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Laws and Regulations

FIFRA | PRIA | FFDCA | FQPA | ESA | Regulations

EPA regulates the use of pesticides under the authority of two federal statutes: the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Exit EPA disclaimer [FIFRA (106 pp, 743 KB About PDF)] provides the basis for regulation, sale, distribution and use of pesticides in the U.S. FIFRA authorizes EPA to review and register pesticides for specified uses. EPA also has the authority to suspend or cancel the registration of a pesticide if subsequent information shows that continued use would pose unreasonable risks. Some key elements of FIFRA include:

The Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA) of 2003 establishes pesticide registration service fees for registration actions in three pesticide program divisions: Antimicrobials, Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention, and the Registration Divisions.

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) Exit EPA disclaimer authorizes EPA to set maximum residue levels, or tolerances, for pesticides used in or on foods or animal feed. FFDCA:

The Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 (FQPA) amended FIFRA and FFDCA setting tougher safety standards for new and old pesticides and to make uniform requirements regarding processed and unprocessed foods. FQPA:

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 prohibits any action that can adversely affect an endangered or threatened species or its habitat. In compliance with this law, EPA must ensure that use of the pesticides it registers will not harm these species.


The Federal Register Environmental Documents section contains the full-text of selected Federal Register documents issued from the EPA or other Federal Agencies that concern environmentally related issues, and beginning in October, 1994. These documents are further divided by topics such as Pesticides, Endangered Species, and Environmental Meetings. There are also topic specific daily listservs which will deliver the documents directly to your email box.

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is a codification of the rules published in the Federal Register by the Executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government. The CFR is divided into 50 titles which represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation, with environmental regulations contained mainly in Title 40. Each volume of the CFR is revised once each calendar year and updated on a quarterly basis, Title 40 is issued every July 1.

The Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) Beta Test Site - A joint project created by the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) and the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) to provide a frequently updated CFR.

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