CRE Comments on Flaws in ESA Pesticide Models
On June 10, 2016, the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness filed comments on EPA’s Draft Biological Evaluations for chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion. CRE’s comments included the following Executive Summary (footnotes omitted):
“CRE’s comments address Topic 1: flaws in the environmental models used in the draft BEs.
EPA, NMFS and FWS (“the agencies”) have not produced a public record demonstrating that the regulatory models (“ESA models”) that they used for the BEs are properly validated and meet the required quality standards. These standards include transparency and consistency of model predictions with observed field data.
The agencies should not use any of these models until and unless the agencies have successfully completed the following steps:
1) Demonstrate in a public record that all of the ESA models comply with
A) Guidance on the Development, Evaluation, and Application of Environmental Models (EPA 2009) (“CREM Guidance”), at https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-04/documents/cred_guidance_0309.pdf ;
B) National Academy of Sciences, Models in Environmental Regulatory Decision Making (2007) (“NAS Report”), at http://www.nap.edu/download.php?record_id=11972# ; and
C) The Information Quality Act (“IQA”) Guidelines applicable to EPA, NMFS and FWS.
2) This public record should include an external peer review report on compliance of the ESA models with the regulatory requirements listed in items 1A-1C above. NMFS has already done this regarding one of its other regulatory model’s compliance with CREM Guidance. We suggest use of EPA’s Science Advisory Panels (“SAP”) for peer review of the ESA models.”