Regulatory Services Overview

Clemson Regulatory Services protect the state from exotic and invasive species, ensure that pesticides are used safely, regulate the structural pest control industry, verify that fertilizer and lime meet standards and labeled guarantees, conduct programs for seed and organic certification, provide diagnosis of plant pests, and ensure readiness to respond to an agroterrorism event impacting the state’s agriculture.

  • Regulatory Services is admired nationally because of the high compliance rate of its regulated industries. The single most important reason for that success is that Regulatory Services is associated with Clemson, a land-grant university with a mission of teaching, research and public service. Because of the university association, Regulatory Services employs a “regulation through education” approach that is highly successful and widely recognized.

  • The university association provides close collaboration with Clemson Experiment Station scientists in developing the most effective strategies to prevent emerging diseases, and with Clemson Extension’s statewide system of agents to share information with growers and the public. This collaboration includes shared office and laboratory facilities. In return, Regulatory Services’ administrators share university duties, such as grant support services, intellectual property protection and teaching duties.

  • Regulatory Services and Clemson Extension have a close working relationship that quickly and accurately identifies threatening exotic or regulated insect species and plant diseases and leads to quick regulatory response. This collaboration shares personnel, expertise and facilities, and reduces overall costs. The quick and effective response to threats and the cost savings would both be eliminated by merging Regulatory Services with another state agency. The impaired regulatory response could hurt agriculture, forestry, and South Carolina’s ability to export plant materials.

  • South Carolina is a model for the nation in identifying and controlling plant pests, such as Asian Soybean Rust, which can devastate an entire crop. This is due to the cooperation and coordination among Clemson Regulatory Services, Extension Service and Experiment Station, which could only result from a common administrative structure. This collaboration developed a seamless and extremely effective statewide surveillance and treatment program that saved the state’s soybean growers $25 million in crop losses and unnecessary treatments costs.

  • Regulatory Services and Clemson Extension share an integrated program for plant pest diagnostics. The Plant Problem Clinic is housed with and supported by Regulatory Services, and provides diagnoses and recommendations for samples submitted from the public to Extension county offices or directly to Regulatory Services. This cooperation results in improved efficiency and provides a service that does not exist elsewhere. It would be lost with a shift to a state agency other than Clemson PSA.

  • Regulatory Services collaborates with Clemson Extension to improve the skills and safety of pesticide applicators. Working together, Regulatory Services and Extension train pest control operators to properly treat homes and comply with state and federal termite treatment regulations. This program has been emulated in five other states, and participants from most states and many foreign countries have attended the training.