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Compliance and Technical Assistance Program

CTAP > Featured Topics > February 2012: Pesticide General Permit February 2012: Pesticide General Permit

For Point Source Discharges to Waters of the State from the Application of Pesticides

The U.S. EPA has developed and finalized a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Pesticide General Permit (PGP) for point source discharges from the application of pesticides to, over or near waters of the United States. Indiana is authorized by U.S. EPA to issue a PGP that meets all Clean Water Act (CWA) requirements of the federal permit but can be more stringent based on Indiana’s water quality standards for point source discharges to waters of the state.

IDEM’s PGP will regulate the application of biological and chemical pesticides used for mosquito and other flying insect pest control, aquatic weed and algae control, aquatic nuisance animal control and forest canopy pest control that results in a discharge to waters of the state.

Who is Required to Submit an NOI

Similar to all other state-issued General NPDES permits, a Notice of Intent (NOI) is required to be submitted for the PGP. Table 1 below, describes the specific pesticide uses along with the annual treatment area thresholds that are covered under the PGP. Most state and federal agencies and large companies such as utilities and railroads that apply pesticides will fall under the PGP.

Pesticide Uses Covered Under this General Permit:

  • Control of public health or nuisance pests and other flying insect pests that develop or are present a portion of their life cycle in or above standing or flowing water.
    • Annual Treatment Area Threshold: 6400 acres (cumulative for adulticide for the calendar year)
  • Control of invasive or other nuisance weeds and algae in water and at water’s edge, including irrigation ditches and irrigation canals including but not limited to:
    1. Treating weeds in a right of way or easement where to target the pests effectively a portion of the pesticide unavoidably will be applied over and deposited to water
      • Annual Treatment Area Threshold: 80 acres in water
    2. Control of aquatic vegetation through chemical or biological means in waters of the state under a permit issued by the DNR under IC 14-22-9-10 and 312 IAC 9-10-3.
      • Annual Treatment Area Threshold: 20 linear miles of a ditch or other linear feature or at water’s edge
  • Control of invasive or other nuisance animals in water and at the water’s edge.
    • Annual Treatment Area Threshold: 80 acres in water; 20 linear miles of ditch or other linear feature or at water’s edge
  • Aerial or ground application of a pesticide over a forest canopy to control the population of a pest species, where to target the pests effectively a porting of the pesticide unavoidably will be applied over and deposited to water.
    • 6400 acres (cumulative for adulticide for the calendar year)
  • Application of pesticides to outstanding state resource waters designated in 327 IAC 2-1-2, 327 IAC 2-1-11, or 327 IAC 2-1.5-19
    • Applies to any pesticide application, regardless of the amount of area treated

Who is Not Required to Submit an NOI

Pesticide applications are regulated by the Office of the Indiana State Chemist (OISC). In most cases, the applicator is exempt if certified, licensed or has been issued a GN number by the OISC to apply pesticides. Other exemptions include research and development activities and persons who hold a permit from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to apply pesticides.

The annual treatment area thresholds will exclude small-scale home pesticide applications and most small businesses as defined by Indiana law (IC 5-28-2-6) that perform pesticide applications. Agricultural pesticide applications to the land or terrestrial crops are not covered under this permit as well as agricultural storm water runoff.

What are the Permit Requirements

Entities and applicators covered under the PGP will be expected to comply with the terms and conditions of the permit. The PGP will require all permittees to:

  • Minimize the discharge of pesticides to waters of the state
    • use lowest effective amount of pesticide
    • perform regular maintenance
    • calibrate, clean, and repair equipment
  • Control the discharge of pesticides to meet applicable water quality standards
    • using Best Management Practices (BMP’s)
  • Develop a Pesticide Discharge Management Plan for pest management areas
    • control measures
    • application rates and frequency procedures
    • spill prevention and response, etc.
  • Visual monitoring and reporting
    • adverse incidences report, corrective action reports and annual reports
  • Maintain pesticide application records on-site for public view upon request by the U.S. EPA

The NOI submittal date for all existing discharges from pesticide applications is November 1, 2012. For discharges beginning after November 1, 2012, an NOI must be submitted at least 10 days prior to commencement of the pesticide application.

For More Information

If you have questions regarding IDEM’s Pesticide General Permit for point source discharges from the application of pesticides and would like to speak with a CTAP staff member please contact (800) 988-7901 or, via email, ctap at idem.in.gov. IDEM and U.S. EPA provide additional information about the PGP: