Who We Are

The Environmental Services Section (ESS) works closely with the agriculture industry in Arizona to ensure adherence to Arizona and Federal regulations involving the production, sales and handling of animal feed, seeds, fertilizer and pesticides. We also specialize in monitoring the proper use of pesticides which includes enforcing regulations that protect employees who handle pesticides or work in areas where pesticides are applied.

What We Do

A team of six inspectors, with two also providing guidance as supervisors, travel throughout the State of Arizona conducting inspections and collecting product samples to make sure only products that are licensed, are safe and offer what they claim on their labels are sold within our state. Our inspectors also conduct record keeping audits to make sure records of products made, sold, delivered, received and used in Arizona, are kept in accordance to regulations, particularly restricted use pesticides.

ESS Compliance inspectors also provide compliance assistance and training. Compliance assistance is available to all Arizona Department of Agriculture customers that may have questions or may need assistance complying with regulations enforced by our section. Compliance assistance is most common with those companies or individuals that are new to our state and wish to become licensed to operate in Arizona. Training is provided to those who wish to become pesticide safety trainers, we also offer continuing education training, free of charge, which is required of those who hold certain pesticide related licenses.  

If you are seeking a license, a good place to start for questions relating to meat, dairy, pesticides, feed, seed, fertilizer, aquaculture, pesticide use credentials, equine, native plant, and brand issuance is to contact licensing at [email protected] or at 602-542-3578.

Jack Peterson, Associate Director
(602) 542-3575  - [email protected]

Shella Merle, Administrative Assistant 
(602) 542-3579 - [email protected]

Compliance Unit: 
For all pesticide use compliance, including worker safety inspection related questions, please contact:

Yuma ESS Office:
Ernesto Lugo, Supervisory Inspector

(928) 344-7090 - [email protected]

Alex Bellotti, Inspector
(928) 750-8864 - [email protected]

Phoenix ESS Office:
Alex Meraz, Inspector
(480) 737-0784 - [email protected]


For compliance related to agriculture pesticides or places selling feed, fertilizer or seed, please contact:

Yuma ESS Office:
Isaac Gonzalez, Pesticide Control Inspector

(928) 341-4054 - [email protected]

Phoenix ESS Office:
Jim Steelman, PCI Supervisor 
(602) 542-0901 - [email protected]

Dennis Wheeler, Pesticide Control Inspector
(602) 909-3895 - [email protected]


    Pesticide Safety Trainer Course (PSTC) information and schedules


    Link to our Newsletter, "The ESS Review".


    Frequently Asked Questions


    What is a pesticide? (click to find out)

    Where can I find information about required Paraquat Training?

    Where can I find more information on bulk pesticide handling requirements? (click to find out)

    What pesticides can I apply on cannabis?

    Do I need a license, permit and/or certification for using pesticide agriculturally?  (The Pest Management Division has separate requirements so please ensure you know where you applying to know which license, permit or certification you need.) 

         The Arizona Department of Agriculture administers 20 tests relating to agricultural pesticide usage. Use the Key to Licenses, Permits & Certifications to decide what you need.

         We strongly encourage calling ahead and scheduling an appointment for testing.  Tests are administered in Phoenix (602) 542-3578, Tucson (520) 730-0220 and Yuma (928) 344-7909.

         There is no cost associated with taking the exam. There is a cost for obtaining the certification or license which is shown in ( ) after the listed exam.

         If you are applying pesticides for hire to structures like houses or in any non-farm setting please contact the Licensing section at 602-542-3578 to answer your pest management licensing related questions.

    Where do I find businesses or individuals who hold licenses, permits, and/or certifications?

    Find them using these resources:

    What tests are offered?

