EPA has initiated formal consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the potential effects of Rozol Prairie Dog Bait, for the control of black-tailed prairie dogs, on wildlife species listed under the Endangered Species Act as either threatened or endangered. The Biological Opinion relative to this consultation is posted at www.epa.gov/espp and included in public docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0909 at Regulations.gov so that EPA may receive public input on any changes to this pesticide’s registration recommended by FWS. EPA must receive any comments on this BiOp no later than February 17, 2012.
The President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology met on January 6, 2012, to discuss a number of issues, including a report evaluating the effectiveness of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), which coordinates nanotechnology programs across EPA and other agencies,” PCAST Vice Chair Maxine Savitz, of the National Academy of Engineering, said at the meeting that “The key thing as we move into manufacturing is environmental impacts — and making sure we know ahead of time what they are.” The report is expected to be discussed further during PCAST’s March 9, 2012 meeting. Savitz’s remarks follow an Office of Inspector General report that identified a number of flaws in EPA’s risk management and risk assessment process for nanomaterials, including: “EPA’s management of nanomaterials is limited by a lack of risk information and reliance on industry-submitted data.” A webcast of PCAST’s January 6th meeting is available at http://www.tvworldwide.com/events/pcast/120106/
The Association of American Pesticide Control Officials will meet March 4-7, 2012, in Alexandria, Virginia. On the first day, Mr. Steve Bradbury, Director, EPA Office of Pesticide Programs, will speak on EPA OPP’s Priorities and Initiatives. The meeting agenda is available here: http://aapco.ceris.purdue.edu/doc/announce/agen030412.pdf
On January 17, 2012, EPA finally publicly released the EPA Office of Inspector General’s Response to Corrective Action Plan for OIG Report No. 11-P-0215, EPA ‘s Endocrine Disrupt or Screening Program Should Establish Management Controls to Ensure More Timely Results, May 3, 2011. The OIG is not entirely satisfied with EPA’s response. For example, the IG’s response letter asks for an “EDSP Management Plan [that] should clearly establish the criteria that the Agency will use to evaluate chemicals during Tier 2 testing, including references and links to specific guidance documents, targeted studies, risk assessment guidance, and hazard evaluation criteria to be used during Tier 2 testing.”
There will be a 3-day meeting of EPA’s Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel on January 31, 2012 to February 2, 2012, from 9 a.m. to approximately 5:30 p.m. The purpose of this SAP meeting is to consider and review Common Effects Assessment Methodology developed in the Office of Pesticide Programs and Office of Water.
The Agency encourages that written comments be submitted by January 17, 2012 and requests for oral comments be submitted by January 24, 2012. However, written comments and requests to make oral comments may be submitted until the date of the meeting.
According to recent research, use of the herbicide atrazine encourages conservation tillage and no-till farming, and reduces soil erosion by up to 85 million tons annually. These conclusions come from a paper, “Estimating soil erosion and fuel use changes and their monetary values with AGSIM: A case study for triazine herbicides,” presented by University of Wisconsin-Madison economist Paul D. Mitchell at the January 10, 2012, Wisconsin Crop Management Conference. Other findings in the study include:
● Atrazine and sister triazine herbicides, simazine and propazine, benefit U.S. society by up to $350 million in soil erosion costs per year;
The EPA Inspector General has issued a report criticizing EPA’s regulation of nano pesticide materials. The IG report is entitled “EPA Needs to Manage Nanomaterial Risks More Effectively.” The IG report found “that EPA does not currently have sufficient information or processes to effectively manage the human health and environmental risks of nanomaterials. EPA has the statutory authority to regulate nanomaterials but currently lacks the environmental and human health exposure and toxicological data to do so effectively.”
Read the IG report attached below.
The National Research Council, of the National Academy of Sciences, is reviewing “Ecological Risk Assessment Under FIFRA and ESA.” The NAS/NRC is performing this review at the request of EPA, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of Agriculture.
The NAS/NRC review site is at
Specific topics that the NAS/NRC will consider during its review include the following: