Tag Archive for: EPA

EPA Accepting Public Comments on Nominees for the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel

This original announcement was published by the EPA on July 28, 2022. Click here for more information.

 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting public comments on nominations for membership on the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP). 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. The FIFRA SAP is a permanent panel consisting of seven members who are appointed by the EPA Administrator after being nominated by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). This action follows EPA’s request for nominations for the FIFRA SAP from NIH and NSF on March 24, 2022.

The Agency anticipates selecting new members to serve on the panel to replace members whose terms will soon expire. Current members of the FIFRA SAP are also eligible for reappointment during this period. Therefore, the appointments completed over the next year may include a mix of newly appointed and reappointed members.

Public comments on the nominees should be submitted to docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2022-0602 at www.regulations.gov on or before August 29, 2022. These comments will be used to assist the Agency in selecting the new members for the chartered panel. Biographies for each of the nominees are available in the docket. For additional information, please see the Federal Register notice or contact Steven Knott (knott.steven@epa.gov), M.S., DFO, Office of Program Support, Environmental Protection Agency (202-564-0103).

EPA Extends Application Period for Cooperative Agreement for the Pesticide Inspector Residential Training (PIRT) Program

This original announcement was published by the EPA on July 27, 2022. Click here for more information.

 

EPA has extended the application deadline for applications to implement the Pesticide Residential Inspector Training (PIRT) Program for CY 2023 through 2027. EPA must receive proposals through Grants.gov no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on September 8, 2022. To apply, go to grant opportunity EPA-HQ-OECA-2022-001 at Grants.gov.

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 state/tribes and U.S. territories working under FIFRA Cooperative Agreements with EPA throughout the United States.

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

EPA Releases Draft Assessment of Effects of Sulfoxaflor on Endangered Species for Public Comment

This original announcement was published by the EPA on July 20, 2022. Click here for more information.

 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing its draft biological evaluation (BE) that contains EPA’s analysis of the potential effects of the insecticide sulfoxaflor on federally listed endangered and threatened (listed) species and designated critical habitats. The draft BE will be available for comment for 60 days.

Sulfoxaflor was first registered in 2013 and is used on a variety of crops to target difficult pests, such as aphids and tarnished plant bugs (lygus), as an alternative to older insecticides, including carbamates, neonicotinoids, organophosphates and pyrethroids. The draft assessment finds that, overall, when compared to insecticides like the neonicotinoids imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam, and the organophosphate insecticides malathion, chlorpyrifos and diazinon, sulfoxaflor is less persistent and less toxic to most species, which generally leads to lower risks to human health and the environment.

The BE is 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.

Background on sulfoxaflor

In 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated EPA’s 2013 sulfoxaflor registration, citing inadequate data on the effects of sulfoxaflor on bees. Following the court’s decision, EPA issued a cancellation order on Nov. 12, 2015, prohibiting the distribution or sale of sulfoxaflor.

In 2016, EPA issued a new, limited registration for sulfoxaflor, allowing its use only on crops that are not attractive to pollinators or in situations that minimize or eliminate potential exposure to bees. These new restrictions practically eliminated exposure to bees in the field, and EPA was able to register certain uses of sulfoxaflor while protecting pollinators.

In 2019, after completing a comprehensive risk assessment of the effects of sulfoxaflor that utilized a large suite of data on potential honey bee effects, EPA expanded the sulfoxaflor registration to include uses on alfalfa, corn, cacao, grains, pineapple, sorghum, teff, teosinte, tree plantations, citrus, cotton, cucurbits, soybeans, and strawberries. EPA also amended instructions for uses that were registered in 2016.

Draft biological evaluation

EPA’s draft BE finds that sulfoxaflor is likely to adversely affect certain listed species and designated 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 sulfoxaflor 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.

In this BE, EPA further refined its analysis to predict the likelihood that sulfoxaflor use could lead to jeopardy for certain listed species or adverse modification of designated critical habitats. In contrast to its LAA determinations, EPA’s draft likelihood of jeopardy and adverse modification predictions examine effects of sulfoxaflor at the species scale (population as opposed to an individual of a species). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service (collectively “the Services”) will make the final determination as to whether sulfoxaflor use could lead to jeopardy or adverse modification.