    • Private Applicator exam and Private Applicator Fumigation exam (only allows use of fumigants for on-farm stored commodity or burrowing rodents) - ($50)
    • Commercial Applicator Core Exam - ($50)
    • Commercial Applicator Core Category exams (you must pass at least one category exam to be commercially certified):
    1. Ag Pest Control
    2. Forest Pest Control
    3. Seed Treatment
    4. Aquatic Pest Control
    5. M-44
    6. Rodent
    • Pest Control Advisor (PCA) Core exam - ($50)
    • Pest Control Advisor Category exams (you must pass at least one category exam to be licensed as a PCA): 
    1. Insects and Mites
    2. Plant Pathogens
    3. Nematode
    4. Vertebrates
    5. Weed
    6. Defoliation
    7. Plant Growth Regulators
    • Custom Applicator Core Exam (to  apply pesticides by air or for hire) - ($100)
    • Custom Applicator Ground or Air exam (you must pass at least one of the category exams to be licensed)
    • Pilots exam (final exam for those who fly the planes applying pesticides) - ($50)

    Additional resources:

    Where do I find a list of forms?

    Visit our Download Forms page.

    Electronically submit your 1080s.


    Can I see how many credit hours I have accumulated?

    Important Notice:  You can still see the classes you have taken even if your license has expired, the ability to see the courses taken is not verification your license is still valid.  If you are uncertain about your license status go here:  http://searchagriculture.az.gov/SearchAg/Home/Credentials     If it is not found please contact licensing for further verification at 602-542-3578.

    Pest Control Advisor (PCA) and Private (PUP) or Commercial (PUC) applicators can check your Continuing Education Units (hours) here - http://searchagriculture.az.gov/SearchAg/Home/CEUs 

    You can get more detail here, if you have your login information:  https://renewals.azda.gov/credentials

    Where do I find a list of available continuing education credit hours?

    2023 Annual Agriculture Recertification Course (CEU Training)

    Held annually -  6 CEUs available for the attending both morning and afternoon sessions.  

    Where can I find out more about the continuing education process and approve providers?

    Link to Continuing Education Page

    Where do I find information about native plants?

    Check out our information about Arizona native plants or view the articles below.

    What pesticides can I apply to cannabis in Arizona?

    What do I need to know about Bee Keepers/Pollinators?

    Local jurisdications may have restrictions relating to placement of bee hives under their planning and zoning regulations.  Check with county or city planning and zoning agencies for further information. 

    In addition, Arizona has a law relating to bee hive placement near agricultural lands.  Please go to the download forms page and click on Bees-Notification by Beekeepers to Landowners.  

    Further helpful information with many useful links can be found found further down on this page under "Important Documents" look for "Arizona Managment Plan for Pollinator Protection". 

    Native Plant Articles

    Saguaro Bacterial Necrosis Download
    Cactus Wood Rules Download
    Private Landowners Clearing Protected Native Plants Download
    About Moving Protected Native Plants Download

    Important Documents

    Application-Permit Endigo ZCX.docx Download
    Arizona Management Plan for Pollinator Protection Download
    TFI Fertilizer Safety and Security Guidelines for Storage and Transport Download
    2024 Groundwater Protection List.pdf Download
    ADEQ Approved Pesticides through Sept 2013 Download
    approved AI by co. - 1-7-22.xlsx Download
    PCA Education Verfication Form and Requirements.pdf Download

    Compliance Reference Information

    Arizona Prohibited Noxious Weed Seeds by Scientific Name Download
    Arizona Prohibited Noxious Weed Seeds by Common Name Download
    Arizona Restricted Noxious Weed Seeds by Scientific Name Download
    Arizona Restricted Noxious Weed Seeds by Common Name Download

    ESD Compliance Articles

    Cottonseed Sampling Testing - Prevent Aflatoxin Contamination Milk & Animal Feed Download
    Annual ESD Recertification and Training Course Download

    Pesticide Management Areas & Buffer Zone Information

    Pesticide Management Areas Monitoring Program Download
    Pesticide Buffer Zone Chart Download
    Pesticide Management Areas Criteria Download
    Pesticide Inspector Contact List Download


    For more information, call (602) 542-3578.

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