The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has selected the Regents of the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) to receive a total of $6 million over a five-year period to develop materials and projects that promote safe pesticide use. Through this cooperative agreement, UC Davis will establish the Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative (PERC) 2.0, the second phase of the currently successful PERC program.
"This exciting partnership will continue the valuable work that PERC has already been doing for our communities," said Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Michal Freedhoff, "Through education and outreach, we can ensure we continue to protect human health and the environment from pesticide exposure."
"We are honored to have been chosen to continue this work, building upon the success of the past five years building PERC. It has become a true =E2=80=98collaboration station,' bringing together the best-qualified professionals to create the best content to make the most impact," said Suzanne Forsyth, Director of Pesticide Education Programs at UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education. "We look forward to strengthening and building partnerships as we tackle new challenges, striving to educate target audiences about pesticides with the goal of protecting humans, communities and ecosystems."
With the inception of PERC 2.0, UC Davis, in conjunction with EPA, will continue its mission of creating and sharing resources that provide accurate and easily accessible information on pesticide occupational safety and safe pesticide use to support the implementation of the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard and Certification of Pesticide Applicators regulations. The resources help protect those who work with and around pesticides, including agricultural workers, pesticide handlers, pesticide applicators, and their communities, as well as, support employer compliance and encourage others to implement activities and programs with the same objectives.
Now in its sixth year, the original PERC program coordinates the development of pesticide-related educational resources that meet national needs. Many new resources were launched through this cooperative agreement including multilingual manuals, pamphlets, webpages, videos and guides for different targeted audiences. In just 2020, more than 75,000 PERC resources were downloaded off the site.
New initiatives of this cooperative agreement may include but are not limited to:
- Administering subawards to nonprofit organizations for the implementation of community-based projects that provide an "on-the-ground" expertise and perspective to develop effective and audience-appropriate pesticide education and training materials.
- More emphasis on applicator certification programs, specifically providing updated training and examination materials with national reach.
For more information, visit EPA's Pesticide Cooperative Agreements webpage.