Montana Administrative Register Notice 4-16-231 No. 7   04/08/2016    
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In the matter of the adoption of NEW RULE I pertaining to pesticide certification and training fees






TO: All Concerned Persons


          1. On April 29, 2016, at 10:00 a.m., the Department of Agriculture will hold a public hearing in Room 225 of Scott Hart Building, 302 N. Roberts at Helena, Montana, to consider the adoption of the above-stated rules.


2. The Department of Agriculture will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this rulemaking process or need an alternative accessible format of this notice. If you require an accommodation, contact the Department of Agriculture no later than 5:00 p.m. on April 22, 2016, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need. Please contact Cort Jensen, Department of Agriculture, 302 N. Roberts, P.O. Box 200201, Helena, Montana, 59620-0201; telephone (406) 444-3144 fax (406) 444-5409; or e-mail agr@mt.gov.


3. The rule as proposed to be adopted provides as follows:



          (1) All fees for services are payable upon purchase or on receipt of a billing statement. The department may assess a collection fee of 18% annual percentage rate, or assess a minimum fee of $25, whichever is greater, for any payment amount not received on or before the last regular business day of each month. The department may require past due payment of fees prior to allowing additional purchases or providing additional services, such as inspections.  The fees shall be as follows:

          (a) pesticide study manuals: a maximum fee of $15 for each study manual; and

          (b) pesticide applicator training courses:

          (i) initial pesticide applicator training courses: a maximum fee of $75; and

          (ii)  fall pesticide core and category-specific training courses: a maximum fee of $30.


          AUTH:          80-8-105(2)(q), 80-8-109, MCA

          IMP:             80-8-105(2)(q), 80-8-109, MCA


REASON: Fees the department charges for pesticide study manuals and training are not listed in administrative rule but may be established according to 80-8-105(2)(q), MCA. Twenty study manuals that are used in commercial and governmental pesticide applicator, pesticide dealer, and farm applicator training are available to prospective applicators. All individuals or organizations that choose to purchase a pesticide study manual or manuals are charged a minimum fee(s) by the department to cover costs of development and printing of the manual(s). Purchase of study manuals is not mandatory, applicators may opt to certify by examination without having purchased or studied from a manual.


The fees for pesticide applicator training and recertification are not listed in administrative rule. Training is offered to those wishing to become certified as a pesticide applicator and those taking continuing education to qualify to renew their license or permit. The department offers a three-day initial training, fall core training and category-specific training. The fee for training offered by the department covers the expected costs of conducting training, e.g., meeting space, training materials, and speaker costs.  The cost of providing a three-day initial training has increased; the proposed increase will allow the department to cover the expenses associated with providing the training.


ECONOMIC IMPACT: The current manual fee varies with the type of manual(s) purchased. The fees range from $7 to $15. The maximum proposed fee for a manual will be $15. Typically between 750 and 1,000 pesticide study manuals are sold annually to approximately 600 new commercial, government, and farm applicators. Manual sales typically generate between $11,250 and $15,000 in revenue a year. The average fee per individual or organization has typically been between $19.00 and $25.00.


Attendance at an initial training varies but is generally between 25 and 110. Between 485 and 600 pesticide applicators attend fall core recertification training and between 110 and 300 attend category-specific recertification training annually. Attending training is optional; pesticide applicators retain the option of certifying and recertifying by examination. An individual wishing to become a licensed or permitted pesticide applicator and attending initial training would incur a cost of $75 for the training course, an increase of $25 over the current fee of $50.


Commercial and government pesticide applicators may recertify by taking 12 continuing education (CE) credits in the category in which they are certified in the established qualification period.   Dealers may recertify by taking 12 continuing education (CE) credits. Continuing education is available from the department and a variety of other sources. Training costs will vary depending on whether a prospective applicator and licensed applicator chooses to attend training courses and the number of training courses they choose to attend. The proposed cost for non-initial training is $30, a $5 increase over the current fee of $25. Costs associated with meeting 12 CEs through recertification training typically ranges from $100 to $200.


          4. Concerned persons may submit their data, views, or arguments concerning the proposed actions either orally or in writing at the hearing. Written data, views, or arguments may be submitted to: Cort Jensen at the Montana Department of Agriculture, 302 North Roberts, P.O. Box 200201, Helena, MT 59620-0201; fax: (406) 444-5409; or e-mail: agr@mt.gov. Any comments must be received no later than May 9, 2016.


          5. The Department of Agriculture maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notices of rulemaking actions proposed by this agency. Persons who wish to have their name added to the list shall make a written request which includes the name, e-mail, and mailing address of the person and specifics for which program(s) the person wishes to receive notices. Notices will be sent by e-mail unless a mailing preference is noted in the request. Such written request may be mailed or delivered to Montana Department of Agriculture, 302 North Roberts, P.O. Box 200201, Helena, MT 59620-0201; fax: (406) 444-5409; or e-mail: agr@mt.gov or may be made by completing a request form at any rules hearing held by the Department of Agriculture.


          6. An electronic copy of this notice of public hearing on proposed adoption is available through the department’s web site at www.agr.mt.gov, under the Administrative Rules section. The department strives to make the electronic copy of the notice conform to the official version of the notice, as printed in the Montana Administrative Register, but advises all concerned persons that in the event of a discrepancy between the official printed text of the notice and the electronic version of the notice, only the official printed text will be considered. In addition, although the department strives to keep its web site accessible at all times, concerned persons should be aware that the web site may be unavailable during some periods, due to system maintenance or technical problems.


          7. The bill sponsor notice requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, do not apply.


          8. With regard to the requirements of 2-4-111, MCA, the department has determined that the adoption of the above-referenced rule will not significantly and directly impact small businesses.




/s/ Ron de Yong                                                        /s/ Cort Jensen     

Ron de Yong                                                             Cort Jensen

Director                                                                    Rule Reviewer

Montana Department of Agriculture


          Certified to the Secretary of State March 28, 2016.

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