What Was Found
The EPA can better prevent deaths and serious injuries caused during residential fumigations by amending sulfuryl fluoride labels and monitoring compliance.
From December 12, 2016, memo in the report
… Final determinations on matters in this report will be made by EPA managers in accordance with established audit resolution procedures. The offices responsible for issues evaluated in this report are the Office of Pesticide Programs, within the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention; the Office of Compliance, within the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance; and EPA Region 2, which has primary responsibility for issues pertaining to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Action Required One OIG recommendation in this final report is unresolved. In accordance with EPA Manual 2750, we are requesting a meeting of action officials from EPA Region 2 and the OIG’s Office of Program Evaluation to start the resolution process. If resolution is not reached within 30 days of the date of the report, agency action officials are required to complete and submit a dispute-resolution request to the EPA’s Chief Financial Officer. We will post this report to our website at www.epa.gov/oig
Recommendations from report
We recommend that the EPA implement a process to evaluate label changes for all three brands of sulfuryl fluoride to require secured tenting and fumigation management plans, clearly define the criteria for meeting the applicator stewardship training requirement, conduct an assessment of clearance devices to validate their effectiveness, and establish milestone dates for the pesticide incident database initiative. We also recommend that EPA Region 2 incorporate into the cooperative agreement with the Puerto Rico Department of Agriculture, an investigation and evaluation of sulfuryl fluoride usage to determine whether misuse has occurred, and then the EPA should provide assistance to Puerto Rico as needed. The agency provided acceptable corrective actions and milestone dates for six of the seven recommendations. Six recommendations are resolved. One recommendation is unresolved with resolution efforts in progress.