EPA Continues Efforts to Help Increase the Availability of Disinfectant Products for Use Against the Novel Coronavirus

This original announcement was published by EPA on March 26, 2020 and can be accessed here.

WASHINGTON (March 26, 2020) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took steps to provide additional flexibilities to manufacturers of disinfectants and other pesticides. EPA intends for these flexibilities to increase the availability of products for Americans to use against the novel coronavirus. After meeting with stakeholders last week and discussing supply chain challenges posed by the pandemic, EPA is allowing manufacturers to obtain certain inert ingredients—or inactive ingredients like sodium chloride or glucose—from different suppliers without checking with the agency for approval.

“EPA is committed to doing our part to help ensure American families, communities, business and hospitals have access to as many effective surface disinfectant products as possible,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “There is no higher priority for the Trump Administration than protecting the health and safety of Americans, and the steps we are taking today are helping put more products on the shelves without sacrificing important public health and environmental protections.”

Commodity inert ingredients are individual inert ingredients—there are approximately 280 total—that can be obtained from different producers with no significant differences in the ingredient. Applicants for pesticide registration or registration amendments can obtain commodity inert ingredients from various commercial sources without having to provide EPA with the supplier name and address. Only those inert ingredients designated as commodity inert ingredients would be eligible for this reduced Confidential Statement of Formula (CSF) reporting.

The agency is also continuing to expedite the review of submissions from companies requesting to add emerging viral pathogen claims to their already registered surface disinfectant labels. In many cases, the agency continues to be able to approve claims within 14 days, as resources allow, compared to the 90-day window these claims typically take. Today, EPA added 70 new surface disinfectants to EPA’s List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (List N), bringing the total number of products on the list to more than 350.

It is important to note that List N only includes surface disinfectants registered by EPA. Other disinfection products like hand sanitizers and body wipes are regulated the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Using an EPA-registered product in ways other than what is specified in the label is against the law and unsafe.

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Extension Response to COVID-19 & Resources for Extension Professionals Working Online

This original announcement was published by Aaron Weibe on March 16, 2020. Click here for more!

The purpose of this website is to provide a means through which Extension educators and administrators can share with their Cooperative Extension colleagues various resources and guides about teaching and working virtually, and provide a listing of current institutional responses to COVID-19. The current list of resources is just a beginning; it needs your additional contributions and expertise. As indicated by the note just below the search box on the right, you are encouraged to share other resources with us by sending an email to contact-us@extension.org.

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) Releases Update on Significant Public Health Pests

This announcement was published on March 17, 2020 to The Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials (ASCPRO) Board of Directors.

The professional pest control industry, an essential service, is responsible for the protection of public health, food and property. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have
prepared a list of significant public health pests https://www.epa.gov/insect-repellents/list-pestssignificant-public-health-importance, many of which are controlled by the professional pest control industry.

We play a vital role in protecting our nation’s public health and food supply. Pests can spread diseases such as West Nile virus, Lyme disease, salmonellosis, hantavirus and encephalitis. Stinging insects force half a million people to the emergency room every year. Cockroach and rodent allergens trigger asthma attacks in children; rodents contaminate or consume about 20% of the world’s food supply and bed bugs can cause allergic reactions. The importance of the pest control industry to the nation as an essential service cannot be understated.

Additionally, the pest control industry is trained, tested and certified in the use of personal
protective equipment (PPE). Technicians routinely employ the use respirators, eye protection, gloves, and clothing to conform with safety requirements established by EPA and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. With over 135,000 service technicians on the ground in the United States backed by over 19,000 companies, we stand ready to continue our fight against pests and diseases. With COVID-19 on the mind of all US citizens, and the world, we want to be sure we continue to serve the country in our battle with the diseases spread by pests.

As an essential service industry, we will continue to service the nation’s food production
facilities, grocery stores, medical institutions, multifamily housing units, warehouses, homes and businesses. We cannot afford to have our medical facilities, groceries stores or homes
uninhabitable due to pests and pest related diseases, particularly as we tell citizens to stay
home. There is not a segment of the food industry that could comply with federal sanitation and health regulations without an adequate pest control program.

As officials consider next steps regarding emergency response and potential restrictions on business operations in your states, we respectfully request that the pest control industry be recognized as an essential industry, providing a service that is indispensable in the effort to protect public health and our nation’s food supply.

Appended below is the language that was used in San Francisco and the California municipalities that have shelter in place orders.

For the purposes of this Order, “Essential Businesses” means:

i. Healthcare Operations and Essential Infrastructure;

ii. Grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products). This includes stores that sell groceries and also sell other nongrocery products, and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences;


iii. Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing;

iv. Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals;

v. Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services;

vi. Gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair, and related facilities;

vii. Banks and related financial institutions;

viii. Hardware stores;

ix. Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, Essential Activities, and Essential Businesses.

Sincerely,


Dominique Stumpf
Chief Executive Officer
National Pest Management Association
Cell: 703.887.1089

EPA Expands COVID-19 Disinfectants List

This original announcement was published by the EPA on March 14, 2020 and can be accessed here.

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing an expanded list of EPA-registered disinfectant products that have qualified for use against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The list contains nearly 200 additional products—including 40 new products that went through the agency’s expedited review process. The agency also made key enhancements to the web-based list to improve its usefulness.

“During this pandemic, it’s important that people can easily find the information they’re looking for when choosing and using a surface disinfectant,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “With this expanded list, EPA is making sure Americans have greater access to as many effective and approved surface disinfectant products as possible and that they have the information at their fingertips to use them effectively.”

While disinfectant products on this list have not been tested specifically against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19, they are expected to be effective against SARS-CoV-2 because they have been tested and proven effective on either a harder-to-kill virus or against another human coronavirus similar to SARS-CoV-2.

The product list has also been updated to include the product’s active ingredient and the amount of time the surface should remain wet to be effective against the given pathogen.

To make the list more consumer friendly, information in the table is now sortable, searchable and printable, and can be easily viewed on a mobile device.

These additions make it easier for consumers to find surface disinfectants and instructions for using them effectively against SARS-CoV-2.

To view the list of EPA-registered disinfectant products, visit www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2

To read Frequently Asked Questions about the list, visit: www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/frequently-asked-questions-about-list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2

FIFRA SAP Meeting Minutes and Final Report for Pesticide Drinking Water Assessments

This original announcement was published by the EPA on February 26, 2020 and can be accessed here.

The meeting minutes and final report for the November 19 to 21, 2019, Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) face-to-face meeting regarding “Approaches for Quantitative Use of Surface Water Monitoring Data in Pesticide Drinking Water Assessments,” is now available.

The meeting minutes and final report is available in the docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2019-0417 at www.regulations.gov. A link to the document is also posted on the FIFRA SAP meeting webpage at www.epa.gov/sap/meeting-information-november-19-22-2019-scientific-advisory-panel.

EPA is in the process of reviewing the report and then will determine next steps.

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.

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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

Background

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.

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