Code of the District of Columbia

§ 8–401. Definitions.

As used in this subchapter:

(a) The term “active ingredient” means:

(1) In the case of a pesticide other than a plant regulator, defoliant, or desiccant, an ingredient which will prevent, destroy, repel, or mitigate any pest;

(2) In the case of a plant regulator, an ingredient which, through physiological action, will accelerate or retard the rate of growth or rate of maturation or otherwise alter the behavior of ornamental or crop plants or the product thereof;

(3) In the case of a defoliant, an ingredient which will cause the leaves or foliage to drop from a plant; and

(4) In the case of a desiccant, an ingredient which will artificially accelerate the drying of plant tissue.

(b) The term “Administrator” means the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

(c) The term “adulteration” refers to a pesticide the strength or purity of which falls below the professed standard or quality as expressed in its labeling or under which it is sold, or the total or partial substitution of any substance for the pesticide, or the total or partial abstraction of any valuable constituent of the pesticide.

(d) The term “animal” means all vertebrate and invertebrate species, including but not limited to man, other mammals, birds, fish, and shellfish.

(e) The term “certified applicator” means any individual who is certified by the Mayor as being competent to use or supervise the use of any restricted use pesticide or class of restricted use pesticides covered by his certification.

(f) The term “commercial applicator” means an individual, whether or not he is a private applicator with respect to some uses, who uses or supervises the use of any pesticide which is classified for restricted use for any purpose or on any property other than as provided by the definition of “private applicator”.

(g) The term “defoliant” means any substance or mixture of substances intended for causing the leaves or foliage to drop from a plant, with or without causing abscission.

(h) The term “desiccant” means any substance or mixture of substances intended for artificially accelerating the drying of plant tissue.

(i) The term “device” means any instrument or contrivance (other than a firearm) which is intended for trapping, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest of any other form of plant or animal life (other than man and other than bacteria, virus, or other microorganism on or in living man or other living animals); but not including equipment used for the application of pesticides when sold separately therefrom.

(j) The term “distribute” means to offer for sale, hold for sale, sell, barter, or trade a commodity.

(k) The term “District” means the District of Columbia.

(l) The term “environment” includes water, air, land, and all plants and man and other animals living therein, and the interrelationships which exist among these.

(m) The term “equipment” means any type of ground, water, or aerial equipment or contrivance using motorized, mechanical, or pressurized power and used to apply any pesticide on land and anything that may be growing, habitating, or stored on or in such land, but shall not include any pressurized hand-sized household apparatus used to apply any pesticide.

(n) The term “FIFRA” means the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (7 U.S.C. § 135 et seq.) [7 U.S.C. § 136 et seq.], as amended.

(o) The term “fungus” means any non-chlorophyll-bearing thallophyte (that is, any non-chlorophyll-bearing plant of a lower order than mosses and liverworts), as for example, rust, smut, mildew, mold, yeast, and bacteria, except those on or in living man or other animals and those on or in processed food, beverages, or pharmaceuticals.

(p) The term “insect” means any of the numerous small invertebrate animals generally having the body more or less obviously segmented, for the most part belonging to the class insecta, comprising six-legged, usually winged forms, as for example, beetles, bugs, bees, flies, and to other allied classes of arthropods whose members are wingless and usually have more than six legs, as for example, spiders, mites, ticks, centipedes, and wood lice.

(q) The term “label” means the written, printed, or graphic matter on, or attached to, the pesticide or device or any of its container or wrappers.

(r) The term “labeling” means all labels and all other written, printed, or graphic matter:

(1) Accompanying the pesticide or device at any time, or

(2) Accompanying or referring to the pesticide or device except when accurate non-misleading references are made to current official publications of Federal or State institutions or agencies authorized by law to conduct research in the field of pesticides.

(s) The term “land” means all land and water areas, including airspace, and all plants, animals, structures, buildings, contrivances and machinery appurtenant thereto or situated thereon, fixed or mobile, including any used for transportation.

(t) The term “Mayor” means the Mayor of the District of Columbia or his designated agent.

(u) The term “misbranded” means:

(1) A pesticide is misbranded if:

(A) Its labeling bears any statement, design, or graphic representation relative thereto or to its ingredients which is false or misleading in any particular;

(B) It is contained in a package or other container or wrapping which does not conform to the standards established by the Administrator pursuant to § 25(c)(3) of FIFRA [7 U.S.C. § 136w];

(C) It is an imitation of, or is offered for sale under the name of, another pesticide;

(D) Its label does not bear the registration number assigned under § 7 of FIFRA [7 U.S.C. § 136e] to each establishment in which it was produced;

(E) Any word, statement, or other information required by or under authority of FIFRA to appear on the label or labeling is not prominently placed thereon with such conspicuousness (as compared with other words, statements, designs, or graphic matter in the labeling) and in such terms as to render it likely to be read and understood by the ordinary individual under customary conditions of purchase and use;

(F) The labeling accompanying it does not contain directions for use which are necessary for effecting the purpose for which the product is intended and if compiled with, together with any requirements imposed under § 3(d) of FIFRA [7 U.S.C. § 136a(d)] are adequate to protect health and the environment;

(G) The label does not contain a warning or caution statement which may be necessary and if complied with, together with any requirements imposed under § 3(d) of FIFRA [7 U.S.C. § 136a(d)], is adequate to protect health and the environment.

