EPA Releases New Interactive Maps of Data Used in Endangered Species Act Assessments

This original announcement was published by the EPA on June 27, 2023. Click here for more information.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making the geographic data used to conduct Endangered Species Act (ESA) assessments for pesticides publicly available for the first time via interactive maps. The maps and underlying data that EPA is releasing today support the Agency’s broader efforts to improve protections for federally threatened or endangered (listed) species as outlined in the ESA Workplan and increase transparency in EPA’s pesticide review process. These data are not new. Rather, EPA is making existing data broadly accessible and providing a new tool to help users access the data. The maps also show which crops are grown near these species and habitats, which can help users determine which pesticides might be used in these areas. EPA relies on the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service (the Services) for information on the biology and location of listed species. As the Services continue to learn more about where some listed species are likely located, information will be updated and refined in the maps.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) play an important role in ESA assessments. GIS are computer-based tools used to store, visualize, analyze and interpret geographic data, such as where listed species occur. EPA uses these data to understand the distribution of listed species and gauge their potential to be exposed to pesticides at use sites.

Until today, EPA was technologically unable to release all its ESA GIS data because of the amount of data involved, but advances in technology have allowed EPA to overcome this problem. The maps EPA is releasing today allow anyone to access the GIS data online, and are particularly useful for federal, state, and local governments, tribal partners, environmental organizations, and pesticide registrants who want to conduct their own endangered species analysis.

The new maps are interactive, allowing users to filter and explore the data in real-time, and can be shared with others through a web link or embedded in a website or app. Engaging the public and stakeholders through maps and other visual tools can help convey complex information in an easy-to-understand manner, offering a greater sense of place-based mitigations to protect species from pesticides.

By making these maps and data publicly available, EPA is:

  • Advancing transparency in the Agency’s ESA evaluations by making aggregated information that EPA uses to identify areas where listed species can be found publicly available.
  • Promoting a more efficient regulatory process by allowing pesticide registrants to easily see what types of endangered species may be located near or in pesticide use sites. This information should be particularly useful to inform proposed mitigation measures early in the pesticide review process.
  • Ensuring that users have access to information that may be incorporated into future ESA evaluations. EPA updates the spatial data it uses for its ESA analyses on a regular basis, and it intends to post updates as they occur.

Visit EPA’s website to learn more about these new maps and how to use them.

EPA Requests Applications for $10 Million National Pesticide Information Center Agreement

This original announcement was published by the EPA on June 23, 2023. Click here for more information.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting applications from eligible organizations to support a National Pesticide Information Center, providing the public with objective, science-based information on pesticide-related subjects through a website, toll-free telephone service, and outreach.  

EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs funds national outreach and education programs on the safe use of pesticides, which are valuable public resources of unbiased, accurate, scientific information. Total funding estimated for this opportunity is anticipated to be up to $10 million over five years. No cost sharing is required under this opportunity. EPA intends to award one cooperative agreement under this solicitation. The project period for this award is anticipated to begin in February 2024 and last up to five years.  

Activities to be funded under this cooperative agreement include, but are not limited to: 

  1. Provide services (i.e., provide pesticide-related information to interested parties and collect incident information including through a toll-free hotline in both Spanish and English); 
  2. Develop outreach and educational pesticide safety materials; 
  3. Develop technical resources for specialized audiences (i.e., risk assessors, medical, and veterinary professionals); 
  4. Develop web-based mechanisms for voluntary incident reporting; 
  5. Engage in partnerships/collaborations with government agencies, non-profit organizations, and other audiences; and 
  6. Provide program oversight including quality control and using standard operating procedures. 

Applicants for this award should integrate environmental justice principles into their project’s proposed activities. Applications will be evaluated based on the extent to which they demonstrate how the project will benefit underserved and vulnerable communities, particularly those that might be impacted by pesticide applications. Applications will be accepted from states, U.S. territories, federally recognized Indian tribal governments and Native American organizations, public and private universities and colleges, other public or private nonprofit institutions, and local governments. Individuals and for-profit organizations are not eligible to apply. 

