EPA Issues Proposed Registration Review Decisions for Several Pesticides  

This original announcement was published by the EPA on July 13, 2022. Click here for more information.

 

oday, EPA is releasing the proposed interim decisions for pesticides undergoing registration review as part of fiscal year 2022 quarter 3 actions. The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) requires EPA to review pesticides every 15 years to ensure that risk assessments reflect the best-available science.

Registration review ensures that, as the ability to assess risk evolves and as policies and practices change, the pesticide continues to meet the statutory standard of causing no unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment. When EPA identifies risks of concern to human health or the environment, it amends pesticide labels to mitigate these risks.

The proposed interim decisions (PIDs) propose mitigation measures based on findings in the draft human health and ecological risk assessments (DRAs) and feedback submitted during the DRAs’ public comment period. The PIDs released today are for the following pesticides:

Biopesticides:

  • 2-methyl-1-butanol;
  • Calcium acetate;
  • Candida oleophilaI;
  • Cedarwood oil;
  • Citral;
  • Heptyl butyrate; and
  • l-carvone.

Conventional pesticides:

  • Chlorflurenol methyl ester;
  • Sedaxane;
  • Tebuconazole; and
  • Triadimefon and Triadimenol.

With the publication of the Federal Register notice, the PIDs are now available for public comment in each respective pesticide registration review docket at www.regulations.gov. Public comments will be accepted for 60 days.

After considering comments on the PIDs, the next step in the registration review process will be the interim decision, which finalizes any required risk mitigation measures to address human health and ecological risks of concern.

Visit EPA’s website for more information on the registration review process and the schedule of upcoming registration review actions.

Children’s Environmental Health: A Workshop on Future Priorities for Environmental Health Sciences

This original post was published by the EPA on July 12, 2022. Click here for more information.

 

August 1-4, 2022

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is hosting a free, virtual public workshop to discuss the state of science and knowledge about children’s environmental health.

The workshop will bring together experts in epidemiology, toxicology, dose response methodology, and exposure science to explore advancements in understanding the health effects from early life exposures to environmental hazards with effects across the life course, and implications for future priorities.

The workshop will feature invited presentations and discussion that may include:

• The state of knowledge on the vulnerabilities of different lifestages (prenatal, infancy, early childhood, adolescence) to environmental exposures.

• Science areas that may be important to advance the understanding of vulnerabilities across early lifestages, including exposures of people of childbearing age.

• Opportunities that may be critical to address and improve consistent application of children’s environmental health in risk assessment and regulatory decision making based on existing science.

• Implications of the state of the science to improve policies and programs to protect children’s environmental health.

This virtual workshop is scheduled to take place August 1-4, with half-day sessions starting mid-day Eastern Time.

More information and registration for this event. 

EPA Seeks Public Comment on Additional Ecological Mitigation Measures for Atrazine

This announcement was published by the EPA on June 30, 2022. Click here for more information.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing proposed revisions to the Agency’s September 2020 atrazine interim decision (ID) for public comment. The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) requires EPA to periodically re-evaluate pesticides through registration review to ensure that risk assessments and pesticide decisions reflect the best available science. The ID in the registration review process allows EPA to begin implementing measures to mitigate risks of concern before a final decision is issued.

Atrazine is one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States. It is used to control broadleaf and grassy weeds in a variety of agriculture crops, such as field corn, sweet corn, sorghum, and sugarcane. Atrazine is also used in non-agriculture settings, including nurseries, ornamentals, and turf. The herbicide is an important tool in agricultural production because it is economical, has a flexible use pattern, has long residual herbicidal activity, and is effective against a broad spectrum of weeds. Atrazine is also an important tool in herbicide resistance management, both in controlling weeds resistant to other herbicides and maintaining the effectiveness of other herbicides to control weeds.

In its 2016 atrazine ecological risk assessment, EPA determined that the scientifically derived concentration equivalent level of concern (CE-LOC) for atrazine, measured as a 60-day average, was 3.4 micrograms per liter (µg/L). This is the concentration of atrazine that, when exceeded, presents a greater than 50 percent chance of negatively affecting an aquatic environment. The CE-LOC is based on effects to aquatic plant communities; however, by ensuring protection of primary producers, the CE-LOC is intended to also provide protection for the entire aquatic ecosystem, including fish, invertebrates and amphibians.

