Guidance on How to Comply with the Revised Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides

On September 30, 2016, EPA published EPA Guidance on How to Comply with the Revised Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides. EPA published this Guidance in conjunction with the Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative (PERC).  This guidance is entitled “How to Comply With the 2015 Revised Worker Protection Standard For Agricultural Pesticides.”  It is available here.

White House Announcement on Regulation of Biotechnology

On September 15, 2016, the White House posted a blog unveiling two documents as part of the Administration’s continuing effort to modernize the federal regulatory system for biotechnology products .  These two documents also clarify various roles of the Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration and Department of Agriculture in evaluating new biotechnologies.

These two documents are:

EPA Publishes New Guidance for Antimicrobial Pesticide Products to Combat Emerging Viral Pathogens

EPA has published the following notice:

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has revised the emerging viral pathogens guidance for the claims that can be made for EPA-registered disinfectant products intended to combat emerging viral pathogens. This document provides general guidance that can be used to identify effective disinfectant products for use against emerging viral pathogens and to permit registrants to make limited claims of their product’s efficacy against such pathogens. The revisions to the guidance are in response to input received by the agency. The guidance outlines an expedited process for registrants to provide useful information to the public on effective products.

Tribal Pesticide Program Council Meeting – October 4-5, 2016

EPA posted the following article:

“The Tribal Pesticide Program Council (TPPC) will meet on October 4-5, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Pacific Standard Time in Pauma Valley, California. Tentative agenda topics include a discussion on the status of pesticides in Indian country; updates on regional tribal activities; and discussions on the following:

  • Draft policy aimed to reduce acute risk to pollinators;
  • Needs assessment to support worker protection efforts;
  • Potential risks posed by inert ingredients in pesticide applications to California tribes; and,
  • Cultural plant identification and weed control.

SAP Criticizes EPA’s Proposed Use of EPI Data to Regulate Chlorpyrifos

EPA’s FIFRA Science Advisory Panel has published its Minutes for the SAP’s April 19-21 Meeting to Consider and Review Scientific Issues Associated with Chlorpyrifos:  Analysis of Biomonitoring Data. The SAP Minutes criticize EPA’s proposed change of  the Point of Departures (PoDs) for chlorpyrifos from doses eliciting 10% red blood cell AChE inhibition to adverse effects changes in neurodevelopment as measured by epidemiology studies conducted by Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health.  For example, the SAP Minutes conclude at page 22 that:

CRE Asks EPA and USDA to Publish Joint Standard Operating Procedures If Epi Data Is Used for Pesticides

On July 18, 2016, CRE submitted to EPA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture a Request for Joint Development of Standard Operating Procedures If Epidemiological Data is used in Pesticide Assessment and Registration.

CRE’s request is prompted by EPA’s recent attempt to use Epi data during pesticide actions in an ad hoc manner that violates Data Quality standards. CRE agrees with USDA that standard operating procedures need to be developed before EPA uses Epi data for pesticides.

CRE’s request explains in part:

CRE Protests Agencies’ Use of Obviously Inaccurate and Unreliable Aquatic Models to Regulate Three Pesticides

One June 29-30, EPA, FWS, NOAA/NMFS and the Department of Agriculture held a public workshop. The agencies stated in a Federal Register notice that they intended this workshop

“to discuss potential refinements to the interim scientific methods used in the first nationwide draft biological evaluations for chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion, released for public comment on April 11, 2016. These interim scientific methods were developed by EPA and the Services, with collaboration from USDA on crop production, pesticide use,and the spatial footprint of agricultural use patterns, in response to the 2013 National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report entitled, ‘Assessing Risks to Endangered and Threatened Species from Pesticides.'”

CRE Comments on Flaws in ESA Pesticide Models

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.

Pesticide ESA Consultation Workshop on June 29-30

EPA published a Federal Register notice that reads in part as follows:

Government ESA Pesticides Workshop on June 29-20

EPA, NMFS and FWS plan to conduct an ESA pesticides consultation workshop on June 29-30 at FWS’ offices in Falls Church, Virginia. This workshop would be part of the agencies’ efforts to implement the National Academy of Science’s recommendations for pesticide ESA consultations.

The agencies do not intend to open the entire workshop to the public. They plan on holding most breakout sessions by invitation only.