As part of its assessment, EPA evaluated the effects of sulfoxaflor on over 1,700 listed species and over 800 designated critical habitats in the United States, determining that sulfoxaflor, without further mitigation:

  • Will cause no effect to 36 percent of listed species and 52 percent of critical habitats;
  • May affect but is not likely to adversely affect 30 percent of listed species and 35 percent of critical habitats;
  • Is likely to adversely affect but EPA predicts the likelihood that use will not:
    • Cause jeopardy to 27 percent of listed species; or
    • Adversely modify 9 percent of critical habitats; and
  • Is likely to adversely affect and EPA predicts the likelihood that use may:
    • Cause jeopardy to 7 percent of listed species; and
    • Adversely modify 4 percent of critical habitats.

EPA has begun discussions with the registrant to determine what additional mitigation measures could be implemented in the near term to protect listed species and critical habitats. In response, the registrant recently proposed additional amendments to sulfoxaflor product labels that include certain mitigation measures. EPA may consider mitigations in addition to those proposed by the registrant, such as adding or increasing buffers, imposing geographical use limits, or incorporating additional methods to reduce pesticide drift. EPA encourages public comments on the proposed label amendments and other mitigation measures that may be appropriate.

In this draft BE, EPA used historical insecticide usage data for certain use patterns and use areas to better understand where and how farmers use insecticides that target a similar group of pests as sulfoxaflor. This allowed EPA to better understand where listed species could be exposed to sulfoxaflor. The Agency is also interested in stakeholder comments regarding the usage data that EPA incorporated in the BE.

After considering public comments on the draft BE and any additional mitigations that are agreed upon with the sulfoxaflor registrant, EPA will make any appropriate changes and issue a final BE. If EPA determines in its final BE that sulfoxaflor is not likely to adversely affect listed species and/or critical habitats given the agreed-upon mitigation measures, EPA will enter informal consultation with the Service(s) for their concurrence. If EPA determines that sulfoxaflor is likely to adversely affect listed species and/or critical habitats, EPA will initiate formal consultation and share its findings with the Services. During formal consultation, the Services use EPA’s effects determinations to inform their biological opinions (BiOps), which will include the final determinations of whether a pesticide jeopardizes each relevant listed species and/or adversely modifies designated critical habitats. Through the formal consultation process, the Service(s), EPA, the sulfoxaflor registrant, and other stakeholders may develop additional mitigation measures to protect listed species and/or designated critical habitats.

The draft BE will be available for public comment for 60 days in docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0889.

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 Supports New Funding Opportunity from the Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative for Pesticide Safety in Agricultural Communities

This original announcement was published by the EPA on June 2, 2022. Click here for more information.

Through a cooperative agreement funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative (PERC) is making $200,000 in funding available for 2022-2023 to non-profit organizations for community-based projects. These grants will help fund efforts supporting the health and safety of farmworkers, agricultural pesticide handlers, their families and communities.

PERC is funded through a cooperative agreement between EPA and the University of California Davis in partnership with Oregon State University to help increase the reach and scope of pesticide safety educational materials to farmworkers and their families in rural agricultural areas. A new initiative in this five-year cooperative agreement includes “administering subawards to nonprofit organizations for the implementation of community-based projects that provide an “on-the-ground” expertise and perspective to develop effective and audience-appropriate pesticide education and training materials”. EPA funds several projects that advance pesticide safety education and support the implementation of the Worker Protection Standard and Certification of Pesticide Applicators regulations, including PERC. PERC coordinates the development of nationwide pesticide-related educational resources including multilingual manuals, pamphlets, webpages, videos and guides for different targeted audiences on how to work with or around pesticides safely. See a complete list of PERC’s projects.

Through this new opportunity, PERC anticipates funding two to four agricultural community-based projects. The outreach projects are to be carried out at local and/or regional levels and tailored to the target audience within the agricultural community to enhance pesticide safety protections. The desired outcomes include educating farmworkers and/or agricultural pesticide handlers on the safe use of pesticides, enhancing the capabilities of partners to develop and implement programs/activities that prevent and reduce pesticide risks to farmworker communities, and protecting human health and ecosystems from exposure to pesticides. To learn more about the desired outcomes, visit the Pesticide Resources’ Community-Based Projects webpage.

Applications are currently being accepted and must be submitted to PERC no later than 8:00 p.m. EDT on July 1, 2022. For more information on this funding opportunity and to apply, please visit: https://pesticideresources.org/CBP/.