EPA Proposes Registration of New Active Ingredient to Control Corn Rootworm and Other Pests

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


EPA is proposing to register pesticide products containing the new active ingredient broflanilide.

Broflanilide is an insecticide designed to control soil-dwelling insects (ex. corn rootworm larvae, seedcorn maggot, white grubs, and wireworms) on corn and tuberous and corm vegetables. It can also be used as seed treatment to control wireworms on cereal grains.

EPA is also proposing to use bloflanilide for control of flies, ants, bedbugs, cockroaches, termites and other insects in industrial, commercial and residential areas.

EPA has not identified any risks of concern for human health.

EPA is proposing specific mitigations to address potential ecological risks to bees. These include advisory language to reduce exposure to pollinators from spray drift by using ultra coarse spray nozzles, directions for use for treated seed to reduce exposure to birds and mammals, and the use of a vegetative buffer strip within 15 feet of waterbodies to address risks to aquatic invertebrates.

To read more about the proposed registration of broflanilide and to comment, see docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2018-0053 at www.regulations.gov. The public comment period will be open for 30 days, closing on November 29, 2020.

EPA Finalizes Improvements to Pesticide Application Exclusion Zone Requirements

This original announcement was published by the EPA on October 29, 2020. Click here for more information!


Today, at Overman Farms in Goldsboro, N.C., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler will announce that the agency has finalized important improvements to requirements for the pesticide application exclusion zone (AEZ)—the area surrounding pesticide application equipment that exists only during outdoor production pesticide applications. EPA’s targeted changes improve the enforceability and workability of the AEZ requirements, decrease regulatory burdens for farmers, and maintain critical worker protections. Today’s revisions are consistent with the 2018 Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA). The AEZ requirements are part of EPA’s agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) regulations.

“Since day one, the Trump Administration has been committed to protecting the health of all our citizens,” said EPA Administrator Wheeler. “The changes to the AEZ requirements make it easier to ensure people near our nation’s farms are protected, while simultaneously enhancing the workability of these provisions for farm owners and protecting the environment.”

This final action balances the input EPA received from a wide range of stakeholders during the proposed action’s 90-day comment period. EPA has clarified and simplified the AEZ requirements based in part on input from state pesticide regulatory agencies and agricultural stakeholders after the adoption of the 2015 WPS rule. Consistent with PRIA, EPA is only implementing changes related to the AEZ requirements in the WPS. These targeted changes include:

  • AEZ requirements only apply within the boundaries of the agricultural establishment, removing off-farm responsibilities that were difficult for state regulators to enforce.
  • Immediate family members of farm owners are now exempted from all aspects of the AEZ requirements. Farm owners and their immediate family are now able to shelter in place inside closed buildings, giving farm owners and immediate family members flexibility to decide whether to stay on-site during pesticide applications, rather than compelling them to leave even when they feel safe remaining.
  • New clarifying language has been added so that pesticide applications that are suspended due to individuals entering an AEZ may be resumed after those individuals have left the AEZ.
  • Simplified criteria to determine whether pesticide applications are subject to the 25- or 100-foot AEZ.

No changes were made to the “Do Not Contact” provision that prohibits a handler/applicator and the handler’s employer from applying a pesticide in such a way that it contacts workers or other persons directly or through drift.

To read the rule in full, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-worker-safety/worker-protection-standard-application-exclusion-zone


The original WPS regulation was enacted in 1992 under EPA’s Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) authorities to protect farm workers from pesticide exposures in production agriculture. The WPS requires owners and employers on agricultural establishments and commercial pesticide-handling establishments to protect employees on farms, forests, nurseries, and greenhouses from occupational exposure to agricultural pesticides.

In 2015, EPA finalized various significant revisions to the 1992 WPS. Among the 2015 revisions was a new provision requiring agricultural employers to keep workers and all other individuals out of an area called the “application exclusion zone” (AEZ) during outdoor pesticide applications. The AEZ is the area surrounding pesticide application equipment that exists only during outdoor production pesticide applications. The AEZ will be 25 feet in all directions for ground pesticide applications when sprayed from a height greater than 12 inches, and 100 feet in all directions for outdoor aerial, air blast, air-propelled, fumigant, smoke, mist and fog pesticide applications.

The initial intent of the AEZ was to supplement existing WPS provisions for farm workers to better protect them and other on-farm persons that could be contacted by pesticides. However, state regulators expressed concerns with enforcing the complex AEZ requirements and farm owners expressed concerns with applying and complying with pesticide regulations.



