EPA Releases Proposed Interim Decisions for Neonicotinoids

This original announcement was published by the EPA on January 30, 2020. Click here for more information.

EPA is taking the next step in its regulatory review of neonicotinoid pesticides – a group of insecticides used on a wide variety of crops, turf, ornamentals, pets (for flea treatment), and other residential and commercial indoor and outdoor uses. The agency’s proposed interim decisions for acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam contain new measures to reduce potential ecological risks, particularly to pollinators, and protect public health.

EPA is proposing:

  • management measures to help keep pesticides on the intended target and reduce the amount used on crops associated with potential ecological risks;
  • requiring the use of additional personal protective equipment to address potential occupational risks;
  • restrictions on when pesticides can be applied to blooming crops in order to limit exposure to bees;
  • language on the label that advises homeowners not to use neonicotinoid products; and
  • cancelling spray uses of imidacloprid on residential turf under the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) due to health concerns.

Additionally, the agency is working with industry on developing and implementing stewardship and best management practices.

Upon publication of the Federal Register notice, the agency invites comments on the proposed decisions in the following dockets for 60 days. After reviewing public input, the agency will issue final interim decisions.

More information on EPA’s proposed interim decisions for neonicotinoids is available at www.epa.gov/pollinator-protection/epa-actions-protect-pollinators#Proposed-Interim-Decisions.

EPA Finalizes Glyphosate Mitigation

This original announcement was published by the EPA on January 30, 2020. Click here for more information.

EPA has concluded its regulatory review of glyphosate—the most widely used herbicide in the United States. After a thorough review of the best available science, as required under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, EPA has concluded that there are no risks of concern to human health when glyphosate is used according to the label and that it is not a carcinogen.

These findings on human health risk are consistent with the conclusions of science reviews by many other countries and other federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency, the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority, the European Food Safety Authority, and the German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The agency is requiring additional mitigation measures to help farmers target pesticide sprays to the intended pest and reduce the problem of increasing glyphosate resistance in weeds.

Glyphosate has been studied for decades and the agency reviewed thousands of studies since its registration. Glyphosate is used on more than 100 food crops, including glyphosate-resistant corn, soybean, cotton, canola, and sugar beet. It is the leading herbicide for the management of invasive and noxious weeds and is used to manage pastures, rangeland, rights of ways, forests, public land, and residential areas. In addition, glyphosate has low residual soil toxicity and helps retain no-till and low-till farming operations.

More information on glyphosate and EPA’s interim decision is available at www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pesticide-products/glyphosate

Background

EPA uses interim decisions to finalize enforceable mitigation measures while conducting other longer-term assessments, such as an endangered species assessment. EPA will next complete a draft biological evaluation for glyphosate, which is anticipated for public comment in Fall 2020.

EPA Requests Comments on New Methodologies to Estimate Pesticide Concentrations in Surface Waters

This original announcement was published by the EPA on January 15, 2020. Click here for more.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is asking for public comments on new methodologies developed by the agency to estimate exposure to pesticides from surface water sources. These methodologies would increase the accuracy of the agency’s estimates by minimizing underestimation, reducing the magnitude of overestimation, and increasing consistency.

With recent advances in automation and improvements in data quality, EPA is taking another step toward its goal of building new scenarios that better reflect environmental characteristics for use in surface water assessments. These scenarios can be used in EPA’s tool that estimates pesticide concentrations in surface water. Additionally, EPA developed a methodology to use percent cropped area (PCA) to better account for the amount of a crop grown within a watershed that drains to a drinking water intake. The new methodology also uses percent cropped treated (PCT) to better capture the amount of a pesticide used on that crop. These new methods would ensure that the agency’s review of pesticides continues to be protective of human health.

In its review of pesticides, EPA conducts drinking water assessments to determine if pesticide concentrations in drinking water may cause adverse health effects. These assessments include an analysis of the potential for and magnitude of pesticide occurrence in surface and groundwater sources of drinking water. EPA plans to incorporate these new methodologies into future pesticide drinking water assessments to increase consistency in surface water assessments and to refine pesticide exposure estimates.

Read about the new methodologies at on our webpage. Comment on these new methods until February 29, 2020, via the following email address: OPPeco@epa.gov.

First Beehive Uses of the Currently Registered Active Ingredient Bacillus thuringiensis, subsp. aizawai strain ABTS 1857

This original announcement was published by the EPA on January 10, 2020.

EPA is proposing to register a pesticide product containing Bacillus thuringiensis, subsp. aizawai strain ABTS 1857 (Bta ABTS 1857) to prevent and control wax moths in beehives. This product offers beekeepers a new tool against destructive wax moth larvae.

EPA has opened a 15-day public comment period on this proposed registration. Comments are due on or before January 24, 2020.

The active ingredient in this pesticide product (Bta ABTS 1857) is part of a large group of bacteria, Bacillus thuringiensis, that occur naturally in soil. Bta ABTS 1857 controls wax moth infestations by producing a crystallized protein that is toxic to wax moth larvae.

The Greater Wax Moth (Galleria mellonella) is a significant pest of honey bees. Adult female moths enter hives at night and deposit eggs in cracks and crevices within the hive. The moth larvae then burrow through and destroy the honeycombs as they feed on the wax, pollen, and larval honey bees. The moth larvae will similarly damage stored honeycomb frames under the appropriate conditions (e.g., temperature, lighting, and ventilation) in short order.

To use this product, commercial and hobbyist beekeepers would apply a dilute solution of Bta ABTS 1857 to empty honeycomb frames prior to winter storage. When wax moth larvae attempt to feed on the honeycomb, they would also ingest some Bta ABTS 1857, which will release a protein into the larva’s digestive system that attaches to the gut, eventually causing it to rupture.

The toxicological data for Bta ABTS 1857 demonstrated a lack of toxicity, pathogenicity, or infectivity to humans. Bta ABTS 1857 has a tolerance exemption for use in or on honey and honeycomb and all other raw agricultural commodities (40 CFR §180.1011).

EPA expects minimal to no exposure to honey bees and other non-target organisms because of the method and timing of application. As noted, beekeepers would make a one-time treatment directly to empty honeycomb frames prior to winter storage. And hives maintain temperatures above 35°C, thus preventing Bta ABTS 1857 spore viability (which declines at 30°C) when hives are returned to the treated frames in the spring,

The risk assessments and other documents supporting this decision can be found on Regulations.gov in Docket # EPA-HQ-OPP-2019-0247.

EPA’s Proposed Interim Decisions for atrazine, propazine, and simazine are now available!

This original announcement was published by the EPA on January 4, 2020 and can be accessed here.

Atrazine, Propazine and Simazine Proposed Interim Decisions

EPA’s Proposed Interim Decisions for atrazine, propazine, and simazine are now available to view below.

After publication in the Federal Register, EPA will be accepting comments on these Proposed Interim Decisions for 60 days. Comments can be made to dockets # EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0266 (atrazine), # EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0250 (propazine) and # EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0251 (simazine) once the Federal Register notice publishes online.

Click here to view the recommendations today!