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


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!

EPA Approves Use of 10 Pesticides on Hemp

This original article was published by Hemp Production News on December 23, 2019 and can be accessed here.

In December 2019, EPA approved adding hemp to the use sites of 10 pesticides. Nine of the products are biopesticides and one is a conventional pesticide. As EPA receives additional applications to amend product labels to add use on hemp, the agency will process those applications on an ongoing basis and update this list.


  • EPA Registration Number: 70310-5. Applicant: Agro Logistic Systems, Inc. Active ingredients: Azadirachtin and Neem Oil. Product type: Insecticide, Miticide, Fungicide, and Nematicide.
  • EPA Registration Number: 70310-7. Applicant: Agro Logistic Systems, Inc. Active ingredients: Azadirachtin and Neem Oil. Product type: Insecticide, Miticide, Fungicide, and Nematicide.
  • EPA Registration Number: 70310-8. Applicant: Agro Logistic Systems, Inc. Active ingredients: Azadirachtin and Neem Oil. Product type: Insecticide, Miticide, Fungicide, and Nematicide.
  • EPA Registration Number: 70310-11. Applicant: Agro Logistic Systems, Inc. Active ingredient: Neem Oil. Product type: Insecticide, Miticide, and Fungicide.
  • EPA Registration Number: 84059-3. Applicant: Marrone Bio Innovations, D/B/A Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. Active ingredient: Extract of Reynoutria sachalinensis. Product type: Fungicide and Fungistat.
  • EPA Registration Number: 84059-28. Applicant: Marrone Bio Innovations, D/B/A Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. Active ingredient: Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain F727. Product type: Fungicide.
  • EPA Registration Number: 91865-1. Applicant: Hawthorne Hydroponics LLC, D/B/A General Hydroponics. Active ingredients: Soybean Oil, Garlic Oil, and Capsicum Oleoresin Extract. Product type: Insecticide and Repellent.
  • EPA Registration Number: 91865-3. Applicant: Hawthorne Hydroponics LLC, D/B/A General Hydroponics. Active ingredient: Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain D747. Product type: Fungicide and Bactericide.
  • EPA Registration Number: 91865-4. Applicant: Hawthorne Hydroponics LLC, D/B/A General Hydroponics. Active ingredient: Azadirachtin. Product type: Insect Growth Regulator and Repellent.

Conventional Pesticides

  • EPA Registration Number: 91865-2. Applicant: Hawthorne Hydroponics LLC, D/B/A General Hydroponics. Active ingredient: Potassium Salts of Fatty Acids. Product type: Insecticide, Fungicide, and Miticide.

Bee efficiency boosts diversified farming

This original article was published by Fruit Growers News on December 5, 2019. You can access the full story here.

The more diverse a farm’s plant population, the more beneficial it is for bee pollinators, and the more efficiently those pollinators work.

Those are the conclusions in a new paper published in the journal Ecology Letters by former Washington State University graduate student Elias Bloom.

Bloom and his co-authors, WSU entomology professors Tobin Northfield and David Crowder, looked at pollinator and plant populations on small farms (under 30 acres) and urban gardens in western Washington.

“Growing a wide variety of plants boosted the number of bee visits,” said Bloom, now a post-doctoral research associate in Michigan State University’s entomology department. “People want a silver bullet crop that they can plant that will bring in more pollinators, but that idea just wasn’t supported by our data. Having a variety, especially if they’re rare in a region, is the best way to increase pollinators.”

These rare plants, which could be anything that isn’t grown by other nearby farms, complement more traditional crops because they may flower at different times of year, or have beneficial traits that help pollinators vary their nutritional intake, he said.

Increasing that diversity also boosts pollinator efficiency by upping the number of visits a bee makes to crops at that farm.

“That means farmers can increase bee visits to their farm without adding more bees,” said Bloom, who earned his Ph.D. from WSU in entomology in 2019. “And we showed it works for both honey bees and wild pollinators. If a farmer is thinking about buying more bees, planting more diverse crops could be an alternative.”