In October 2019, EPA released a memo entitled Regulatory Update on the Registration Review of Atrazine, later cited in the September 2020 ID, that announced a policy decision that an atrazine concentration of 15 μg/L as a 60-day average triggers required monitoring and/or mitigation to protect aquatic plant communities from atrazine runoff. This policy decision did not supplant the scientifically derived CE-LOC of 3.4 μg/L. The currently proposed mitigations, if finalized, would supersede the October 2019 memo.

In October 2020, EPA received a petition alleging that the Agency violated its duties under FIFRA by issuing the atrazine ID without substantial evidence supporting the decision. In August 2021,  EPA sought a voluntary partial remand in light of President Biden’s executive order on protecting public health and the environment and restoring a commitment to science and scientific integrity. On December 14, 2021, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted EPA a voluntary partial remand, which provided the Agency the opportunity to reevaluate the policy decision to use 15 μg/L as the level of regulation for aquatic plant communities.

Based on its review of the substantial evidence associated with the atrazine ecological risk assessment and a consideration of growers’ need for flexible and manageable mitigation measures, EPA is now proposing, for public comment, additional mitigation to protect aquatic plant communities. EPA is proposing the following measures for all atrazine labels in order to decrease atrazine runoff from treated fields:

  • Prohibit application when soils are saturated or above field capacity (i.e., the soil’s ability to retain water);
  • Prohibit application during rain or when a storm event, likely to produce runoff from the treated area, is forecasted to occur within 48 hours following application;
  • Prohibit aerial applications of all formulations; and
  • Restrict annual application rates to 2 pounds of active ingredient or less per acre per year or less for applications to sorghum, field corn, and sweet corn.

In addition, EPA is proposing to add a “picklist” to labels that would require growers to select a combination of application rate reductions and/or runoff control measures when using atrazine in watersheds with atrazine concentrations that exceed the CE-LOC of 3.4 μg/L. The number of runoff control practices from the picklist that a grower would be required to implement depends on the estimated atrazine concentration in the watershed where the field is located and that watershed’s vulnerability to atrazine runoff, as well as the grower’s selected application rate. The higher the application rate and the higher the estimated atrazine concentration in the watershed, the greater the number of mitigation practices that may be necessary.

  • There are no picklist requirements for fields located in watersheds with predicted atrazine concentrations below 3.4 μg/L (approximately 82 percent of the total number of watersheds nationwide).
  • Fields located in watersheds with predicted atrazine concentrations between 3.4-9.8 µg/L (approximately 8 percent of watersheds) would generally be required to choose 1-4 picklist requirements, depending on application rate, crop, region, and soil erodibility.
  • Fields located in watersheds with predicted atrazine concentrations of above 9.8 µg/L (approximately 10 percent of watersheds) would have the highest level of required picklist mitigations to select.

The picklist approach provides growers with the flexibility to select the runoff control practices that would be least burdensome to adopt. The practices a grower selects may depend on a variety of factors including crop, geographic region, and field topography. The picklist mitigation requirements are tailored geographically, down to the watershed level, in order to focus the mitigation on the areas with the greatest risk and vulnerability.

The public comment period is now open for the Proposed Revisions to the Atrazine Interim Registration Review Decisioin the atrazine registration review docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0266 at www.regulations.gov. Public comments will be accepted for 60 days upon publication of the Federal Register notice.

After considering comments on the proposed revisions to the atrazine ID, EPA will determine if any changes are warranted to the proposed revisions and then release its decision on this re-evaluation. The Agency also intends to seek external peer review of the risks to the aquatic plant community that underlies this proposed risk management strategy. This is in line with the Agency’s commitment to science and scientific integrity, and will incorporate the feedback it receives into its final revisions to the ID.

More information on the registration review process is available here.

EPA Seeks Public Comment on Additional Ecological Mitigation Measures for Atrazine

This announcement was published by the EPA on June 30, 2022. Click here for more information.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing proposed revisions to the Agency’s September 2020 atrazine interim decision (ID) for public comment. The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) requires EPA to periodically re-evaluate pesticides through registration review to ensure that risk assessments and pesticide decisions reflect the best available science. The ID in the registration review process allows EPA to begin implementing measures to mitigate risks of concern before a final decision is issued.

