A school building must be located on grounds that are well-drained and maintained in a sanitary condition. A school building must be properly ventilated and provided with an adequate supply of drinking water, an approved sewage disposal system, handwashing facilities, a heating system, and lighting facilities that conform to established standards of good public health engineering practices.
A school lunchroom must comply with state food and drug regulations.
A school building and its appurtenances shall be maintained in a sanitary manner. A full-time building custodian or janitor shall know the fundamentals of safety and school sanitation.
Health and Safety Code 341.065
Structural Pest Control
A district may obtain pest control services for school buildings only by:
Contracting with a person who holds a license to perform the services; or
Requiring a district employee who is licensed as a certified noncommercial applicator or technician to perform the services.
Occupations Code 1951.459
Integrated Pest Management Program
Each district shall establish, implement, and maintain an integrated pest management (IPM) program. An IPM program is a regular set of procedures for preventing and managing pest problems using an integrated pest management strategy. The school district is responsible for each IPM coordinator's compliance with the regulations in 4 Administrative Code 7.201–.205 (Division 7). Occupations Code 1951.212; 4 TAC 7.201
"Integrated pest management" means a pest management strategy that relies on multiple pest control tactics, including the judicious use of pesticides, informed by accurate identification and scientific knowledge of pests, reliable monitoring methods to assess pest presence, preventative measures to avoid pest infestations, and thresholds to determine when corrective control measures are needed. 4 TAC 7.114(13)
"Area of common access" means an area that an individual is likely to be present in or at on a regular basis, such as a building entranceway, mailboxes, laundry rooms, beverage machines, building bulletin boards, hallways, etc. 4 TAC 7.114(3)
IPM Program Requirements
The IPM program shall contain these essential elements:
A board-approved IPM policy, stating the district's commitment to follow integrated pest management guidelines in all pest control activities that take place on district property. The IPM policy statement shall include:
A definition of IPM consistent with this section;
A reference to Texas laws and rules governing pesticide use and IPM in public schools;
Information about who can apply pesticides on school district property; and
Information about designating, registering, and required training for the district's IPM coordinator. The superintendent and IPM coordinator shall maintain a copy of the policy.
A monitoring program to determine when pests are present and when pest problems are severe enough to justify corrective action;
The preferential use of lower risk pesticides and the use of non-chemical management strategies to control pests, rodents, insects, and weeds;
A system for keeping records of facility inspection reports, pest-related work orders, pest control service reports, pesticide applications, and pesticide complaints;
A plan for educating and informing district employees about their roles in the IPM program; and
Written guidelines that identify thresholds for when pest control actions are justified.
4 TAC 7.201(1)
The superintendent shall appoint an IPM coordinator to implement the district's IPM program. Not later than 90 days after the superintendent designates or replaces an IPM coordinator, the district must report to the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) the newly appointed coordinator's name, address, telephone number, e-mail address and the effective date of the appointment. A district that appoints more than one IPM coordinator shall designate a responsible IPM coordinator who will have overall responsibility for the IPM program and provide oversight of subordinate IPM coordinators regarding IPM program decisions. Occupations Code 1951.212(e); 4 TAC 7.201(2)
The IPM coordinator shall:
Successfully complete a TDA-approved IPM coordinator training course within six months of appointment; and
Obtain at least six hours of TDA-approved IPM continuing education units at least every three years in accordance with the requirements of 4 Administrative Code 7.202.
Occupations Code 1951.212(f); 4 TAC 7.202
The IPM coordinator shall be responsible for implementation of the school district IPM program. The IPM coordinator shall oversee and be responsible for:
Coordination of pest management personnel, ensuring that all school employees who perform pest control, including those employees authorized to perform incidental use applications, have the necessary training, are equipped with the appropriate personal protective equipment, and have the necessary licenses for their pest management responsibilities;
Ensuring that all IPM program records, including incidental use training records, pest-related work orders, pest control service reports, pesticide applications, and pesticide complaints are maintained for a period of two years and are made available to a TDA inspector upon request;
Working with district administrators to ensure that all pest control proposal specifications for outside contractors are compatible with IPM principles, and that contractors work under the guidelines of the district's IPM policy;
Ensuring that all pesticides used on district property are in compliance with the district's IPM program and that current pesticide labels and safety data sheets (SDS) are available for interested individuals upon request;
Overseeing and implementing that portion of the plan that ensures that district administrators and relevant district personnel are provided opportunities to be informed and educated about their roles in the IPM program, reporting, and notification procedures;
Pesticide applications, including the approval of emergency applications at buildings and on district grounds, are conducted in accordance with Division 7; and
Maintaining a current copy of the school district's IPM policy and making it available to a TDA inspector upon request.
