Wind Towers Raise Questions
IFCA has been quite involved in the issues that have arisen as more wind towers are being constructed in corn and soybean fields in Illinois. We have been helping raise awareness among landowners of the impact on future aerial application in these areas and now the issue of pesticide application notification has come up. Some wind companies have requested that our members pre-notify them of pesticide applications whether aerial or from ground rigs. We have consulted with the regulatory agencies and have learned that since the wind tower workers are not "agricultural workers" as defined by USEPA, commercial applicators are not required to provide pre-notification. Your obligation under The Worker Protection Standard remains to notify the landowner of scheduled pesticide applications. That does not mean that you cannot voluntarily provide notification to wind energy companies, but doing so may set a precedent that can lead to future expectations and liability regarding pre-notification that is above and beyond the state and federal requirements.
Please be advised that the application of pesticides is only allowed on crop land and not the access roads leading to the wind towers. You should shut off your booms when approaching the access roads. And of course please be aware of wind tower workers who may be present as you prepare to perform an application and perform your due diligence to ensure that people are not exposed to a pesticide application. If you have questions about this or about the Worker Protection Standard requirements, please contact the IFCA.