Atrazine is one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States. It is used to control broadleaf and grassy weeds in a variety of agriculture crops, such as field corn, sweet corn, sorghum, and sugarcane. Atrazine is also used in non-agriculture settings, including nurseries, ornamentals, and turf. The herbicide is an important tool in agricultural production because it is economical, has a flexible use pattern, has long residual herbicidal activity, and is effective against a broad spectrum of weeds. Atrazine is also an important tool in herbicide resistance management, both in controlling weeds resistant to other herbicides and maintaining the effectiveness of other herbicides to control weeds.

In its 2016 atrazine ecological risk assessment, EPA determined that the scientifically derived concentration equivalent level of concern (CE-LOC) for atrazine, measured as a 60-day average, was 3.4 micrograms per liter (µg/L). This is the concentration of atrazine that, when exceeded, presents a greater than 50 percent chance of negatively affecting an aquatic environment. The CE-LOC is based on effects to aquatic plant communities; however, by ensuring protection of primary producers, the CE-LOC is intended to also provide protection for the entire aquatic ecosystem, including fish, invertebrates and amphibians.

In October 2019, EPA released a memo entitled Regulatory Update on the Registration Review of Atrazine, later cited in the September 2020 ID, that announced a policy decision that an atrazine concentration of 15 μg/L as a 60-day average triggers required monitoring and/or mitigation to protect aquatic plant communities from atrazine runoff. This policy decision did not supplant the scientifically derived CE-LOC of 3.4 μg/L. The currently proposed mitigations, if finalized, would supersede the October 2019 memo.

In October 2020, EPA received a petition alleging that the Agency violated its duties under FIFRA by issuing the atrazine ID without substantial evidence supporting the decision. In August 2021,  EPA sought a voluntary partial remand in light of President Biden’s executive order on protecting public health and the environment and restoring a commitment to science and scientific integrity. On December 14, 2021, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted EPA a voluntary partial remand, which provided the Agency the opportunity to reevaluate the policy decision to use 15 μg/L as the level of regulation for aquatic plant communities.

Based on its review of the substantial evidence associated with the atrazine ecological risk assessment and a consideration of growers’ need for flexible and manageable mitigation measures, EPA is now proposing, for public comment, additional mitigation to protect aquatic plant communities. EPA is proposing the following measures for all atrazine labels in order to decrease atrazine runoff from treated fields:

  • Prohibit application when soils are saturated or above field capacity (i.e., the soil’s ability to retain water);
  • Prohibit application during rain or when a storm event, likely to produce runoff from the treated area, is forecasted to occur within 48 hours following application;
  • Prohibit aerial applications of all formulations; and
  • Restrict annual application rates to 2 pounds of active ingredient or less per acre per year or less for applications to sorghum, field corn, and sweet corn.

In addition, EPA is proposing to add a “picklist” to labels that would require growers to select a combination of application rate reductions and/or runoff control measures when using atrazine in watersheds with atrazine concentrations that exceed the CE-LOC of 3.4 μg/L. The number of runoff control practices from the picklist that a grower would be required to implement depends on the estimated atrazine concentration in the watershed where the field is located and that watershed’s vulnerability to atrazine runoff, as well as the grower’s selected application rate. The higher the application rate and the higher the estimated atrazine concentration in the watershed, the greater the number of mitigation practices that may be necessary.

  • There are no picklist requirements for fields located in watersheds with predicted atrazine concentrations below 3.4 μg/L (approximately 82 percent of the total number of watersheds nationwide).
  • Fields located in watersheds with predicted atrazine concentrations between 3.4-9.8 µg/L (approximately 8 percent of watersheds) would generally be required to choose 1-4 picklist requirements, depending on application rate, crop, region, and soil erodibility.
  • Fields located in watersheds with predicted atrazine concentrations of above 9.8 µg/L (approximately 10 percent of watersheds) would have the highest level of required picklist mitigations to select.

