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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!

EPA Makes Paraquat Draft Risk Assessments Available for Public Comment

This original announcement was published by the EPA on October 15, 2019 and can be accessed here.

Today, EPA is taking an important step in its regulatory review of paraquat—an herbicide used in agricultural and commercial settings only. The draft risk assessments are the product of an extensive evaluation of available data on the health and environmental impacts associated with the pesticide. The agency is seeking public input on draft human health and ecological risk assessments. These draft risk assessments are the next step in the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) registration review process and are not a denial or an approval of the herbicide. Public comments will be accepted until December 16, 2019.

Additional Background

Paraquat is already applied annually to control invasive weeds and plants in more than 100 crops—including cotton, corn, and soybeans, and there are presently no direct alternatives to this product. All paraquat products are Restricted Use Products. Additionally, paraquat products can only be applied by certified pesticide applicators. EPA does not allow the use of paraquat in residential areas.

EPA has taken proactive steps, outside of the standard registration review process, to ensure paraquat is used in a manner that is safe and consistent with the label directions. This includes a safety awareness campaign and changes to labels and product packaging to stop improper uses, which have led to poisonings and deaths. Additionally, specialized training for certified applicators who use paraquat was released earlier this year to ensure that the pesticide is used correctly. EPA is continuing to evaluate the effectiveness of these measures as the agency works to complete the required registration review process.

EPA found no dietary risks of concern when paraquat is used according to label instructions. The draft human health risk assessment identifies potential risks to workers who apply paraquat or enter treated fields after application. There are also potential risks from spray drift to bystanders at the edge of the field. The draft ecological risk assessment identifies potential risks to mammals, birds, adult honey bees, terrestrial plants, and algae. Historically, EPA has received feedback from the public linking the proper use of paraquat to Parkinson’s Disease, however, EPA’s review of the available information in the draft assessment did not support a causal relationship. As with all aspects of the draft risk assessments, the agency is seeking additional feedback from the public during the 60-day public comment period on the relationship between paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease.

After public comments on the human health and ecological risk assessments are reviewed, EPA will determine whether updates or revisions to the assessments are necessary. EPA will propose additional risk mitigation measures, if necessary, in 2020, via its Registration Review Proposed Interim Decision. Learn more about paraquat today.

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.

EPA Releases Aquatic Life Benchmarks for Freshwater Species

This original announcement was published by the EPA on October 1, 2019 and can be access here

Today, EPA released the revised Aquatic Life Benchmarks table, which includes both new and updated aquatic life benchmark values.

State, tribal and local governments use these benchmarks in their interpretation of water monitoring data. Comparing a measured concentration of a pesticide in water to an aquatic life benchmark can be helpful in interpreting monitoring data and in identifying and prioritizing sites and pesticides that may require further investigation.

New aquatic life benchmarks represent newly available toxicity endpoints for registered chemicals. EPA’s goal is to add to these benchmarks on an annual basis.

EPA based these benchmarks on toxicity values found in scientific studies that the agency reviewed in support of publicly available ecological risk assessments and regulatory decisions. The table directly links the source documents for each of the benchmarks.

For more information click here.

EPA Releases Draft Policy to Reduce Pesticide Testing on Birds

This original announcement was published by the EPA on September 17th, 2019.

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft science policy intended to reduce testing of pesticides on birds when registering conventional outdoor pesticides. The draft policy is open for public comment. This draft policy is in line with  EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s recent commitment to reduce animal testing at EPA.

“Today, EPA is issuing a new proposal to reduce pesticide testing on birds,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This is EPA’s first action after my recent directive to aggressively reduce animal testing throughout the Agency.”

The draft policy represents another step toward the agency’s commitment to reduce animal testing while also ensuring that the agency receives enough information to support pesticide registration decisions that are protective of public health and the environment.

Waiving requirements for toxicity studies when they offer little additional scientific information or public health protection is an important component of the draft policy, which emphasizes avoiding unnecessary resource use, data generation costs, and animal testing.

The foundation of this policy is EPA’s collaboration with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). EPA and PETA are working on a retrospective analysis of avian acute oral and subacute dietary studies. This analysis will address whether EPA can confidently assess acute risk for birds using only the single oral dose protocol.

The draft policy can be found at: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2019-09/documents/draft-waiver-guidance-avian-sub-acute-dietary.pdf.

EPA is accepting public comment until Nov. 1, 2019. Please email comments to OPPeco@epa.gov.