A third finding of the paper is that giving bees a diversity of resources, like nesting habitat and flowers, in landscapes around a farm can also increase pollinator visits to a farm.

Bloom and his colleagues worked closely with 36 farms and urban gardens to look at the variety of plants each produces, and to measure pollinator visits. Among their partners were Hmong gardeners, originally from Southeast Asia, who now farm in the Seattle area.

“They brought a few plants with them when they immigrated here that you won’t find in other gardens,” Bloom said. “But they also grow staples found on most farms and gardens nearby, like tomatoes, peppers, or squash. Our research shows that this experimentation to introduce rare plant species may drive plant-pollinator interactions.”

That doesn’t mean farmers have to seek out rare produce from Asia or Africa, it just means they should consider a wider variety of plants from different plant families.

“You ideally want plants that flower at different times and with different flowers shapes and dimensions,” Bloom said. “Some flowers are very small and shallow, which is great for small wild bees. Taking those things into consideration helps boost pollinator visits to your farm or garden.”

Bloom’s research was part of his Ph.D. dissertation and was funded in part by the National Science Foundation, the USDA, Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, and others.

Pesticide Program Update: EPA Seeks Nominations for the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Federal Advisory Committee

This announcement was originally published by the EPA on November 8, 2019 and can be accessed here.

Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler is announcing a solicitation for 20-30 nominees to serve on the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee (FRRCC). Established in 2008, the FRRCC provides independent policy advice, information, and recommendations to EPA’s Administrator on a range of environmental issues and policies that are of importance to agriculture and rural communities.

“One of our key priorities at EPA is to strengthen and solidify our relationship with agricultural stakeholders and rural communities by ensuring the agency is well informed on how its decisions impact rural America,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Recruiting full membership of the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee is the perfect opportunity to engage with those in our agriculture community, and I look forward to receiving the committee’s valuable input on important matters before the EPA in the very near future.”

To build a broad and balanced representation of perspectives for the FRRCC, members will be selected from a variety of relevant sectors. Members may represent allied industries and stakeholders including farm groups, rural suppliers, marketers, processors, academia/researchers; state, local, and tribal government; and nongovernmental organizations. In selecting committee members, EPA will consider qualifications such as: whether candidates are actively engaged in farming, hold leadership positions in ag-related organizations, possess a demonstrated ability to examine and analyze complicated environmental issues with objectivity and integrity, have experience working on issues where building consensus is necessary, and are able to volunteer several hours per month to the committee’s activities.

The previous Charter for the FRRCC was scheduled to expire and therefore was renewed in 2018; however, the committee currently has no members. EPA is specifically seeking 20-30 members for 2-3 year terms, and the Committee expects to meet approximately twice a year.

Applications must include a résumé or curriculum vitae and a statement of interest, and must be received by EPA by December 31, 2019. Letters of support and recommendation will be accepted but are not mandatory. 

Full details about qualifications and how to apply will be published in the Federal Register Notice, which will be posted once available on the committee’s website at: www.epa.gov/faca/frrcc.

For further information:

Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee (FRRCC) website: www.epa.gov/faca/frrcc

General information on federal advisory committees at EPA: www.epa.gov/faca

Contact Us to ask a question, provide feedback, or report a problem.

EPA Offers Guide to Help Translate Pesticide Safety Information into Spanish

This original announcement was published by the EPA on October 18, 2019 and can be accessed here.

EPA is taking an important step in its efforts to improve risk communication by expanding the agency’s Spanish language resources that assist with translating the health and safety portions of agricultural product labels. The Spanish Translation Guide for Pesticide Labeling resource is available for anyone to use, including pesticide manufacturers, and provides a resource for pesticide registrants that choose to display parts of their pesticide product label in Spanish.

