The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) established the National Agricultural Pesticide Impact Assessment Program (NAPIAP) in 1976 for the purpose of providing "the most objective and accurate data available for defining and evaluating benefits and risks of selected pesticides having critical agricultural and forestry uses." The NAPIAP (renamed Pesticide Impact Assessment Program or PIAP) involved a number of USDA agencies working in cooperation with the land grant universities in the states and territories, including North Carolina State University. The North Carolina Pesticide Impact Assessment Program was a cooperative program of the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service and North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service.
The USDA PIAP used data on the uses and benefits of pesticides furnished by the North Carolina Pesticide Impact Assessment Program to support the continuation of federal pesticide registrations important for production of agricultural crops. Data required to evaluate the uses and benefits of registered pesticides and the impact of these chemicals on the environment were generated by short-term research projects conducted in the state with funding from the Southern Region Pesticide Impact Assessment Program (University of Florida). The Pesticide Impact Assessment Program in North Carolina also provided extension and research personnel at North Carolina State University with up-to-date label information from pesticide products registered with the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA) via the National Pesticide Information Retrieval System (NPIRS) at Purdue University.
In 2000, USDA funding for the Pesticide Impact Assessment Program was redirected to implement and support regional Pest Management Centers. Funding for the regional Pest Management Centers was authorized by Section 406 of the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998. As the result of a competitive process, four Pest Management Centers spread geographically across the United States were formed. These centers replaced the Pesticide Impact Assessment Programs in the states and territories (including North Carolina).
The Southern Region Pest Management Center provided funding for a pest management communication and information program in North Carolina, beginning in 2001. This program will continue many of the activities previously conducted by the North Carolina Pesticide Impact Assessment Program.