EPA Receives Request for Experimental Permit to Combat Mosquitoes

This original announcement was published by the EPA on September 11, 2019. View the proposal description here


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has received an application for an experimental use permit that would allow Oxitec to study the use of genetically engineered mosquitoes to reduce mosquito populations. EPA is sharing a description of the application with the public for a 30-day comment period, closing Oct. 11, 2019.

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes can spread several diseases of significant human health concern, including the Zika virus and dengue fever. Oxitec’s proposal is to conduct additional research on reducing these mosquito populations and to gather information that could support a subsequent application for broader use in the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that “preventing bites from insects and ticks is vital to stopping the spread of vector-borne diseases, and more prevention methods are needed.”

Oxitec is proposing to release genetically engineered male mosquitoes into the environment to mate with wild female mosquitoes. Male mosquitoes do not bite people. These males are modified in such a way that causes their female offspring to die as larvae. Male offspring would survive to become fully functional adults with the same modifications, which can provide multi-generational effectiveness so that ultimately Aedes aegypti mosquito populations in the release areas decline.

Oxitec’s proposed experimental program is designed to take place over 24 months on up to 6,600 acres in Harris County, Texas, and Monroe County, Florida.

After review of the application and public comments, EPA will decide whether to issue or deny the permit and, if issued, the conditions under which the study is to be conducted.

Public comments about this proposed permit should be submitted to EPA-HQ-OPP-2019-0274 on or before Oct. 11, 2019.

View the proposal description.

EPA Seeks Comment on Process for Evaluating Pesticide Synergy for Ecological Risk Assessments

This original announcement was published by the EPA on September 9, 2019.


EPA has developed an interim process to review synergy data for mixtures of pesticide active ingredients and potentially incorporate that information into our ecological risk estimates. The interim process will be available for public comment on or before October 24, 2019 on www.regulations.govin docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0433.

EPA generally evaluates pesticide ecological risks based on toxicity information from studies conducted with single active ingredients. This is based on best available evidence on pesticide interactions and the expectation that those interactions are rare. More recently, patent claims of synergy against target pests have raised questions and concerns about the adequacy of estimating risk of each individual active ingredient alone, especially for products mixed prior to application or products containing multiple active ingredients. Synergy occurs when the combined effect of two or more active ingredients are greater than the sum of the effects the chemicals would have individually. EPA hopes this process will close the gap between patent claims and our ecological risk assessments.

The specific feedback EPA is looking for is included in section IV of the Federal Register notice. Based on feedback and our analysis of the results of this process, EPA will determine whether synergy data supporting patents is useful for our ecological risk assessments and whether we should modify the interim process.

EPA to Hold Environmental Modeling Public Meeting in October

This original announcement was published by the EPA on September 4, 2019. Click here for more information.  

On Oct. 16, 2019, EPA will hold its semi-annual Environmental Modeling Public Meeting. This is a public forum for pesticide registrants, other stakeholders, and EPA to discuss current issues related to modeling pesticide fate, transport and exposure for risk assessments in a regulatory context.

The meeting will focus on:

  • Sources of usage data (relating to the actual application of pesticides, in terms of the quantity applied or units treated);
  • Spatial applications of usage data;
  • Model parameterization;
  • Extrapolation of usage data to fill in gaps;
  • Temporal variability of usage; and
  • Updates on ongoing topics.

There will also be presentations on incorporating pesticide usage data into environmental exposure and ecological risk assessments.

Registration is required. Requests to participate in the meeting must be received on or before Sept. 23, 2019. Please contact Rebecca Lazarus or Zoe Ruge at OPP_EMPM@epa.gov to register.

More information can be found at www.regulations.gov in docket # EPA_FRDOC_0001-24430Sign up for updates and abstract requests for future Environmental Modeling Public Meetings.

EPA Proposes Rule to Revise Pesticide Crop Grouping Regulations for Herbs and Spices

This original announcement was published by the EPA on August 27, 2019. You can access more information here

EPA is taking public comment on a proposed rule to expand and revise the pesticide crop grouping regulations.

With these revisions, EPA seeks to:

  • Enhance our ability to conduct food safety evaluations on herb and spice crops for tolerance-setting purposes;
  • Promote global harmonization of food safety standards;
  • Reduce regulatory burden; and
  • Ensure food safety for agricultural goods.

The proposed rule and related documents are available in docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0766 atwww.regulations.gov. Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted until October 28, 2019.

