)
Phone:  214-665-7500
Email:  baskin.kilty@epa.gov

EPA has issued a Pesticide General Permit that covers pesticide applications to, over or near water for:

  • mosquito and other flying insect pest control;
  • weed and algae control;
  • animal pest control; and
  • forest canopy pest control.

Permittees are required to minimize pesticide discharges to water via good pest management practices and monitoring. They must also report any adverse incidents. Some entities (including government agencies, mosquito control districts, and weed control districts) must comply with additional requirements. This includes submitting Notice of Intents for coverage under the Pesticide General Permit and implementing integrated pest management practices.

Pesticide applicators have record-keeping and reporting requirements depending on the type of operator they are. This is true for large or small entities, and other criteria defined in the Pesticide General Permit. At a minimum, applicators must keep complete and accurate records to demonstrate compliance with the conditions of the Permit. Large entities required to submit a Notice of Intent must also submit an annual report to EPA.

Pesticide applications that do not result in point source discharges to waters of the US do not require permits. These include typical applications for controlling pests on agricultural crops, forest floors or range lands. In addition, agricultural runoff and irrigation return flow are exempt from the Clean Water Act’s permit requirement. Therefore, most farms are not affected and do not need NPDES permits for their pesticide applications.

For More Information

EPA’s website has more information on NPDES requirements for pesticides. This includes the Pesticide General Permit, fact sheets, and interactive tools to help potential permittees determine permitting requirements.

EPA NPDES Pesticides Overview

Interactive Decision-Making Tool

NMDA is not the permitting authority nor do we have any authority over the permit requirements. Requirements are authorized under the federal Clean Water Act. However, we will assist you in determining if you fall under the Pesticides General Permit and with understanding its requirements. Call 575-646-2134 or email pesticides@nmda.nmsu.edu.

Additional ProgramsPoison HelpPesticide InformationContact Pesticides
Integrated Pest Management
Protecting Water & Endangered Species
1-800-222-12221-800-858-7378
npic.orst.edu
575-646-2134
575-646-7020
fax 575-646-1540
pesticides@nmda.nmsu.edu
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