The picklist approach provides growers with the flexibility to select the runoff control practices that would be least burdensome to adopt. The practices a grower selects may depend on a variety of factors including crop, geographic region, and field topography. The picklist mitigation requirements are tailored geographically, down to the watershed level, in order to focus the mitigation on the areas with the greatest risk and vulnerability.

The public comment period is now open for the Proposed Revisions to the Atrazine Interim Registration Review Decisioin the atrazine registration review docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0266 at www.regulations.gov. Public comments will be accepted for 60 days upon publication of the Federal Register notice.

After considering comments on the proposed revisions to the atrazine ID, EPA will determine if any changes are warranted to the proposed revisions and then release its decision on this re-evaluation. The Agency also intends to seek external peer review of the risks to the aquatic plant community that underlies this proposed risk management strategy. This is in line with the Agency’s commitment to science and scientific integrity, and will incorporate the feedback it receives into its final revisions to the ID.

More information on the registration review process is available here.

EPA Finalizes Biological Evaluations Assessing Potential Effects of Three Neonicotinoid Pesticides on Endangered Species

This announcement was published by the EPA on June 16, 2022. Click here for more information.

EPA has released its final biological evaluations (BEs) for clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam, part of a group of insecticides known as neonicotinoids, and its responses to comments received on the draft BEs. These neonicotinoids are used on a variety of crops, turf, and ornamentals, and for other residential and commercial indoor and outdoor uses.

In these BEs, EPA evaluated clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam to determine whether they may affect one or more federally listed endangered or threatened (listed) species or their designated critical habitats. These evaluations, which encompass all registered uses and approved product labels for pesticide products containing these chemicals, are part of EPA’s efforts to meet its obligations under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This work furthers the goals outlined in EPA’s April 2022 ESA Workplan to provide practical protections from pesticides for listed species.

The BEs evaluate the effects of clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam on over 1,700 listed species and over 800 designated critical habitats in the United States, determining that:

  • Clothianidin:
    • Will have no effect on 14 percent of species and 17 percent of critical habitats;
    • May affect but is not likely to adversely affect 19 percent of species and 27 percent of critical habitats; and
    • Is likely to adversely affect 67 percent of species and 56 percent of critical habitats.
  • Imidacloprid:
    • Will have no effect on 11 percent of species and 10 percent of critical habitats;
    • May affect but is not likely to adversely affect 9 percent of species and 7 percent of critical habitats; and
    • Is likely to adversely affect 79 percent of species and 83 percent of critical habitats.
  • Thiamethoxam:
    • Will have no effect on 12 percent of species and 11 percent of critical habitats;
    • May affect but is not likely to adversely affect 11 percent of species and 7 percent of critical habitats; and
    • Is likely to adversely affect 77 percent of species and 81 percent of critical habitats.

The “likely to adversely affect” (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. The likely “take,” which includes unintentional harm or death, of even one individual of a species, is enough to trigger an LAA determination. This is the case even if a species is almost recovered to a point where it may no longer need to be listed. 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.

Because of these findings, EPA has initiated formal consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (the Services). EPA will be working with the Services throughout the consultation process to clarify how the effects determinations included in the final BEs and comments received on the draft BEs can best inform the Services’ biological opinions (BiOps). EPA’s support is intended to make consultation more efficient and allow the Services to focus their resources on developing additional mitigations to protect species that are the most vulnerable to potential exposures.

During consultation, the Services will develop BiOps, which will include their official determinations of whether a pesticide is likely to jeopardize each relevant listed species or adversely modify its critical habitat, and include any additional mitigation measures the Services develop in coordination with EPA and stakeholders. EPA will then implement any necessary mitigation measures to protect listed species, in collaboration with pesticide registrants.

These final BEs follow the draft BEs for clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam, which EPA released for public comment in August 2021. The draft BEs were developed after the release of EPA’s proposed interim decisions (PIDs) for the neonicotinoid pesticides in January 2020. The PIDs are part of EPA’s registration review process for pesticides, required under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, to identify risks from pesticides and actions that can mitigate risks. In the PIDs, EPA proposed a suite of mitigation measures including annual application rate reductions, application timing restrictions, and measures to reduce spray drift. The Agency anticipates releasing amended PIDs in 2023, which will include updates to some of the previously proposed mitigations, and early mitigation measures to reduce neonicotinoid exposures for listed species. Mitigation measures will be finalized in the interim decisions, which EPA expects to release in 2024. EPA and the Services will consider these final mitigations during consultation.

