Worker Protection Standards (WPS) E-Mail Forum Announcement


Subject:  Bulletin Board on EPA Agricultural Worker Protection Standard
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INVITATION TO JOIN NETWORK ON MAJOR AG PESTICIDE REGULATION

WPS-Forum is a new electronic bulletin board for announcements and
discussions about the Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural
Pesticides (WPS).  Everyone who is concerned with the WPS and has access to
the Internet, Bitnet, or a compatible electronic mail system is welcome to
join the network of participants.  To subscribe, send the following email
message to ListProc@are.berkeley.edu:  "SUBSCRIBE WPS-FORUM yourfirstname
yourlastname".

The WPS was designed to protect some 4 million people who work in U.S.
fields, forests, nurseries, and greenhouses.  Although it was published by
the Environmental Protection Agency in August 1992, after years of
consultation with representatives of groups affected, awareness and
understanding of the WPS remain very uneven.  Partly because of widespread
confusion about the regulation and how to comply with it, Congress enacted
a bill in March pushing back the effective date of several provisions from
April 15, 1994, to January 1, 1995.  Many agricultural employers,
employees, and advisors still have basic questions about the WPS, and all
face difficulty in keeping abreast of rule interpretations, proposed
modifications, and practical tools and references for living within the
law.

The purpose of WPS-Forum is, in short, to help people who deal with the WPS
to get on and stay on the same page.  Forum participants can pool their
knowledge, identify common problems, share solutions, distribute timely
advice, and have all manner of other useful interchange.  An electronic
archive for reference documents and compliance tools that can be easily
downloaded through an email command is part of the forum system.

Individuals who wish to make resource material available through WPS-Forum
archive are urged to contact the system manager, dana@are.berkeley.edu.  As
items are added to the archive, announcements about them show up in
the flow of messages, along with regular participant postings of questions,
answers, ideas, complaints, meeting notices, late rule developments,
litigation summaries, and various other entries.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9, is using the forum as
an integral part of its ongoing public outreach effort.  EPA staff will
continue to post news as well as respond to questions.  The agency plans to
publish and obtain comments on proposed changes in certain requirements
that are scheduled for reconsideration this summer.  The Cal-EPA Department
of Pesticide Regulation, which is responsible for enforcement of the WPS in
California, will also be participating in the forum.  Postings from this
state agency will particularly explain how the standards to be enforced in
California differ from the U.S. EPA rules that are generally applicable
nationwide.

WPS-Forum is a public service of the University of California Agricultural
Personnel Management Program and the Department of Agricultural and
Resource Economics at Berkeley.  It was developed by Howard Rosenberg, Gary
Casterline, and Dana Keil.

Again, individuals may join this network by sending to
ListProc@are.berkeley.edu, the message: "SUBSCRIBE WPS-FORUM yourfirstname
yourlastname" (for example: subscribe wps-forum Pete Wilson).  The system
will return a message confirming the subscription and providing more
information about features of the bulletin board.

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