(a) Development of training program. The department, in conjunction with the service, shall develop an ongoing training program for agricultural laborers. (b) Training provided by the department. (1) The department shall provide the training program in counties with a hired farm labor work force of 2,000 or more, according to the most recent United States Census of Agriculture. The counties are as follows: Cherokee, Gaines, Harris, Hidalgo, Parker, Smith, and Wharton. (2) The department shall provide training in the following additional counties which it has determined as having a significant farm labor work force: Bexar, Cameron, Castro, Dawson, Deaf Smith, Erath, Floyd, Fort Bend, Frio, Gonzales, Hale, Hockley, Lamb, Lubbock, McLennan, Matagorda, Milam, Pecos, Starr, Terry, Uvalde, Van Zandt, Waller, Willacy, and Zavala. (3) As part of the training program, and when possible, the department shall provide agricultural laborers with appropriate crop sheets and reentry information. (c) Training provided by the service. The service shall provide training in all remaining counties. (d) Notification of training. The department or the service shall notify agricultural laborers on a regular basis of the availability of training programs. (e) Training provided by others. For purposes of these regulations and the Act, §125.009(e), covered employers and their managers or their labor contractors may train employees if the covered employers and their managers or labor contractors are certified applicators or trained trainers. (1) Agricultural laborers trained in a state other than Texas, and possessing a current EPA WPS training verification card, will be considered trained for purposes of the Act and these regulations. (2) Worker training programs which meet the minimum requirements of the WPS worker training are approved for workers who work under conditions specified under WPS, 40 CFR Part 170.130. Workers having completed this training are considered trained under the Act and these regulations. (3) Handler training programs which meet the minimum requirements of the WPS handler training are approved for handlers who work under conditions specified under WPS 40 CFR Part 170.230. Handlers having completed this training are considered trained under the Act and these regulations. (f) Certification of completion of training. (1) When an agricultural laborer completes a training program, the trainer shall provide him or her with an EPA training verification card for WPS training. (2) The training agency and the training individual shall comply with the following requirements: (A) maintain a record for five years of all agricultural laborers who complete the training program and are given a department-issued EPA WPS training verification card. These records must include at least a copy of each dated class roster signed by the trainer and each trainee, showing the verification card number issued to the trainee, and the city or county and state where the training occurred; (B) issue EPA WPS training verification cards only to trainees who have been trained in accordance with the requirements of the WPS, including the correct use of training materials developed or approved by EPA; (C) record trainee information on the verification cards, in ink or other indelible form; (D) issue EPA WPS training verification cards that match EPA specifications or that comply with state variations from such specifications that have prior approval from EPA; and (E) promptly respond to requests from EPA, state or tribal agencies or covered employers for information concerning issued EPA WPS training verification cards. (3) A covered employer shall not refuse to hire an agricultural laborer solely because the laborer has not completed a training program or cannot produce a card. (g) Access to training materials by covered employers. (1) The department shall prepare appropriate training materials for covered employers, their managers, and their labor contractors to be used for training purposes. For the purposes of compliance with these regulations, the department has determined that the EPA WPS training program for agricultural workers and pesticide handlers meets or in some instances exceeds training requirements of the Act and these regulations. (2) These training materials may be obtained from sources identified and approved by EPA for use in WPS trainings.
Source Note: The provisions of this §8.11 adopted to be effective February 14, 1989, 14 TexReg 617; amended to be effective July 5, 1994, 19 TexReg 4814; amended to be effective May 15, 2008, 33 TexReg 3733