EPA Continues Webinar Series Dedicated to Integrated Pest Management Strategies

This original announcement was published by the EPA on October 29, 2020. Click here for more information!


On Nov. 12, 2020, EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs continues its focus on integrated pest management (IPM) strategies. EPA will host a 60-minute webinarIPM for Scale Insect Pests of Trees and Woody Ornamentalsfollowed by a 30-minute Q&A session.

Objectives for the webinar include:

  • Learning how to identify between different types of scale insects – armored and soft – and control tactics for each;
  • Determining IPM preventative measures appropriate for each stage of the scale insect life cycle;
  • Learning how to identify and manage an infestation and what actions to take to minimize tree, shrub or ornamental damage; and
  • Understanding how to incorporate pesticides safely into a comprehensive IPM plan.

The featured speaker for this event is Richard Buckley, the Director of Rutgers University Plant Diagnostic Lab and Nematode Detection Service.

Furthermore, pest management professionals and arborists can seek continuing education credits from their associations or states by participating in this webinar.

Register here: IPM for Scale Insect Pests of Trees and Woody Ornamentals – Nov. 12 | 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EST

Following this webinar, EPA will discuss the topic of Invasive Woody Plant Management on Dec. 1, 2020.

Read more and register for upcoming IPM webinars here.

EPA Announces 2020 Dicamba Registration Decision

This original announcement was published by the EPA on October 28, 2020. Click here for more information.

Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced that EPA is approving new five-year registrations for two dicamba products and extending the registration of an additional dicamba product. All three registrations include new control measures to ensure these products can be used effectively while protecting the environment, including non-target plants, animals, and other crops not tolerant to dicamba.

“With today’s decision, farmers now have the certainty they need to make plans for their 2021 growing season,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “After reviewing substantial amounts of new information, conducting scientific assessments based on the best available science, and carefully considering input from stakeholders we have reached a resolution that is good for our farmers and our environment.”

Through today’s action, EPA approved new registrations for two “over-the-top” (OTT) dicamba products—XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology and Engenia Herbicide—and extended the registration for an additional OTT dicamba product, Tavium Plus VaporGrip Technology. These registrations are only for use on dicamba-tolerant (DT) cotton and soybeans and will expire in 2025, providing certainty to American agriculture for the upcoming growing season and beyond.

To manage off-site movement of dicamba, EPA’s 2020 registration features important control measures, including:

  • Requiring an approved pH-buffering agent (also called a Volatility Reduction Agent or VRA) be tank mixed with OTT dicamba products prior to all applications to control volatility.
  • Requiring a downwind buffer of 240 feet and 310 feet in areas where listed species are located.
  • Prohibiting OTT application of dicamba on soybeans after June 30 and cotton after July 30.
  • Simplifying the label and use directions so that growers can more easily determine when and how to properly apply dicamba.

The 2020 registration labels also provide new flexibilities for growers and states. For example, there are opportunities for growers to reduce the downwind spray buffer for soybeans through use of certain approved hooded sprayers as an alternative control method. EPA also recognizes and supports the important authority FIFRA section 24 gives the states for issuing locally appropriate regulations for pesticide use. If a state wishes to expand the federal OTT uses of dicamba to better meet special local needs, the agency will work with them to support their goals.

This action was informed by input from state regulators, grower groups, academic researchers, pesticide manufacturers, and others. EPA reviewed substantial amounts of new information and conducted assessments based on the best available science, including making Effect Determinations under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). With this information and input, EPA has concluded that these registration actions meet Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) registration standards. EPA believes that these new analyses address the concerns expressed in regard to EPA’s 2018 dicamba registrations in the June 2020 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Further, EPA concluded that with the control measures now required on labels, these actions either do not affect or are not likely to adversely affect endangered or threatened species.

To view the final registration of the dicamba products, visit docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2020-0492 at www.regulations.gov.


The United States is the world’s leading soybean producer and second-leading soybean exporter and also serves as the world’s third-largest cotton producer and the leading cotton exporter. Today, there are limited cost-effective options to control herbicide-resistant weeds affecting these commodities. In 2018, approximately 41 percent of U.S. soybean acreage was planted with dicamba-tolerant (DT) seed and almost 70 percent of U.S. cotton acreage was planted with DT seed in 2019. Relative to alternative herbicide programs, postemergence dicamba may reduce weed control costs for some growers, possibly by as much as $10 per acre, or over five percent of net operating revenue, not accounting for all measures growers will have to take to control off-field movement of dicamba.