To allow for efficient management of the competition process, EPA requests an optional submittal of an informal notice of an Intent to Apply by July 25, 2023, to OPPGA@epa.gov.   

Applicants must apply electronically through Grants.gov and should use the Grants.gov instructions in the full announcement. Applications will be accepted through August 7, 2023, at 11:59 PM ET.  

EPA anticipates notifying successful and unsuccessful applicants via telephone, email, or postal mail by November 2023. 

EPA Releases Final Biological Evaluation for Effects of Inpyrfluxam on Endangered Species

This announcement was published by the EPA on June 21, 2023. Click here for more information.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its final biological evaluation (BE) and its response to comments received on the draft BE for the potential effects of inpyrfluxam on federally listed endangered and threatened species and designated critical habitats. Inpyrfluxam is a fungicide used to protect a variety of crops against fungal pests, such as Rhizoctonia fungi, that cause seed decay, seedling damping‐off, and root rot. This final BE is part of EPA’s efforts to meet its obligations under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which are discussed in EPA’s workplan Balancing Wildlife Protection and Responsible Pesticide Use.

As proposed in the draft BE, EPA’s final BE does not predict a likelihood of jeopardy or adverse modification to listed species from the proposed or registered uses of inpyrfluxam. That is, EPA predicts that inpyrfluxam is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any listed species or destroy or adversely modify critical habitat that has been designated for those species. However, EPA determined that inpyrfluxam is likely to adversely affect (LAA) certain listed species and critical habitats. An LAA determination means that EPA reasonably expects that at least one individual animal or plant, among a variety of listed species, may be exposed to the pesticide at a sufficient level to have an adverse effect.

When EPA determines in a final BE that a Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) action may affect listed species or critical habitats, the Agency must initiate consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (known collectively as the Services). Because EPA’s final BE of inpyrfluxam made LAA determinations for species under both Services’ jurisdiction, EPA will initiate formal consultation with both Services.

After reviewing public comments on the draft BE, EPA revised its evaluation of inpyrfluxam, including using updated species range and critical habitat maps to determine the potential effects on listed species and their critical habitats. The Agency also made predictions of whether inpyrfluxam is likely to jeopardize listed species or adversely modify critical habitats. EPA’s final BE finds that inpyrfluxam:

  • Will have no effect on 36 percent of species and 33 percent of critical habitats (as compared to 35 percent and 33 percent, respectively, from the draft BE);
  • May affect but is not likely to adversely affect 56 percent of species and 57 percent of critical habitats (as compared to 56 percent and 58 percent, respectively, from the draft BE); and
  • Is likely to adversely affect 8 percent of listed species and 10 percent of critical habitats (as compared to 9 percent and 8 percent, respectively, from the draft BE).

Additionally, in its final BE, EPA does not predict a likelihood of jeopardy or adverse modification from the approved and proposed uses of inpyrfluxam. While EPA has made predictions about the likelihood of jeopardy and adverse modification as part of its effects determinations consistent with the ESA, the Services are responsible for making the actual jeopardy/adverse modification findings and have the sole authority to do so.

A “may affect but is not likely to adversely affect” determination is made when effects on a listed species or critical habitat are expected to be discountable (for example, effects that are extremely unlikely to occur), insignificant, or beneficial. An LAA determination means EPA reasonably expects at least one individual animal or plant, among a variety of listed species, may be exposed to inpyrfluxam at a sufficient level to have an adverse effect. This is the case even if a listed species is almost recovered to a point where it may no longer need to be listed. The likely “take,” which includes unintentional harm or death, of even one individual of an animal species, is enough to trigger such a determination. As a result, there are often a high number of LAA determinations in a BE. An LAA determination, however, does not necessarily mean that a pesticide is putting a species in jeopardy.

Subsequent to the draft BE, the registrant submitted a commitment letter that included additional mitigation measures to be added to the pesticide label to minimize the potential for incidental take for the LAA determinations in the final BE. These include mitigations for reducing spray drift and runoff exposure to aquatic environments and additional label language for seed treatments.

