EPA Updates Disinfectant Policy to Align with CDC Science

This original announcement was published by the EPA on April 29, 2021. Click here for more information.


In order to respond to the public’s needs over this past year of the pandemic, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has allowed for expedited review and approval of surface disinfectant products for use against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, adding over 500 products to EPA’s list of disinfectants entitled List N. Over the course of the last year, EPA reacted to unprecedented circumstances by activating its Emerging Viral Pathogens guidance, minimizing disinfectants supply chain disruptions through regulatory flexibilities, releasing new and updated scientific protocols, and providing several pathways for expedited review.

Recent information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that the risk of being infected with COVID-19 by touching contaminated surfaces is considered low. Given this new information, EPA is no longer prioritizing Public Health Emergency requests for new products that address surface transmission of SARS-CoV-2. EPA will continue to follow the evolving science of the pandemic by shifting resources to the evaluation of novel products, such as those that kill airborne SARS-CoV-2, and to meeting critical deadlines in the registration and review of all pesticide products within its purview.  In addition, in light of the hundreds of EPA-registered products that are already available, EPA will no longer expedite new product registrations, emerging viral pathogen claims, SARS-CoV-2 claims, and electrostatic spraying directions for products intended to kill SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces.

Disinfectants continue to serve as one of many important tools in the fight against COVID-19 where needed. The agency will continue to review registration requests for new surface disinfectants for SARS-CoV-2 via the standard registrations process and associated deadlines required by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and will continue to update List N.

Learn more about the risk of surface transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

Learn about best practices for cleaning and disinfection.

Learn more about EPA’s Covid-19 response.

EPA Addresses Ecological Risks Posed by Aminopyralid

This original announcement was published by the EPA on April 23, 2021. Click here for more information.


Today, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing for public comment the proposed interim decision (PID) for aminopyralid, a pyridine herbicide used to control broadleaf weeds and woody brush in both agricultural and non-agricultural settings. The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) requires EPA to periodically review pesticides to ensure that risk assessments reflect the best available science. The PID is part of a multi-step process to identify risks as well as actions that can mitigate risks.

Based on the findings in the 2020 draft ecological risk assessment and feedback submitted during the public comment period, EPA is proposing new measures to reduce potential spray drift to protect non-target organisms. Additionally, the agency is proposing the following new mitigation measures to address potential residues in compost in the aminopyralid PID:

  • Prohibiting off-site composting of treated plant matter and manure from grazing animals until residues have adequately declined to reduce compost contamination;
  • Requiring a clean-out period of at least three days for animals fed with treated plant materials;
  • Requiring pasture and turf applicators to notify the property owners/operators of the compost prohibition, and for the applicator to keep a record of this notification for two years;
  • Updating compost pictogram on pesticide labels showing users when not to compost materials; and,
  • Requiring registrants to participate in a stewardship program and provide educational outreach for those affected by herbicide residues in compost.

Upon publication of the Federal Register notice, public comments will be accepted for 60 days in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0749 at www.regulations.gov.

After a thorough review of the science and carefully considering scientific peer review and public comments, EPA will proceed with the registration review process for aminopyralid. The next step in the FIFRA registration review process is the interim decision, which finalizes any required risk mitigation measures to reduce the ecological risks.


Aminopyralid is a pyridine herbicide used to control broadleaf weeds and woody brush in both agricultural and non-agricultural settings. Agricultural use sites include wheat, corn, pasture and rangeland. Non-agricultural use sites include conservation reserve program land, forests, rights of ways, industrial areas and other non-agricultural sites.

EPA Approves Emergency Exemption for Surface Coating that Continuously Kills COVID-19

This original announcement was published by the EPA on April 22, 2021. Click here for more information.


Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved emergency exemption requests from Georgia, Utah, and Minnesota, allowing BIAXAM, a supplemental residual surface coating. EPA is issuing an emergency exemption for BIAXAM to be used in Delta Air Lines planes and facilities in those three states.

BIAXAM is an adhesive film that can be applied by trained applicators to a range of hard, non-porous surfaces like gate counters, seat backs, overhead storage, and touch screens. Laboratory testing data submitted by the applicant indicates that BIAXAM kills 99.999% of SARS-CoV-2 particles that land on the film within two hours. Based on differences in cleaning and disinfection frequency and protocols used in airport terminals vs. airplanes, it remains effective for up to 100 days on airport surfaces and up to 200 days on airplane surfaces.

Recent information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that the risk of being infected with COVID-19 by touching contaminated surfaces is considered low. This product serves as an additional tool in limited use situations to aid in the fight against the virus and does not replace routine cleaning and disinfection. Always follow CDC, state, and local public health guidelines.

For more information about this emergency exemption, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/section-18-emergency-exemption-requests-and-coronavirus-covid-19.

 Learn more about the risk of surface transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

EPA Releases Analysis of Groundwater Model for Public Comment

This original announcement was published by the EPA on April 16, 2021. Click here for more information.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing its Analysis of Subsurface Metabolism in Groundwater Modeling for public comment. This report evaluates assumptions used in Pesticide in Water Calculator groundwater modeling, which EPA developed to estimate pesticide concentrations in vulnerable groundwater sources and is used in human dietary risk assessments.

EPA will take comments on the Analysis for 45 days, starting on April 15, 2021. You can submit comments online in docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2021-0241 at www.regulations.gov. EPA will carefully consider public input when evaluating whether changes in the methodology for estimating pesticides concentrations in groundwater are necessary.

To learn more about the Pesticide in Water Calculator, visit our website at https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-science-and-assessing-pesticide-risks/about-water-exposure-models-used-pesticide#przmgw.

EPA Releases Final Biological Evaluations of Carbaryl and Methomyl’s Impacts on Endangered Species

This original announcement was published by the EPA on March 31, 2021. Click here for more.


EPA is taking the next step in its regulatory review of carbaryl and methomyltwo insecticides used on a variety of food and feed crops. Carbaryl is also registered for residential uses, in areas like home gardens and lawns.

After carefully considering public comments on the draft biological evaluations (BEs) for carbaryl and methomyl, today, EPA is releasing its final BEs, which find that these insecticides are “likely to adversely affect” a number of threatened and endangered species and their designated critical habitats.

Since the findings of the BEs include potential adverse effects on listed species, EPA will need to engage in formal consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (the Services) to further study these potential impacts and possibly propose mitigation measures for vulnerable species. EPA’s final BEs are being submitted to the Services to begin this process. EPA is also considering additional mitigation measures, including prioritizing mitigation measures for certain vulnerable species while in consultation with the Services.

Biological evaluations are the beginning of EPA’s Endangered Species Act consultation review process for pesticides. EPA followed its March 2020 Revised Method for National Level Listed Species Biological Evaluations of Conventional Pesticides to conduct this biological evaluation. In order to make its “likely to adversely affect” determination, EPA evaluated whether an individual of a listed species is “reasonably expected” to be exposed to the pesticide at a sufficient level that it will have an effect, and whether that effect will be adverse.

The Services will use this information to develop their biological opinions to determine if the pesticides jeopardize the continued existence of any of the listed species and whether there is adverse modification to their critical habitats. If jeopardy or adverse modification is determined, the Services, with input from EPA and the registrants, will propose protection measures as appropriate. Protection measures would be designed to reduce potential harm to listed species or their critical habitat.

To read the biological evaluations, please visit our webpage.