EPA developed the Spanish translation guide in response to feedback from stakeholders who believe that having bilingual pesticide labeling is critical to the well-being of pesticide handlers, applicators, and farmworkers, many of whom do not speak English as a first language. EPA generally allows pesticide registrants to translate their product labels into any language so long as there is an EPA-accepted English version of the label and the translation is true and accurate. Some pesticide registrants already have their product labels fully translated in Spanish. However, many product labels are only available in English.

The guide is written in a universal form of Spanish to reach as many Spanish speakers as possible.

The guide provides translations for standard language typically used in the health and safety sections of pesticide product labels such as the:

  • First aid and precautionary statement label language;
  • Signal words;
  • Misuse statements;
  • Storage and pesticide container disposal instructions;
  • Personal protection equipment label statements; and
  • Worker Protection Standard agricultural use requirements.

The guide will help registrants maintain accurate, consistent translations on product labels and ease their burden when adding Spanish translations.

La EPA ofrece una guía para ayudar a traducir al español la información de seguridad de los pesticidas

La EPA está aplicando una medida importante en su esfuerzo por mejorar la comunicación de riesgos al ampliar los recursos en idioma español de la agencia, los cuales asisten en traducir las partes de salud y seguridad de las etiquetas de productos agrícolas. El recurso de la Guía de traducción al español para etiquetas de pesticidas está disponible para el uso de todos, incluidos los fabricantes de pesticidas, y ofrece un recurso para quienes registren pesticidas que decidan mostrar en español algunas partes de la etiqueta de los pesticidas que producen.

La EPA desarrolló la guía de traducción al español en respuesta a comentarios de interesados que consideran que tener etiquetas bilingües en los pesticidas es crucial para el bienestar de quienes trabajan con pesticidas, como los aplicadores y trabajadores agrícolas muchos de los cuales no hablan inglés como idioma materno. La EPA por lo general permite a quienes registren pesticidas traducir las etiquetas de sus productos a cualquier idioma siempre y cuando exista una versión en inglés de la etiqueta aceptada por la EPA, y la traducción sea fiel y correcta. Algunas personas que registran pesticidas ya tienen etiquetas de productos totalmente traducidas al español. Sin embargo, muchas etiquetas de productos solo están disponibles en inglés.

La guía está redactada en un español universal que entienda el mayor número de hispanohablantes que sea posible.

La guía ofrece traducciones del texto estándar comúnmente utilizado en las secciones de salud y seguridad de las etiquetas de productos de pesticidas como:

  • Texto de la etiqueta donde aparecen primeros auxilios y precauciones;
  • Palabras indicadoras;
  • Declaraciones de uso indebido;
  • Instrucciones para almacenar y desechar el envase de pesticida;
  • Declaraciones de la etiqueta sobre equipo de protección personal; y
  • Requisitos de uso agrícola según la Norma de protección de los trabajadores.

La guía ayudará a quienes registren productos a mantener traducciones correctas y uniformes en las etiquetas de productos y les facilitará agregar traducciones al español.

Click here for more!

Revised PRIA Fee Schedule for Pesticide Registration Applications Effective October 1, 2019

This original announcement was published by the EPA on October 2, 2019 and can be accessed here

EPA has published a list of updated pesticide registration service fees applicable to specified pesticide applications and tolerance actions. The new fees for FY 2020 and FY 2021 are effective on October 1, 2019. Under the Pesticide Registration Improvement Extension Act of 2018, the registration service fees for covered pesticide registration applications received on or after October 1, 2019, increase by 5 percent, rounding up to the nearest dollar, from the fiscal year 2019 fees.

The Pesticide Registration Improvement Extension Act of 2018, signed in March 2019, reauthorized the service fee system through fiscal year 2023 and established fees and review times for applications received from March 8, 2019, through fiscal year 2023.

The Federal Register notice for this action can be found at regulations.gov in Docket # EPA-HQ-OPP-2019-0543.

For more information about the Pesticide Registration Improvement Extension Act of 2018 or to see the fee tables.