Following reports of damage resulting from the off-site movement of dicamba, EPA amended the dicamba registration labels in 2017 and in 2018. In June 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit vacated the registrations for three dicamba products: XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology, Engenia Herbicide, and DuPont FeXapan Herbicide. As a result of the Court’s decision, EPA issued cancellation orders outlining limited circumstances under which existing stocks of the three affected products could be distributed and used until July 31, 2020.


Warning: Counterfeit Respirators / Misrepresentation of NIOSH-Approval

This announcement was published by the CDC on October 22, 2020. Click here for visual examples. 

Counterfeit respirators are products that are falsely marketed and sold as being NIOSH-approved and may not be capable of providing appropriate respiratory protection to workers.
When NIOSH becomes aware of counterfeit respirators or those misrepresenting NIOSH approval on the market, we will post them here to alert users, purchasers, and manufacturers.

How to identify a NIOSH-approved respirator:

NIOSH-approved respirators have an approval label on or within the packaging of the respirator (i.e. on the box itself and/or within the users’ instructions). Additionally, an abbreviated approval is on the FFR itself. You can verify the approval number on the NIOSH Certified Equipment List (CEL) or the NIOSH Trusted-Source page to determine if the respirator has been approved by NIOSH. NIOSH-approved FFRs will always have one the following designations: N95, N99, N100, R95, R99, R100, P95, P99, P100.

Signs that a respirator may be counterfeit:

  • No markings at all on the filtering facepiece respirator
  • No approval (TC) number on filtering facepiece respirator or headband
  • No NIOSH markings
  • NIOSH spelled incorrectly
  • Presence of decorative fabric or other decorative add-ons (e.g., sequins)
  • Claims for the of approval for children (NIOSH does not approve any type of respiratory protection for children)
  • Filtering facepiece respirator has ear loops instead of headbands

Additional Tips for Spotting Counterfeit Respirators Before You Buy

Click here for more information. 

EPA Proposes New Safety Measures for Paraquat

This original announcement was published by the EPA on October 23, 2020. Click here for more! 


Today, EPA is taking the next step in its regulatory review of paraquat dichloride (paraquat), a widely-used herbicide.

As outlined in the proposed interim decision for paraquat, the agency is proposing new measures to reduce risks associated with paraquat in order to better to protect human health and the environment. These measures include:

  • Prohibiting aerial application for all uses and use sites except cotton desiccation;
  • Prohibiting pressurized handgun and backpack sprayer application methods on the label;
  • Limiting the maximum application rate for alfalfa to one pound of active ingredient per acre;
  • Requiring enclosed cabs if area treated in 24-hour period is more than 80 acres;
  • Requiring enclosed cabs or PF10 respirators if area treated in 24-hour period is 80 acres or less;
  • Requiring a residential area drift buffer and 7-day restricted entry interval (REI) for cotton desiccation;
  • Requiring a 48-hour REI for all crops and uses except cotton desiccation; and
  • Adding mandatory spray drift management label language.

In addition, EPA is proposing to allow truck drivers who are not certified applicators to transport paraquat when certain conditions are met.

Read the proposed interim decision here. Upon publication of the Federal Register notice, public comments will be accepted for 60 days in docket # EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0855 until December 22, 2020 at www.regulations.gov.


Paraquat is applied annually to control invasive weeds and plants in more than 100 crops—including cotton, corn, and soybeans, and there are presently no direct alternatives to this product. Because all paraquat products are Restricted Use Products, they can only be applied by certified pesticide applicators.

EPA has taken proactive steps, outside of the standard registration review process, to ensure paraquat is used in a manner that is safe and consistent with the label directions. This includes a safety awareness campaign and changes to labels and product packaging to stop improper uses, which have led to poisonings and deaths. Additionally, specialized training for certified applicators who use paraquat was released earlier this year to ensure that the pesticide is used correctly. EPA is continuing to evaluate the effectiveness of these measures as the agency works to complete the required registration review process.

The proposed interim decision (PID) for paraquat is the third step in EPA’s four-step process for evaluating a pesticide registration application that EPA conducts at least every 15 years. It is not a denial or an approval of the active ingredient.

In the PID, EPA proposes mitigation measures to reduce the human health and ecological risks identified in the agency’s human health and ecological risk assessments (step two). The agency published the draft risk assessments for paraquat in October 2019. The ID is the fourth step in the registration review process. In the ID, EPA finalizes mitigation measures to reduce the human health and ecological risks.