(2) A pesticide is misbranded if:

(A) The label does not bear an ingredient statement on that part of the immediate container (and on the outside container or wrapper of the retail package, if there be one, through which the ingredient statement on the immediate container cannot be clearly read) which is presented or displayed under customary conditions of purchase, except that pesticide is not misbranded under this subparagraph if:

(i) The size of form of the immediate container, or the outside container or wrapper of the retail package, makes it impracticable to place the ingredient statement on the part which is presented or displayed under customary conditions of purchase; and

(ii) The ingredient statement appears prominently on another part of the immediate container, or outside container or wrapper, permitted by the Administrator;

(B) The labeling does not contain a statement of the use classification under which the product is registered;

(C) There is not affixed to its container, and to the outside container or wrapper of the retail package, if there be one, through which the required information on the immediate container cannot be clearly read, a label bearing:

(i) The name and address of the producer, registrant, or person for whom produced;

(ii) The name, brand, or trademark under which the pesticide is sold;

(iii) The net weight or measure of the content; provided, that the Administrator may permit reasonable variations; and

(iv) When required by regulation of the Administrator to effectuate the purposes of FIFRA, the registration number assigned to the pesticide under FIFRA, and the use classification; and

(D) The pesticide contains any substance or substances in quantities highly toxic to man, unless the label shall bear, in addition to any other matter required by FIFRA:

(i) The skull and crossbones;

(ii) The word “poison” prominently in red on a background of distinctly contrasting color; and

(iii) A statement of a practical treatment (first aid or otherwise) in case of poisoning by the pesticide.

(v) The term “nematode” means invertebrate animals of the phylum nemathelminthes and class nematoda, that is, unsegmented round worms with elongated, fusiform, or saclike bodies covered with cuticle, and inhabiting soil, water, plants, or plant parts; may also be called nemas or eelworms.

(w) The term “person” means any individual, partnership, association, corporation, company, joint stock association, or any organized group of people whether incorporated or not, and includes any trustee, receiver, or assignee.

(x) The term “pest” means any insect, rodent, nematode, fungus, weed, or any other form of terrestrial or aquatic plant or animal life or virus, bacteria, or other microorganism (except viruses, bacteria, or other microorganisms on or in living man or other living animals) which commonly is considered to be detrimental to man or his interests or which the Mayor may declare to be detrimental.

(y) The term “pesticide” means any substance or mixture of substances intended to prevent, destroy, repel, or mitigate any pest, and any substance or mixture of substances intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant, or desiccant.

(z) The term “pesticide applicator” means an individual who is a (1) commercial applicator; (2) private applicator; (3) public applicator; or (4) registered employee.

(aa) The term “pesticide dealer” means any person who distributes to the ultimate user restricted use pesticides or any pesticide whose use or distribution are further restricted by the Mayor.

(bb) The term “pesticide operator” means (1) any person who owns or manages a pesticide application business in which pesticides are applied upon the lands of another for hire or compensation; or (2) except as other wise provided under the definition of “private applicator”, the owner or manager of any commercial firm, business, corporation, or private institution, who directly or through his employees uses restricted use pesticides on property owned, managed, or leased by such commercial firm, business, corporation, or private institution; or (3) any District or other governmental agency whose officials or employees apply pesticides as part of their normal duties.

(cc) The term “plant regulator” means any substance or mixture of substances, intended through physiological action, for accelerating or retarding the rate of growth or rate of maturation, or for otherwise altering the behavior of plants or the produce thereof, but shall not include substances to the extent that they are intended as plant nutrients, trace elements, nutritional chemicals, plant inoculants, and soil amendments. Also, it shall not be required to include any of such of those nutrient mixtures or soil amendments as are commonly known as vitamin-hormone horticultural products, intended for improvement, maintenance, survival, health, and propagation of plants, and as are not for pest destruction and are nontoxic, nonpoisonous in the undiluted packaged concentration.

(dd) The term “private applicator” means any individual who uses any restricted use pesticide for purposes of producing any agricultural commodity on property owned or rented by him or his employer or (if applied without compensation other than trading of personal services between producers of agricultural commodities) on the property of another person.

(ee) The term “public applicator” means a commercial applicator who is an employee of the District or of a governmental agency who is authorized to use or supervise the use of pesticides.

(ff) The term “registered employee” means an individual who is registered with the Mayor, pursuant to § 8-404, and who works under the direct supervision of a licensed commercial or public applicator.

(gg) The term “restricted use pesticides” means any pesticides or pesticide use classified by the Administrator for restricted use; or any pesticide, which when used as directed or in accordance with a commonly recognized practice, the Mayor determines, subsequent to a hearing, that additional restrictions for that use are necessary in order to prevent a hazard to the applicator or other persons, or to prevent unreasonable adverse effects upon the environment.

(hh) The term “under the direct supervision of” means that unless otherwise prescribed by its labeling or other restrictions imposed by the Mayor, a pesticide shall be considered to be applied under the direct supervision of a certified applicator if it is applied by a competent registered employee acting under the instruction and control of a certified applicator who is available if and when needed, even though such certified applicator may not be physically present at the time and place the pesticide is applied.

(ii) The term “weed” means any plant which grows where it is not wanted.


(Apr. 18, 1978, D.C. Law 2-70, § 2, 24 DCR 6867; Apr. 12, 2000, D.C. Law 13-91, § 138, 47 DCR 520.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-751.1.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 8-406.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-91, in subsec. (n), validated a previously made technical amendment.

Editor's Notes

Because of the codification of D.C. Law 19-191 as subchapter II of this chapter, the preexisting text, §§ 8-401 through 8-419, has been designated as subchapter I.