During formal consultation, the Services use EPA’s effects determinations to inform their biological opinions. If the Services determine in their final biological opinions that additional mitigations are necessary to address any jeopardy or adverse modification determinations (that the Services may make) or to address any incidental take beyond those mitigations agreed to by the registrant in a commitment letter dated June 1, 2023, then EPA will work to ensure that any necessary registration or labeling changes are made.

The final BE and the response to comments are available in docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2018-0038 on regulations.gov.

Background on inpyrfluxam 

Inpyrfluxam was first registered in 2020. The proposed and currently approved product labels include some mitigation measures to reduce effects to plants and animals based on FIFRA ecological risk assessments that EPA conducted before registering products containing inpyrfluxam.

After EPA registered several products containing inpyrfluxam, some organizations challenged the registrations because the Agency had not met its ESA obligations before issuing the registrations. Under the ESA, EPA must assess the effects of inpyrfluxam on listed species and critical habitats and, if necessary, initiate consultation with FWS and/or NMFS. In July 2022, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Center for Biological Diversity v. EPA (No. 20-73146) that EPA was required to complete a final effects determination (which EPA has included in its final inpyrfluxam BE) by June 22, 2023.

EPA Releases Risk Assessment Showing Significant Risks to Human Health from the Herbicide DCPA

This original announcement was published by the EPA on May 31, 2023. Click here for more information.


Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking an important step to determine whether the herbicide dimethyl tetrachloroterephthalate (DCPA) can continue to be used safely in light of significant health risks identified. The Agency is releasing and requesting public comment on an Occupational and Residential Exposure (ORE) assessment on pesticide products containing DCPA, showing risks to workers and others exposed to the pesticide, with the most serious of risks to the fetuses of pregnant individuals. Additionally, EPA is releasing a companion document summarizing EPA’s ongoing review of DCPA, the health risks the Agency has identified, and potential next steps for the Agency. Given the potential for serious, permanent, and irreversible health risks, EPA is considering whether feasible mitigation measures exist that would address these potential risks or whether canceling the registration of all products containing DCPA is necessary. Given the potential that cancellation of this pesticide could take several years to complete, EPA is releasing this assessment in order to provide the public with timely information about its risks. 

Background on DCPA 

DCPA is an herbicide registered to control weeds in both agricultural and non-agricultural settings.Agricultural crops include cole crops (e.g., broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage), onions, and other vegetables. Non-agricultural uses include non-residential turf and ornamentals. 

DCPA is currently undergoing registration review, a process that requires re-evaluation of registered pesticides every 15 years to ensure that as the ability to assess risk evolves and as policies and practices change, pesticides continue to meet the statutory standard of causing no unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment.  

The data EPA examined showed that the dose that caused adverse effects in the fetuses of pregnant rats exposed to DCPA was very low, and these effects were observed at a dose lower than the dose that affected the pregnant rats themselves. Significant thyroid hormone changes were observed in the fetuses in a 2022 study that EPA had ordered the registrant for DCPA to conduct in 2013. In general, changes in fetal thyroid hormones are linked to low birth weight, impaired brain development, decreased IQ, and impaired motor skills observed later in life. These thyroid hormone effects are harmful to the fetuses of individuals of child-bearing age that could be exposed to DCPA. The differences in the doses affecting the pregnant rats and their fetuses, extrapolated to humans, mean that a pregnant individual could be exposed to DCPA without experiencing adverse health effects to their own body, while the fetus being carried could experience permanent and significant lifelong adverse effects. 

In 2013, the Agency issued a Data Call-In to the pesticide registrant, AMVAC, requiring it to submit more than 20 studies to support the existing registrations of DCPA. Between 2013 and 2021, numerous studies submitted by AMVAC were deemed insufficient by the Agency, and some studies, including the thyroid toxicity test, had not been submitted. In April 2022, EPA issued a Notice of Intent to Suspend (NOITS) for the DCPA technical-grade (high-concentration) product based on the registrant’s failure to submit the complete set of required data, leaving large uncertainties in risk estimates, including data on DCPA’s thyroid toxicity. In August 2022, after the issuance of the NOITS, the Agency received the thyroid toxicity data that showed the significant changes in the fetal thyroid effects discussed above. 