Additional information on the proposed interim decision for paraquat is available on EPA’s website.

EPA Holds Online Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee Meeting in October

This original announcement was published by the EPA on October 21, 2020. Click here for more info!


EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) will hold an online public meeting of the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) on Oct. 28-29, 2020.

Topics will include:

  • Recent OPP registration activities, such as approving new products that could help with rodent control and prove helpful in preventing future wildfires in Western states;
  • Science policy activities, such as measures to reduce animal testing;
  • Conversations about the formation of four new PPDC workgroups: Pesticide Resistance Management, Farmworker and Clinician Training, Emerging Pathogens, and Emerging Technologies;
  • OPP’s COVID-19 response activities, including testing the efficacy of disinfectants against SARS-CoV-2; and,
  • OPP process improvements, such as IT modernization.

Please visit the PPDC webpage to see the agenda — which will include the link to register to attend the meeting — and the Federal Register notice.

To provide comments during the meeting or to request special accommodations, please contact Shannon Jewell at jewell.shannon@epa.gov or at (703)347-0109 by Oct. 23, 2020. You may also contact Ms. Jewell with questions about the PPDC.

Learn more about the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee.

EPA Hosts Conference to Discuss Animal Testing Alternatives

This original announcement was published by the EPA on October 20, 2020. Click here for more info!


Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler kicked off the agency’s Second Annual Conference on the State of the Science on Development and Use of New Approach Methods (NAMs) for Chemical Safety Testing. More than 1,000 experts from EPA, other governmental agencies, academia, and industry are gathering virtually to hear presentations about scientific advancements in the NAMs field, enabling participants to develop a better understanding of the state of the science and develop scientific confidence in alternative test methods.

“Working together, the federal government, private sector, and scientific community can have a real impact reducing the use of animal testing,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This conference shows that we can not only achieve my goal to eliminate all testing on mammals by 2035, but show leadership on the international stage and advance cutting-edge science.”

This year, the conference will:

  • Highlight advances in the development of NAMs and addressing their limitations.
  • Report results of various case studies on applying NAMs to EPA’s decision making and Unilever’s risk assessment process.
  • Summarize strategies identified in EPA’s NAMs Work Plan.
  • Outline progress on incorporating NAMs under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

Over the past several years, EPA has made significant scientific advancements in NAMs and led efforts to reduce, replace and refine its animal testing requirements. EPA will continue to lead the way among federal agencies in the United States and internationally.

The public can register to participate in the virtual conference via webinar here.

To view the Administrator’s opening remarks, visit here.


In September 2019, Administrator Wheeler issued a directive calling for the Agency to reduce mammal testing and funding 30 percent by 2025 and eliminate it by 2035. In support of this directive, EPA has taken many steps since then to reduce, replace, and refine testing requirements:

  • In September 2019, EPA announced $4.25 million in funding for five universities to research and develop alternative test methods for evaluating chemical safety.
  • In December 2019, EPA convened a conference  for achieving reduced animal testing in chemical safety research and updated its list of NAMs that could be used in the agency’s work under the amended TSCA , including adding 21 new test guidelines related to health and ecological effects and six additional EPA policies that reduce the use of animal testing.
  • In January 2020, EPA launched an EPA NAMs website – a one-stop shop for getting updates about our efforts to reduce the use of animal testing.
  • In February 2020, EPA issued guidance waiving pesticide testing on birds when the information yielded is unnecessary to support a decision. This action is expected to save 720 test animals annually.
  • In June 2020, EPA released the NAMs Work Plan, which outlines the objectives, strategies and deliverables that are important guideposts in reaching the 2035 goal. EPA also convened a meeting of the Science Advisory Board to offer advice on using NAMs to help reinvent the cancer bioassay.
  • In July 2020, EPA released guidance that reduces unnecessary testing on fish in the pesticide registration process. This is expected to save 240 test animals annually.
  • In October 2020, EPA released new guidance expanding the opportunity for waivers for dermal toxicity studies for pesticides, which is expected to save 750 test animals annually.
  • As required under TSCA Section 4, EPA regularly maintains and updates a list of NAMs and plan to release a draft proposal for selecting which NAMs will be included on future versions of the list. This draft proposal will be released for public comment at the end of 2020 or early 2021.