Read the final BEs for clothianidinimidacloprid, and thiamethoxam.

To learn more about these BEs, see the Frequently Asked Questions.

EPA Solicits Applications for Cooperative Agreement for the Pesticide Inspector Residential Training (PIRT) Program

This announcement was published by the EPA on June 1, 2022. Click here for more information. 

 

EPA is soliciting applications to implement the Pesticide Residential Inspector Training (PIRT) Program for FY 2023 through FY 2027. Eligible applicants include states, federally recognized Indian tribes, Alaska Native Villages, inter-tribal consortia, and state and tribal institutions. Under this program, EPA will provide financial assistance on an annual basis to carry out a pesticide inspector residential training program. This pesticide-related training is intended for inspectors, scientists, supervisors, and managers of pesticide regulatory programs from states/tribes and U.S. territories working under Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Cooperative Agreements with EPA throughout the United States.

The Agency expects to provide an estimated $220,000-250,000 annually, for a total of up to $1,780,000 for five years (FY 2023 through 2027) depending on the Agency’s budget. EPA also expects to provide a one-time additional allocation of $530,000 at the start of the grant.

EPA must receive proposals through Grants.gov no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on July 16, 2022. To apply, go to grant opportunity EPA-HQ-OECA-2022-001 at Grants.gov.

EPA Releases List of Disinfectants for Emerging Viral Pathogens (EVPs) Including Monkeypox

This announcement was published by the EPA on May 26, 2022. Click here for more information.

On Monday, May 23, EPA triggered its emerging viral pathogen (EVP) guidance in response to recent cases of monkeypox in the United States. EPA expects products on its List of Disinfectants for Emerging Viral Pathogens to kill monkeypox when used according to the label directions.

When rare or novel viruses cause outbreaks of disease, there may be few if any disinfectants that have been tested and registered for use against that specific pathogen. To prepare for situations like these, EPA created the EVP guidance, which allows disinfectant manufacturers to submit data to EPA demonstrating a product’s efficacy against difficult-to-inactivate viruses.

Monkeypox belongs to a group of viruses that is more susceptible to disinfectants than other types of viruses. While there are no disinfectants registered for use against monkeypox, all products with EVP claims have been tested against viruses that are more difficult to kill than monkeypox.

The use of products with EVP claims supplements but does not replace other infection control practices. Individuals should follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state, and local public health guidelines. Learn more about monkeypox from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

EPA Launches Modernized Design for the Environment Logo for Disinfectant and Other Antimicrobial Products

This original post was published by EPA on May 12, 2022. Click here for more information.

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is launching a new, modern Design for the Environment (DfE) logo that will appear on antimicrobial products like disinfectants and sanitizers within the next year. EPA’s DfE logo helps consumers and commercial buyers identify antimicrobial products that meet the health and safety standards of the normal pesticide registration process required by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) as well as other rigorous criteria required by the agency.

“Protecting the health and safety of our families and our homes is central to EPA’s mission,” said Michal Freedhoff, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “EPA is excited to take the DfE program to the next level with a bold, new logo to further empower consumers to make environmentally and health-conscious buying decisions.”

To further EPA’s mission of protecting human health and the environment, in 2009, the DfE program began including products that sanitize and disinfect, including wipes and sprays used to treat surfaces like countertops, tubs, tile, and toilets. To qualify for the DfE logo, every ingredient in a product must meet a rigorous set of chemical and toxicological standards.

EPA has seen a surge of engagement in the last few years from consumers, schools, and other organizations who want to know more about how the products they use affect their health and the environment—and who are eager to make the most responsible purchasing choices they can. The updated logo released today should make DfE-certified products easier for purchasers to find, which in turn will encourage companies to seek certification for their products.

Companies who make products carrying the DfE logo have invested heavily in research and reformulation to ensure that their products meet the DfE certification requirements. Pursuing DfE certification provides an opportunity for companies to work toward their sustainability goals.

