Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 3.2. Agriculture, Animal Care, and Food
Chapter 39. Pesticide Control
12/3/2020

§ 3.2-3908. Protection of trade secrets and other information.

A. In submitting data required by this chapter, the applicant may: (i) clearly mark any portions that he believes are trade secrets or commercial or financial information; and (ii) submit such marked materials separately from other material.

B. The Commissioner shall not make public information that, in his judgment, contains or relates to trade secrets or commercial or financial information. The Commissioner may reveal information:

1. Relating to formulas of products to any consulting federal, state, or local agency at a public hearing or in findings of fact issued by the Commissioner or Board;

2. To any person in connection with a public proceeding under law or regulation if the Commissioner finds the information relevant to a determination that a pesticide, or any ingredient of a pesticide, causes unreasonable adverse effects on health or the environment;

3. To contractors with the Commonwealth and employees of such contractors if the Commissioner finds disclosure necessary and requires, as a condition to the disclosure of information, that the person receiving it take any security precautions as provided for by regulation;

4. Concerning production, distribution, sale, or inventories in connection with a public proceeding to determine whether a pesticide or any ingredient of a pesticide causes unreasonable adverse effects on health or the environment if the Commissioner determines that disclosure is necessary and in the public interest; and

5. Concerning the objectives, methodology, results, or significance of any test or experiment performed on or with a registered or previously registered pesticide or its separate ingredients, impurities, or degradation products; any information concerning the effects of such pesticide on any organism or the behavior of such pesticide in the environment including data on safety to fish and wildlife, humans and other mammals, plants, animals, and soil; and studies on persistence, translocation and fate in the environment, and metabolism. Information concerning: (i) manufacturing or quality control processes; (ii) the details of methods for testing, detecting, or measuring the quantity of any deliberately added inert ingredient; or (iii) the identity or percentage quantity of any deliberately added inert ingredient, shall not be revealed unless the Commissioner determines that disclosure is necessary to protect against an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment.

C. 1. The Commissioner shall notify the applicant or registrant in writing by certified mail if he proposes to release information that the applicant or registrant marked as confidential. The Commissioner shall not release such information for inspection until 30 days after receipt of the notice by the applicant or registrant. During this period, the applicant or registrant may institute an action in circuit court for a declaratory judgment as to whether such information is subject to protection.

2. The Commissioner shall notify the submitter by certified mail if he proposes to release information under subdivision B 4 or B 5. The Commissioner shall not release such information without the submitter's consent until 30 days after receipt of the notice by the submitter. The Commissioner may select alternative notice procedures and a shorter period of notice if he finds that disclosure is necessary to avoid or mitigate an imminent and substantial risk or injury to the public health. During such period the submitter may institute an action in circuit court to enjoin or limit the proposed disclosure. The court shall give expedited consideration to any such action. The court may enjoin disclosure, limit the disclosure, or limit the parties to whom disclosure shall be made to the extent that: (i) the proposed disclosure of information under subdivision B 4 is not required to protect against an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment; or (ii) the public interest in the disclosure of information in the public proceeding under subdivision B 5 does not outweigh the interests in preserving the confidentiality of the information.

D. The Commissioner shall not knowingly disclose information submitted by an applicant or registrant under this chapter to any employee or agent of any entity engaged in the production, sale, or distribution of pesticides in countries other than the United States or to any person who intends to deliver such data to any such entity unless the applicant or registrant has consented to disclosure. The Commissioner shall require an affirmation from any person who intends to inspect data that such person does not seek access to the data for purposes of delivering it or offering it for sale to any such business or entity or its agents or employees and will not purposefully deliver or negligently cause the data to be delivered to such business or entity or its agents or employees.

E. The Commissioner shall maintain records of the names of persons to whom data are disclosed under this section and the persons or organizations they represent and shall inform the applicant or registrant of the names and affiliation of such persons.

F. Any person, who, with intent to defraud, uses or reveals information relative to formulas of products acquired pursuant to this chapter is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

Code 1950, § 3-208.36; 1966, c. 702, § 3.1-238; 1975, c. 102; 1989, c. 575, § 3.1-249.68; 2008, c. 860.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.