EPA, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce and the Department of Interior have asked the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to review several issues arising out of the troubles ESA pesticide consultations between EPA and the Services.  Steve Bradbury is Director, EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs. On May 3, 2011, Mr. Bradbury testified about ESA issues before House Committee on Natural Resources and the House Committee on Agriculture.

With regard to the issues for NAS review, Mr. Bradbury told Congress:

“The scientific and technical topics on which we seek advice pertain to the approaches utilized by EPA and the Services in assessing the effects of proposed FIFRA actions on endangered species and their habitats. These topics include the identification of best available scientific data and information; consideration of sub-lethal, indirect, and cumulative effects; the effects of chemical mixtures and inert ingredients; the use of models to assist in analyzing the effects of pesticide use; incorporating uncertainties into the evaluations effectively; and the identification of pertinent geospatial information and biological and other datasets that can be employed in the course of these assessments.

The Executive Branch is in the early stages of formulating the specific charge to the NAS panel. Based upon preliminary discussions with the NAS we believe that the external review could be completed in 18 months, once the panel is convened.”

Mr. Bradbury’s written testimony to Congress may be found here.