DfE products meet criteria that evaluate human health and environmental effects, product performance, packaging, and ingredients. The requirements are intended to:

  • minimize any possible risks to human health by excluding ingredients that might have the potential to negatively impact young children, cause cancer, or have other negative effects,
  • further protect fish and other aquatic life,
  • minimize pollution of air or waterways and prevent harmful chemicals from being added to the land, and ensure products have no unresolved compliance, enforcement, or efficacy issues.

EPA does not consider the logo to be an endorsement. Similar to saying a pesticide is “EPA-registered” because EPA has found it meets the registration standard, the DfE logo indicates that the product has been reviewed and meets the FIFRA registration standard as well as the standards for the DfE program.

To learn about the process for seeking DfE certification for antimicrobial products, see EPA’s website.

EPA Announces Virtual Environmental Modeling Public Meeting on Endangered Species; Calls for Abstracts

This original announcement was published by the EPA on May 10, 2022. Click here for more information.

On June 23, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a virtual Environmental Modeling Public Meeting (EMPM) to engage with stakeholders on EPA’s recently released Endangered Species Act Workplan, with a focus on mitigation strategies.

The EMPM is a public forum held as needed for pesticide registrants and other stakeholders to discuss regulatory issues with EPA, when environmental modeling topics are identified. Meetings cover issues related to modeling pesticide fate, transport, and exposure for risk assessments. EPA is accepting abstracts for presentations to be given at the meeting that focus on:

  • Practical measures to avoid, minimize, or offset pesticide effects to federally listed endangered and threatened species and their designated critical habitats;
  • Mitigation or specific label language to reduce on- and off-site exposures from spray drift and runoff; and
  • Quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the impact of various mitigation options that could be used to avoid jeopardy and adverse modification for listed species and designated critical habitats, and to minimize “take” of individuals of a listed species.

The meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT. Registration is required. To attend the meeting, contact OPP_EMPM@epa.gov by June 16.

To present at the meeting, please submit abstracts to OPP_EMPM@epa.gov for consideration by May 26.

Find more information at www.regulations.gov in docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0879.

Contact OPP_EMPM@epa.gov to sign up for additional EMPM updates and abstract requests for future meetings, or if you have questions about this event.

EPA Shares Data on Chitosan Salts for Public Comment

This original post was published on May 6, 2022. Click here for more information.

Today, in support of transparency and sound science, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making available for comment two aquatic toxicity reports related to the ongoing rulemaking in response to a petition to add chitosan to the minimum risk pesticide exemption list. The purpose of the exemption list is to eliminate the need for the Agency to expend significant resources to regulate products deemed to be of minimum risk to human health and the environment. Products that contain only those active and inert ingredients allowed by the exemption and meet certain Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) requirements are exempt from the normal FIFRA registration requirements. Approximately a decade has passed since a substance was added to the list of ingredients eligible for the minimum risk pesticide exemption.

Chitosan is a naturally occurring substance found in the cell walls of all crustaceans, most fungi, and the exoskeletons of most insects. It is currently registered with EPA under FIFRA as a fungicide, antimicrobial agent, and plant growth regulator that boosts the ability of plants to defend against fungal infections. Chitosan is currently widely available to the public for non-pesticidal uses, and has established applications in various industries including textiles, cosmetics, beverage processing, and water treatment.

On October 10, 2018, EPA received a petition from Tidal Vision Products, LLC requesting that chitosan be added to the list of active ingredients allowed in exempted minimum risk pesticide products. In November 2020, EPA requested comments from the public on a proposed rule to add chitosan to the list of active ingredients eligible for the exemption. The public comments received on the proposal expressed concerns regarding derivatives of chitosan that are likely to be produced when chitosan is mixed with certain acids and on the potential hazard for aquatic organisms exposed to chitosan salts.

In November 2021, EPA requested additional information from the petitioner on chitosan salts and their potential effect on the environment and, in response, received two aquatic toxicity reports. Because these reports were not available when the rule was proposed, EPA is now seeking public input on how the reports may be used to inform the Agency’s assessment of the aquatic toxicity of chitosan and its salts.Stakeholders are invited to submit any questions, comments, and concerns related to these reports so EPA may consider them before deciding whether to add chitosan to the minimum risk exemption.

The public comment period will be open for 30 days in docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2019-0701 at www.regulations.gov, starting May 6, 2022.