Occupational and Residential Exposure Assessment and Companion Document 

The Agency found that based on the currently allowed uses of DCPA, there is potential for some people to be exposed to DCPA at levels approaching those that, based on the rat thyroid toxicity test, are expected to result in adverse effects in humans. For the most common uses of DCPA, there are risks of concern for workers applying and supporting applications of DCPA, using typical equipment at the maximum application rate, even when personal protective equipment and engineering controls are used. There are specific concerns for the fetuses of pregnant individuals who apply DCPA. Based on current labels, some pregnant individuals could be subjected to exposures from 10 to 1,500 times greater than what is considered safe.  

Furthermore, risks to fetuses of individuals entering areas where DCPA has already been applied (post-application workers involved in tasks such as transplanting, weeding, and harvesting) are of concern. In addition, living near areas treated with DCPA could also put the fetuses of pregnant individuals at risk. While DCPA does not appear to be widely used on turf, based on the current label directions that allow such use, there are also potential risks of concern for individuals using turf golf courses and athletic fields long after DCPA is applied. The labels currently specify that entry into treated fields must be restricted for 12 hours after application. However, for many crops and tasks, levels of DCPA in the previously treated fields remain of concern for 30 days or more.    

In addition to the ORE assessment, EPA is releasing a companion document that summarizes the Agency’s findings from the thyroid toxicity data received in response to a DCPA Generic Data Call-in and explains the regulatory approach the Agency is considering to address the risks identified in the ORE assessment, in line with the Agency’s commitment to sound science and protecting human health. EPA is also publishing relevant supporting documents, including an analysis of the benefits associated with the use of DCPA. Given the breadth and severity of the potential risks identified by the Agency, the Agency’s current efforts are to determine whether effective and feasible mitigation strategies exist to fully address these risks, and barring any new information provided by public comments, the Agency is considering whether cancelation of all uses and registrations for products containing DCPA is necessary. 

Upon publication of the Federal Register notice, EPA will accept public comments on the ORE assessment and its anticipated regulatory approach for DCPA for 30 days—with no extension—in docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0374 at www.regulations.gov. EPA will carefully consider public input when addressing these risks. The Agency is committed to transparency as it moves forward with regulatory action on DCPA and will keep the public advised of prospective actions in the registration review process for DCPA. 

EPA Completes Scientific Testing of Pesticide Products for PFAS

This original announcement was published by the EPA on May 30, 2023. Click here for more information.


Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking another step in addressing concerns that per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been found in pesticide products by releasing a summary of the laboratory analysis of 10 pesticide products reported to contain PFAS residues. EPA did not find any PFAS in the tested pesticide products, differing from the results of a published study in the Journal of Hazardous Materials. EPA is also releasing its newly developed and validated analytical methodology used in the testing process alongside the summary of its findings. EPA is confident in the results of this newly released method, which is specifically targeted to detect the presence of PFAS in pesticide products formulated with surfactants.   

Since learning about potential PFAS contamination in a small number of mosquitocide products in September 2020, EPA has taken a number of steps to address this issue. This includes releasing data in March 2021 that preliminarily determined that PFAS in those specific products was most likely formed from a chemical reaction during the container fluorination process which then leached into the pesticide product, releasing another study in September 2022 testing the leaching potential of PFAS over a specific time into test solutions packaged in different brands of HDPE fluorinated containers, and notifying manufacturers (including importers), processors, distributors, users, and those that dispose of fluorinated HDPE containers and similar plastics that the presence of PFAS formed as a byproduct in these containers may be a violation of the Toxic Substances Control Act. Following that notification, the Department of Justice, on behalf of EPA, filed a complaint against Inhance, the company that manufactured the plastic mosquitocide containers in which PFAS was found, for its failure to comply with TSCA’s notice, review, and determination requirements prior to manufacture.  