4 TAC 7.202(5)
A district that engages in pest control activities must employ or contract with a licensed applicator, who may, if an employee, also serve as the IPM coordinator. 4 TAC 7.201(3)
The commercial or noncommercial certified applicator or licensed technician shall:
Apply only United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) labeled pesticides, appropriate for the target pest, except as provided in Division 7;
Provide the structural pest management needs of the district by following the district's IPM program and these regulations;
Obtain written approval from the IPM coordinator for the use of pesticides in accordance with Division 7;
Handle and forward to the IPM coordinator records of IPM activities, any complaints relating to pest problems, and pesticide use;
Ensure that pesticide use records are forwarded to the IPM coordinator within two business days or in a time frame as agreed to by the IPM coordinator;
Consult with the IPM coordinator concerning the use of control measures in buildings and grounds; and
Ensure that all pest control activities are consistent with the district's IPM program and IPM policy.
4 TAC 7.203
A district shall prior to or by the first week of school attendance, ensure that a procedure is in place to provide prior notification of pesticide applications in accordance with 4 Administrative Code Chapter 7. Individuals who request in writing to be notified of pesticide applications may be notified by telephonic, written, or electronic methods. 4 TAC 7.201(4)
The chief administrator, IPM coordinator, or building manager must notify individuals who work in a district building of an indoor pest control treatment by:
Posting the sign made available by the certified applicator or technician in an area of common access that the individuals are likely to check on a regular basis at least 48 hours before each planned treatment; and
Making available, on request, the consumer information sheet made available by the certified applicator or technician.
Occupations Code 1951.455(a); 4 TAC 7.146(c), .147(e), .148(b)
Chief administrators or the IPM coordinators of schools must notify the parents or guardians of children attending the facility in writing that pesticides are periodically applied indoors and outdoors, and that information on the times and types of applications and prior notification is available upon request. Such notification must be made at the time of the students' registration. Telephonic, written, or electronic notification of planned applications will meet the notification requirements. 4 TAC 7.148(c); Occupations Code 1951.455(b) [See FD]
The pre-notification requirements of 4 Administrative Code 7.146–.148 are waived if the customer and certified applicator sign a statement attesting to the fact that an emergency exists which requires immediate treatment. If such an emergency exists, the consumer information sheet must be made available by the licensee. The statement must be kept on file with the pest control use records. If the customer is not available to sign a statement at the time of treatment, that shall be recorded in the use records along with the customer's name and telephone number. An emergency is defined as an imminent hazard to health. An emergency treatment is limited to the localized area of the emergency. 4 TAC 7.147(g), .148(d)
All pesticides used by districts must be registered with the EPA and the TDA, with the exception of those pesticides that have been exempted from registration by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), Section 25(b). All pesticides used by districts must also bear a label as required by FIFRA and Chapter 76 of the Texas Agriculture Code. Pesticide use must also meet the following requirements:
Pest control signs shall be posted at least 48 hours prior to a pesticide application inside district buildings as provided for under 4 Administrative Code 7.148.
For outdoor applications made on district grounds, the treated area must be identified at all entry points with a sign, or must be secured using a locking device, a fence or other practical barrier such as commercially available barrier caution tape, or periodically monitored to keep students out of the treated area until the allowed reentry time.
Pesticides used on district property shall be mixed outside of student occupied areas of buildings and grounds.
The use of non-pesticide control measures, non-pesticide monitoring tools and mechanical devices, such as glue boards and traps as permitted in accordance with Division 7, are exempt from posting requirements. The use of non-pesticide tools and devices by unlicensed district personnel, for monitoring purposes, shall be permitted. Monitoring by unlicensed district personnel shall be done only as directed, under the supervision of the IPM coordinator.
Pesticide applications shall not be made to outdoor school grounds if such an application will expose students to physical drift of pesticide spray particles. Reasonable preventative measures shall be taken to avoid the potential of drift to occur.
Districts are allowed to apply the pesticides to control pests, rodents, insects, and weeds at school buildings, grounds, or other facilities in accordance with the approval for use and restrictions listed for each category detailed in 4 Administrative Code 7.204(6).
4 TAC 7.204
The Incidental Use For Schools Fact Sheet must contain the text specified in 4 Administrative Code 7.205, and must be provided during pesticide instruction and training by the IPM coordinator to each district employee whose primary duty is not pest control, and whose work may include tasks subject to the exception. The IPM coordinator must keep records of all the training conducted annually. Pest control use records for all incidental pesticide use application, including the reason for application and justification for emergency, must be maintained by the IPM coordinator for two years. 4 TAC 7.205
School districts will be inspected at least once every five years. TDA may waive these requirements due to TDA staff availability, budgetary constraints, inspection trends, or operational efficiencies. School districts demonstrating a lack of compliance with TDA rules may be inspected more frequently based on risk using the following elements of consideration: prior violations, prior inspection results, and prior complaints. 4 TAC 7.149