New Coalition Brings Together Diverse Stakeholders to Improve Honey Bee Health

From: Keystone Center

Approximately 80% of flowering plants rely on the honey bee and other native and managed pollinators; these plants include crops like almonds, apples, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, squash, tomatoes, and alfalfa among many others. Honey bees directly and indirectly support approximately $18 billion of United States food production annually. However, a major decline in honey bee health has put agriculture, healthy lifestyles, and worldwide food security at risk.

In the United States, approximately 30% of managed honey bees now die each winter compared to around 15% that beekeepers consider acceptable. This makes it increasingly difficult for beekeepers to stay in business, hurting not only the beekeepers and their families but also the farmers and agricultural communities that rely on those bees to pollinate crops.

Chemical Safety One Year After Explosion in West, TX

From: GAO Watchblog

Last year, a fire set off a tragic explosion at a fertilizer storage and distribution facility in West, Texas. The explosion killed and injured many people and severely damaged nearby houses and other buildings, including schools. While the investigation that followed was unable to identify the cause of the initial fire, it determined that the explosion involved the chemical ammonium nitrate. We recently recommended steps certain federal agencies should take to more safely manage this chemical. 

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Excerpted from GAO-14-274

Uses and Risks of Ammonium Nitrate

Ammonium nitrate has many uses, including:

Faster Than the Speed of Bureaucracy: Why Agricultural Retailers Need to be Able to Participate in Chemical Safety Regulation on an Ongoing Basis

Editor’s Note: This morning Bloomberg/BNA published a story, Chemical Security Recommendations Include EPA Alert on Inherently Safer Technology, that highlights why agricultural retailers need to be able to effectively interact with federal regulators on an ongoing basis—because technologies, including inherently safer technologies, move faster than regulatory processes and thus EPA, DHS and other regulatory agencies need to receive substantive public input on an ongoing basis in order to be able to do their jobs effectively.

Reprinted from: OIRA Watch

Was The Following Recommendation More Than a Nudge?

Editor’s Note: CRE has had a historical interest in expanding public participation in rulemaking through its development of Interactive Public Dockets.

DHS Submits CFATS ANPRM to OMB

From: Chemical Facility Security News

Yesterday the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) announced that it had received the proposed language for an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) for revisions to the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS). This is the rulemaking that I discussed earlier this week.

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In your hands: Biggest farm technology innovations still to come

From: Farmers Weekly

In the final article of our In your hands series, Crops, in association with BASF, shows why the biggest job on earth is in farmers’ hands. This month, Caroline Stocks examines how innovation and new technology will help feed a growing world population.

Even just a decade ago, few arable producers would have predicted the tools they would be regularly using on farms today.

Robots, drones, driverless tractors and biopesticides sound like the stuff of science fiction movies rather than modern agriculture.

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