EPA sets tolerances, which are the maximum amount of a pesticide allowed to remain in or on a food, as part of the process of regulating pesticides that may leave residues in food.

Crop groups are established when residue data for certain representative crops are used to establish pesticide tolerances for a group of crops that are botanically or taxonomically related. Representative crops of a crop group or subgroup are those whose residue data can be used to establish a tolerance for the entire group or subgroup.

EPA is proposing two new large groups — “Crop Group 25: Herb Group” and “Crop Group 26: Spice Group” — as well as several other technical amendments to the crop group system. We anticipate that lower-risk pesticides could come forward for group tolerances and registration on herb and spice crops because of the proposed crop groups. Additionally, fewer field trials would be needed for regulatory decision-making on many similar herb and spice crops.

This proposed crop group rule is based on petitions submitted to EPA by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Interregional Research Project Number 4 and is the fifth in an ongoing series of revisions to the crop grouping regulations.

EPA Seeks Public Comment on Pesticide Applications for Hemp

The original announcement was published by the EPA on 8/21/19 and can be found here

LEXINGTON, Ky. (August 21, 2019) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the receipt of 10 pesticide applications to expand their use on hemp. The 10 requests are the result of the December 2018 Farm Bill provisions that removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, legalizing hemp for commercial use and production.

“EPA is taking the next step toward registering crop protection tools for hemp in time for use during the 2020 application and growing seasons,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “The Agency is announcing a 30-day public comment period on ten existing pesticide product applications for industrial hemp. We hope this transparent and public process will bring hemp farmers and researchers increased regulatory clarity in time for next growing season — something they have asked for since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill and the legalization of commercial hemp.”

“Given the strong economic forecasts for hemp production in the United States, it comes as no surprise that we are beginning to see pesticide registrants intensify their interests in gaining crop protection approvals for use on hemp,” said Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention at the Hemp Production Field Day at the University of Kentucky. “EPA is committed to helping hemp growers obtain the tools needed to support and increase commercial production. This step recognizes that innovation in pesticide use is critical to the success of our strong and vibrant agricultural sector.”

“I am grateful to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Assistant Administrator Alexandra Dapolito Dunn for selecting the University of Kentucky’s hemp field days to announce new pesticide applications for hemp,” said Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles. “With about 1,000 Kentucky growers licensed to grow hemp this year, farmers need every tool in the toolbox to increase yields and protect their crops from harmful pests. This announcement proves the EPA is listening to the needs of hemp growers in Kentucky and around the nation.”

“Today’s announcement is a welcome first step on the path to registration of safe and effective crop protection agents for a rapidly expanding hemp enterprise,” said Dr. Bob Pearcehemp researcher at the University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment.  “My colleagues and I have already identified a number of weeds, insects, and plant diseases that pose a potential threat to economically viable hemp production.  We will work closely with EPA to identify and evaluate best management practices for the use of crop protection agents to help control pests in hemp crops.

“As one of the original proponents of legalizing hemp, I’ve continued to advocate for the success and growth of this budding industry. I’m glad to see EPA Administrator Wheeler taking comments on pesticide applications for hemp, and I’m excited this announcement is being made at the Hemp Production Field Day at UK. Kentucky has been and will continue to be a leader in the hemp industry, and it’s been my honor to advocate for this industry since I came to the Senate in 2011,” said Senator Rand Paul.

“I commend EPA for recognizing the significance hemp has in our nation’s agriculture economy, particularly in the state of Kentucky,” said Rep. James Comer (KY-01) “Getting these registrants approved prior to the next growing season is a tremendous help to our farmers. Thanks to Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Assistant Administrator Alexandra Dapolito Dunn for helping provide the necessary tools our producers need to ensure they have the opportunity to produce the best crop.”

To ensure transparency and improve EPA’s process for considering pest management tools for the emerging American hemp industry, EPA is seeking public comment on these applications. The list of pesticides can be found in the Federal Register notice. Comments are due 30 days after the notice publishes in the Federal Register.

Once public comments are received, EPA anticipates deciding about the possible use of the specified products on hemp before the end of 2019 to help growers make informed purchasing choices for the upcoming growing season. Moving forward, EPA will review, approve or deny applications for use on hemp as the agency would for any other use site.

The enacted 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp with a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of no more than 0.3% on a dry-weight basis. Thus, the 2018 Farm Bill allows for expanding cultivation of hemp, but not marijuana.