As a continuation of these ongoing efforts, EPA has completed its verification analysis of a study published in September 2022 in the Journal of Hazardous Materials entitled “Targeted analysis and Total Oxidizable Precursor assay of several insecticides for PFAS.” This study reported the presence of PFOS in six of 10 pesticide products tested. 

EPA evaluated the 10 pesticide products included in this study using two different test methods to detect PFAS. The first method was developed by the Agency to specifically measure PFAS in pesticide samples containing surfactants and non-volatile oils, and the second method was used in the study published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials. 

EPA obtained samples of the specific pesticide products from the study author and purchased additional products with the same EPA registration numbers on the open market to conduct analyses. EPA tested all samples using both methods and   did not detect the presence of PFOS, nor any of 28 additional PFAS it screened for, above the lowest level that our lab instruments can detect (0.2 parts per billion) in any of the pesticide products using either method of detection. The equipment and methodology used by EPA would have shown PFAS detections if present in those pesticide products given that our level of detection (LOD) is 2,500 times more sensitive than the LOD reported by the equipment used by the study author. EPA requested additional information, including raw data from the study author, but did not receive any beyond the published results. EPA’s study report contains additional scientific details regarding how the two methods differ and the significance of using the Agency’s new method when testing these specific formulations. 

One of the most important differences between the two methods is that EPA’s method ensures accurate measuring of PFAS by eliminating interference from the oils and surfactants present in these formulations which can result in false positive detections.  

EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap renewed the Agency’s commitment to using sound science and investing in research to proactively stop PFAS chemicals from entering the environment. This latest action is an important step in EPA’s ongoing efforts to better understand and manage, when necessary, pesticide formulations that contain PFAS to ensure enduring and protective solutions. As part of our continuing efforts, EPA will continue to invest in scientific research to fill gaps in understanding of PFAS, to identify which PFAS may pose human health and ecological risks at which exposure levels and develop methods to better test and measure them.  

EPA Seeking Public Comment on Candidates to be ad hoc Reviewers for Analysis of Atrazine Ecological Risks

This original announcement was published by the EPA on May 24, 2023. Click here for more information.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting public comments on candidates who are being considered as ad hoc reviewers to assist the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) with the review of the Agency’s analysis and assessment of ecological risk from atrazine use. This 15-day comment period follows a March 2023 call for nominations 

Approximately 8-12 ad hoc reviewers will be selected to assist with the review. The review will take place during the August 22-24, 2023, public meeting from 10:00 a.m. to approximately 5:00 p.m. EDT. Registration information for the meeting will be announced on the FIFRA SAP website in July. 

Public comments on the nominees should be submitted to docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2023-0154 on www.regulations.gov. The public comment period will begin on May 24, 2023, and end on June 8, 2023. These comments will be used to assist the Agency in selecting the ad hoc reviewers. Biographies for each of the nominees are available in the docket 

When submitting comments, follow the online instructions. Do not electronically submit any information you consider to be confidential business information or other information where disclosure is restricted by statute. Copyrighted material will not be posted without explicit permission of the copyright holder. Members of the public should also be aware that personal contact information, if included in any written comments, may be posted on the internet at www.regulations.gov.   

The FIFRA SAP serves as a primary scientific peer review mechanism of EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention and is structured to provide independent scientific advice and recommendations to EPA on health and safety issues related to pesticides. 

For additional information, please contact the Designated Federal Official, Tamue Gibson, at gibson.tamue@epa.gov or 202-564-7642. 

EPA Extends Comment Periods for Ethylene Oxide (EtO) Proposals

This original announcement was published by the EPA on May 25, 2023. Click here for more information.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing a 15-day extension of the comment period for the ethylene oxide (EtO) proposed interim decision and draft risk assessment addendum under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, as well as the proposed air toxics rule for EtO commercial sterilizers. These two proposals, issued on April 11, 2023, will provide a comprehensive approach to addressing EtO pollution concerns that will increase safety in communities and for workers. Several State, local and industry groups requested more time to review the proposals. Consequently, EPA is extending the comment deadline from June 12, 2023, to June 27, 2023. 

Learn about the proposed EtO actions.