EPA Updates the Environmental Chemistry Methods Index for Monitoring Pesticide Residues

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


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has updated the Environmental Chemistry Methods (ECM) Index, a list which currently includes 865 analytical methods for monitoring pesticide residues, primarily in soil or water. In the past year, 65 new analytical methods have been added to the ECM Index, including six methods for newly-registered pesticides. The ECM reports listed in the ECM Index were submitted to EPA by pesticide registrants to support submitted field and monitoring studies, and potential monitoring by states, tribes, and other entities.

ECMs may be used in conjunction with Aquatic Life Benchmarks, which are estimated concentrations below which pesticides are not expected to present a risk of concern for freshwater organisms. Comparing concentrations of a pesticide in water using ECMs to Aquatic Life Benchmarks can be helpful in interpreting monitoring data and in identifying and prioritizing monitoring sites for further investigation. State, tribal, and local governments as well as international regulatory authorities and researchers may use these ECMs in their work.

EPA intends to update the ECM Index quarterly and as new chemicals are registered.

EPA Takes Action to Prevent Ecological Risks from Two Herbicides

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


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing the interim registration review decisions (IDs) for the pesticides aminopyralid and picloram, finalizing stronger measures to help prevent residues from contaminating compost and damaging non-target plants in sites where compost is applied. The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act requires the agency to periodically re-evaluate pesticides through registration review to ensure that risk assessments and pesticide decisions reflect the best available science. The ID is one of the final stages of the registration review process and implements risk mitigation to address risks of concern.

Aminopyralid and picloram are pyridine herbicides used in both agricultural and non-agricultural settings. Agricultural use sites include pastures and rangeland. Non-agricultural use sites include turf, industrial areas, rights of ways, roadsides and other non-agricultural sites. Aminopyralid and picloram are used to control of a wide range of broadleaf and woody weed species in pasture and rangeland, particularly invasive species and help preserve conservation land due to their ability to target hard to control weeds without damaging native vegetation.

Pyridine herbicides such as aminopyralid and picloram have a history of reported compost incidents. Residues in contaminated compost can persist and damage non-target plants in residential gardens and other sites. Compost contamination occurs when treated materials, or manure from animals that consumed treated materials, are collected and recycled into compost. For many years, EPA has been engaging with stakeholders to identify effective measures to prevent damage to non-target plants where compost is applied. EPA is now requiring the following mitigation measures to reduce the potential for residues of these herbicides in compost:

  • Prohibition of off-site use of treated plant materials and manure from grazing animals for compost and animal bedding/feed until 18 months after application to allow for residues to decline;
  • Requiring that livestock be grazed on forage that haven’t been treated for three days before moving to a site where manure is collected, or sensitive crops are grown;
  • Requiring pasture 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 growers/operators how to manage treated materials; and,
  • Requiring registrants to participate in a stewardship program and provide educational outreach for applicators, growers, land managers/operators, and others affected by herbicide residues in compost.

EPA will also continue to work with stakeholders to develop additional educational resources for land managers and others affected by herbicide residues in compost.

The IDs finalize enforceable mitigation measures to address spray drift risks of concern, such as a maximum wind speed for applications, medium or coarse droplets, and mandatory spray release heights for ground and aerial applications.

Additional information on the pyridine and pyrimidine herbicides and interim decisions are available on EPA’s website.

EPA Provides an Update on Pesticide Applicator Certification Plan Approvals

This original announcement was published by the EPA on October 21, 2021. Click here for more information.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing an update on efforts to finalize review of submitted state, territory, tribal and federal agency certification programs for applicators of restricted use pesticides (RUPs). Requiring specific training to be applied, RUPs are not available for purchase or use by the general public. The 2017 Certification of Pesticide Applicators final rule had set stronger standards for people who apply RUPs and required that states, territories, tribes and federal agencies with existing certification plans submit proposed modifications by March 4, 2020 to comply with the updated federal standards. As specified in the rule, existing certification plans remain in effect until EPA completes its reviews and approves the proposed plan modifications, or until those plans otherwise expire on March 4, 2022, whichever is earlier.

In cooperation with certification program administrators, EPA has completed 28 reviews of the 63 submitted plans from states, territories, and tribes. EPA acknowledges the challenges certification program administrators face to bring the existing plans into compliance within the timeframes specified in the 2017 rule. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 public health emergency and the need for careful review of program-specific issues and questions, EPA is in the process of developing a rule that would extend the date by which plans must be approved and ensure existing plans can remain in place during this time-limited extension. Prior to October 1, 2021, EPA had been unable to take any action to revise the certification rule due to a prohibition of such in the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act of 2018 (PRIA 4). Further, litigation over attempted delays to the effective date of the January 4, 2017 final rule led some certifying authorities to postpone work on revising their certification plans

The anticipated extension would allow RUP applicators to continue to obtain the training and certifications they need to use RUPs under the existing certification plans, preventing the economic and public health consequences of widespread disruption of RUP use.

EPA will keep close contact with states, territories, tribes and other federal agencies who have a role in implementing the certification programs to provide support and guidance in meeting the regulatory deadline. EPA will also communicate any changes as soon as more information is available.

EPA Revises Guidance to Ensure Effectiveness of Antimicrobial Pesticides Against Candida auris

This original announcement was published by the EPA on October 15, 2021. Click here for more information.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has revised its guidance for evaluating the efficacy of antimicrobial pesticides against Candida auris (C. auris). Pesticide manufacturers seeking to register their products with a C. auris claim should use this updated guidance to test the effectiveness of the products against a drug-resistant strain of C. auris.

C. auris is an emerging, multidrug-resistant yeast (a type of fungus). It can cause serious infections and spreads easily among hospitalized patients and nursing home residents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one in three patients with an invasive (e.g., affecting the blood, heart, or brain) C. auris infection die.

