Illinois Pesticide Act - Section 250.22
Special Application of Herbicide to Control Invasive Plants on Public Lands
Frequently Asked Questions

What type of herbicide application method(s) can be used under these new rules?
The organization who is sponsoring the training may determine the method(s) covered in the training. Common application methods may include: spot spraying, foliar spraying, hand wicking, cut surface application, basal bark application and injection.

What are some of the more commonly used non-restricted herbicides that qualify under this amendment?
Poast Plus; Plateau; Transline; Clearcast; Garlon 4; Garlon 4 Ultra; Navigate; Milestone; Glyphomax; Rodeo; Accord Concentrate; Accord XRT; Accord XRT II; Element 4; Round-up; Round-up Pro

How do I record the information from the training and where do I need to send it?
Attached is a training roster to use for your training. It can also be accessed at the following link: Click Here. The trainer must send the completed and legible roster(s) with product label(s) to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Environmental Programs, P.O. Box 19281, Springfield, IL 62794-9281 or fax: 217/524-4882

Do volunteers need to wait until they receive their certificate before they apply herbicide?
Volunteers cannot apply herbicide until they receive their certificate issued by the Illinois Department of Agriculture. This certificate is valid until the end of the calendar year.

How long does it take for the Illinois Department of Agriculture to process the certificates?
Processing of certificates should only take a few days to a week, depending on employee schedules and the number of other license applications received by the Department at that time.

Does the trainer need to be present when volunteers are applying herbicide?
No, the trainer does not need to be present when volunteers are applying herbicide, but it is highly encouraged for the trainer or someone with an Applicator license to assist.

Sometimes organizations share the same volunteers. Can organizations jointly host a training?
Yes, organizations can share the responsibility of hosting a training and covering the general requirements such as safety, etc., however, at least one compensated employee who possesses a current Category 6 Right-of-Way Pest Control applicator license issued by the Illinois Department of Agriculture from each organization must participate and provide the details required in the amendment for their respective agency. In this case, the individual trainers would be submitting separate roster sheets representing their organization.

How does this on-site” training compare to the training the volunteers would receive under the traditional herbicide licensing process through the University of Illinois Extension?
Unlike the training covered in the traditional herbicide workshops which are generally geared towards the agricultural community, this training will cover all the important safety concerns with the added benefit of specifics on using herbicides in natural areas. In many ways, these volunteers will be better trained and prepared for their work to control invasive species.

Can volunteers under this training be allowed in the field to re-fill their sprayer or herbicide container from a nurse tank.
No, volunteers cannot load or mix herbicide, only apply. For this reason, it may still benefit organizations to have some of their volunteers retain their applicator/operator license to allow them flexibility to mix and load herbicides.

Are the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission Volunteer Agreement & Indemnification for Pesticide Application” forms allowed to be used under this amendment?
No, unfortunately, these forms can only be used for the standard Applicator and Operator license process and are not valid under this amendment.

If an organization hosts a training in mid year, when does the certification for the volunteers expire?
The certification is only good for each calendar year, therefore, if the organization would like to enable the volunteer to continue their certification after December 31 of that year, they will be required to provide another training starting January 1st of the new year.

Does this new amendment apply to private land trusts and non-profit organizations who are managing land that is accessible to the public?
Yes, it could depending on the specific circumstances of the situation. Please contact the Illinois Department of Agriculture for more information at 217-785-2427.

In the introduction to the amendment, it refers to applying herbicide to non-native plant species and noxious weeds” but the body of the amendment states invasive species”. Does this include control of both native and non-native species?
Yes, both native and non-native species are included under this amendment.

Are there any specific training standards that need to be followed for these new rules?
The training shall be not less than one hour in duration and shall include a review of the herbicide product labels, use restrictions, application rates, application methods, first aid, potential environmental hazards, personal protective equipment, and any other information deemed appropriate by the trainer for the safe and effective use of the herbicide products identified in the new rules.
Agencies and/or organizations may find the following tools useful to develop their training:
The Herbicide Use in Natural Areas – A Guide for Volunteer Land Stewards”, a publication that was developed by the Volunteer Stewardship Network. To download a copy: Word Document (For easy editing) -- PDF

An example of a Volunteer Training (PowerPoint) Presentation:
Volunteer Herbicide Training - Powerpoint
Volunteer Herbicide Training - PDF

The amendment states that application sites are limited to those identified in the training session. What if a new site came up that wasn’t included in the initial training? Can we host an additional training that would allow us to be within the legal requirements?
Yes, you must provide an additional training that follows the new amendment process for the new site.

Is there a fee for this volunteer certification? No, there is no cost for this certification process.

For further questions, please contact Karen Tharp, Volunteer Stewardship Network Coordinator, The Nature Conservancy at or 618-634-2524.