To learn more about EPA efforts to reduce animal testing, visit: https://www.epa.gov/research/efforts-reduce-animal-testing-epa

Andrew Wheeler Announces Expedited Pathway for Companies to Claim “Long-Lasting” Efficacy for Antiviral Products

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


Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced a major step forward in the Trump Administration’s efforts to ensure that Americans have access to as many tools as possible to clean and disinfect surfaces and protect their families against the novel coronavirus. Through draft guidance released today, companies will now be able to demonstrate that their products have “long-lasting” or “residual” effectiveness on surfaces against viruses like SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

“EPA is providing an expedited path for our nation’s manufacturers and innovators to get cutting-edge, long-lasting disinfecting products into the marketplace as safely and quickly as possible,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “As we continue to re-open our schools, workplaces, and other public spaces, it is important Americans have as many tools as possible to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

While traditional disinfectants only kill viruses and bacteria that are on the surface at the time they are used, surfaces treated with residual antimicrobial products kill pathogens that come into contact with the surface days, weeks, or years after the product is applied. EPA will begin expediting the registration process for these products immediately and may revise the guidance after the 60-day public comment period ends.

The guidance specifies scientific testing requirements for two different types of products: supplemental residual antimicrobial products and residual disinfectants. Supplemental residual antimicrobial products work within two hours of a virus or bacteria coming into contact with a surface and can remain effective for weeks to years. These products can supplement, but do not replace, routine cleaning and disinfection using products from EPA’s List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). Approved supplemental residual antimicrobial products are not eligible for inclusion on List N but will be added to a separate List N appendix.

Residual disinfectants, by contrast, must clear a higher standard of efficacy. These products are effective within 10 minutes of a virus or bacteria contacting a surface and remain effective for up to 24 hours. Surfaces treated with residual disinfectants do not require additional cleaning or disinfection during this window. These products are eligible to be added to List N.

Presently, there are no EPA-registered products available to the public that inactivate viruses that land on previously treated surfaces. While EPA approved one product to be used on a time-limited basis at specific locations in Texas, that product is for commercial, not household, use.

Cleaning and disinfecting products that claim to kill viruses must be registered with EPA before they can be legally sold or distributed. Through the registration process, EPA reviews laboratory testing data to ensure that products work as intended without causing unreasonable risks when they are used according to the label directions.

In addition to releasing the draft residual efficacy protocols, EPA has also released an updated draft testing protocol for evaluating a copper surface’s ability to kill bacteria and a draft protocol for evaluating the efficacy of antimicrobial surface coatings. These laboratory testing methods act as a foundation for EPA’s interim guidance to registrants regarding residual effectiveness.

To read today’s draft guidance, visit https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/interim-guidance-expedited-review-products-adding-residual-efficacy-claims

EPA Hosts Webinar to Address Proper Disinfecting Protocols for Learning Environments

This original announcement was published on October 5, 2020. Click here for more! 

As schools reopen, it is critically important that students and children return to clean and healthy learning environments. On Oct. 13, EPA will host a webinar dedicated to best management practices for cleaning and disinfecting schools, day cares and universities.

The webinarAddressing Disease Mitigation in Schools, Daycare Centers and Universities with Sanitizers and Disinfectants, will provide participants with cleaning and disinfection recommendations to fight pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Participants will learn:

  • how educational institutions are implementing cleaning and disinfecting protocols;
  • how to properly clean high-touch surfaces;
  • how to interpret product labels for proper use, safety and personal protection; and
  • how to use EPA web-based resources to select disinfectants approved for use against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).

EPA will engage with stakeholders such as administrators, facility managers, custodial staff and nurses at schools, day cares and universities. This information will also be helpful to health departments and pest management professionals.

Featured speakers include:

  • Janet Hurley, Extension Program Specialist at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service;
  • Brian Burden, Executive Director and Vice President at Mooring USA;
  • Kenneth McPherson, Pesticide Safety and Integrated Pest Management in Schools Coordinator at EPA Region 6; and
  • Kristen Willis, Ph.D., Senior Scientist at EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs Antimicrobials Division.

Register for the webinar here: Addressing Disease Mitigation in Schools, Daycare Centers and Universities with Sanitizers and Disinfectant – Oct. 13 | 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EDT

This webinar represents the latest in EPA’s ongoing efforts to keep Americans safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about EPA’s response here.

Read the jointly developed guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and EPA for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools and Homes.

View our infographic that demonstrates how to use disinfectants safely and effectively.

Visit List N: EPA’s list of disinfectant products expected to kill SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).