In 2017, in consultation with the CDC, EPA issued interim guidance for testing the effectiveness of hospital disinfectants against C. auris. Subsequently, based on input from the CDC on their tracking of clinical cases of multi-drug resistant C. auris isolates in the United States, the laboratory data were generated to ensure antimicrobial efficacy against a more relevant strain of the pathogen.

Working closely with experts from the CDC, EPA conducted a comparative evaluation of isolates and found that the drug-resistant isolates were more tolerant to some disinfectant treatments. Since a drug-resistant isolate (AR Bank #0385) is highly relevant to current outbreaks in the United States, it is considered a suitable test microbe for regulatory purposes.

Under the updated guidance issued today, all new products seeking registration with claims against C. auris should test for efficacy using the more relevant strain (AR Bank #0385). Efficacy testing using AR Bank #0381 is acceptable in cases where the study initiation date is between Oct. 15, 2020, and Oct. 15, 2021. Existing antimicrobial products with C. auris claims based on the previous strain (AR Bank #0381) will be allowed to retain their claim of effectiveness against C. auris. To claim effectiveness against drug-resistant C. auris, the Agency recommends retesting with the more relevant strain (AR Bank #0385) identified in the updated guidance.

See the updated guidance for more information.

EPA Holds Online Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee Meeting in October

This original announcement was published by the EPA on October 8, 2021. Click here to learn more and register!


EPA Holds Online Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee Meeting in October

EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) will hold an online public meeting of the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) on October 27-28, 2021.

At this meeting:

  • The PPDC workgroups on Pesticide Resistance Management, Farmworker and Clinician Training, Emerging Pathogens, and Emerging Technologies will report on their work and discuss their recommendations with the PPDC. Members of the PPDC will provide their perspectives on the workgroup reports.
  • OPP will provide updates on recent activities, accomplishments, and program changes.
  • Representatives from the National Pesticide Information Center, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) will present on science-based risk communication, the CDC’s Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risk (SENSOR) Pesticide Program, and OECA’s Good Laboratory Practices Inspection Section.

Please visit the PPDC webpage for a link to register to attend the meeting. See the Federal Register Notice.

To provide comments during the meeting, request special accommodations or get more information, please contact Shannon Jewell at jewell.shannon@epa.gov or at (571) 289-9911 by October 19, 2021.

Now Available: Registration for upcoming IRIS Public Science Meeting (November 2021)

This original announcement was published by the EPA on September 30, 2021. Click here to register.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Health and Environmental Risk Assessment (HERA) National Research Program is announcing a virtual IRIS Public Science Meeting for November 9, 2021. The Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) Program is convening the previously postponed IRIS Public Science Meeting to discuss the IRIS Assessment Plan associated with the unsuspended naphthalene assessment.

Should you wish to attend the meeting and/or provide oral public comment, register here. Program materials, including the assessment plan, can be found on the Public Science Meeting website. Interested stakeholders may view the public comment received on the naphthalene IAP by visiting Regulations.Gov (Docket no. EPA-HQ-ORD-2014-0527). While IRIS assessments are not associated with proposed rulemaking, Regulations.gov serves as both an internal portal to facilitate public comment and as a document repository for Federal government agencies.

Call for Nominations — Review of EPA’s 2021 Draft IRIS Formaldehyde Assessment

EPA’s HERA National Research Program is highlighting that an ad hoc committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) will provide the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with a review of EPA’s 2021 draft IRIS formaldehyde assessment. An ad hoc committee will assess whether the draft assessment adequately and transparently evaluated the scientific literature, used appropriate methods to synthesize the current state-of-the science, and presented conclusions regarding the hazard identification analysis and dose-response analysis of formaldehyde that are supported by the scientific evidence. The committee will not conduct its own hazard assessment of formaldehyde, nor will the committee address broader aspects of the IRIS Program.

Nominations for committee members and/or reviewers for this study are due by October 15, 2021. For more information regarding this peer review, visit the NAS website.

Now Available: Draft Supplement to the 2019 Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter (PM ISA Supplement)

This original announcement was published by the EPA on September 30, 2021. Click here for more information!


Notice:  EPA’s Health and Environmental Risk Assessment (HERA) National Research Program is announcing for public comment and external peer review the release of the draft Supplement to the 2019 Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter (PM). The HERA research program has been designed to develop and apply state-of-the-science research to characterize impacts on human and ecological systems – whether they result from exposure to single, complex, or multiple physical, chemical, or biological stressors – to support and improve EPA’s risk assessment and risk management decisions. Integrated Science Assessments (ISAs) fall under HERA’s Science Assessment Development Research Area which is focused on producing high quality, transparent, consistent, and scientifically-defensible assessment products to meet EPA’s diverse statutory and policy needs.

This draft Supplement represents a targeted evaluation of recent studies published since the literature cutoff date for the 2019 PM ISA. The 2019 PM ISA and this Supplement form the complete scientific record for the ongoing reconsideration of the primary (health-based) and secondary (welfare-based) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for PM. The 2019 PM ISA and Supplement, in conjunction with additional technical and policy assessments, will inform EPA’s decisions on the reconsideration of the current NAAQS and the appropriateness of possible alternative standards.

The draft assessment is available for a 60-day public comment period, which ends on November 29, 2021. Written comments should be submitted to EPA-HQ-ORD-2014-0859 via Regulations.gov. Comments submitted to EPA, via the public docket, will be provided to the external peer review panel. The date and location of a public meeting for the external peer review panel will be specified in a separate Federal Register notice.

For more information on the PM ISA Supplement, including how to submit comments, please visit the Federal Register or the EPA ISA website. For more information on HERA, please see the program’s Strategic Research Action Plan.