Comment on EPA’s Draft Biological Evaluations for Carbaryl and Methomyl

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has requested public comment on the Agency’s draft biological evaluations for the FIFRA registration review of the pesticides carbaryl and methomyl. EPA must receive any comments must on or before May 18, 2020.

CRE Comments on Atrazine PID

On February 29, 2020, the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness filed comments on EPA’s Proposed Interim Decision on the atrazine FIFRA re-registration. CRE’s comments make the following and other points.

CRE commends EPA’s PID for improved data quality in some respects. In particular, the PID’s Community Equivalent Level of Concern (“CELOC’) is superior to the grossly flawed CELOC that EPA included in the Agency’s Ecological Risk Assessment for atrazine. We request that EPA emphasize in the record that the new 15 ppb CELOC applies to all watersheds. We also request that EPA not use either the new or old CELOC quantitatively or qualitatively for “final effects determinations.”

“EPA Offers Webinars on Pollinator Health and Habitat”

Editor’s note: EPA’s Office of Pesticides Programs posted the above-titled article, which reads as follows:

“Beginning in March 2020, EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs will host a series of public webinars highlighting ongoing work to promote pollinator health and habitat.

These webinars seek to increase awareness of the evolving science on pollinator health, promote efforts to improve pollinator habitat, and engage stakeholders in addressing factors associated with declines in pollinator health.

Each webinar will target different stakeholders, including the general public; homeowners; school officials; scientists; conservation groups; beekeepers; growers; and state, local and tribal governments.

Announcing New Members of the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency posted the following press release:

“EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs has announced the new members of the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC). Established in 1995, the PPDC is a diverse group of stakeholders chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act to provide feedback to EPA on various pesticide regulatory, policy and program implementation issues. These members will serve on the PPDC from Dec. 9, 2019, through Dec. 9, 2021.

EPA Requests Comments on New Methodologies to Estimate Pesticide Concentrations in Surface Waters

Editor’s note:  EPA published the following press release

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is asking for public comments on new methodologies developed by the agency to estimate exposure to pesticides from surface water sources. These methodologies would increase the accuracy of the agency’s estimates by minimizing underestimation, reducing the magnitude of overestimation, and increasing consistency.

Comment on Triazine PIDs

EPA has published Federal Register notice announcing the availability of EPA’s proposed interim registration review decisions for atrazine, propazine, and simazine.  EPA must receive any comments on or before March 2, 2019. Click here for more details and relevant links.

“Probe clears Interior secretary after accusations of interfering with pesticide assessments”

Editor’s note: The Hill posted the above-titled article by Rachel Frazin, which reads as follows:

“An internal watchdog investigation on Tuesday found no wrongdoing on the part of Interior Secretary David Bernhardt after he was accused of interfering in an assessment of the effects of pesticides on endangered species.

The probe by the Interior Department’s inspector general found that Bernhardt told a Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS) team looking at possible effects of pesticides to change its methods and that he reviewed a draft opinion, according to a synopsis. Bernhardt had been the department’s deputy secretary at the time.

EPA’s “Regulatory Update on the Registration Review of Atrazine”

EPA sent a “Memorandum to the File” with the above-quoted title and dated October 22, 2019. This memo has been posted in the atrazine FIFRA registration review docket. According to the “Overview” in EPA’s memorandum:

“The purpose of this memorandum is to articulate EPA’s risk management approach for aquatic plant communities and anticipated timeline for completion of registration review for atrazine. While atrazine’s registration review is currently ongoing, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the agency) has received over 100,000 public comments on the atrazine draft risk assessments, some concerns, and several inquiries related to registration review status and the level of regulation for aquatic plants. This memorandum provides additional context regarding EPA’s proposed regulatory levels for aquatic plants for atrazine, and memorializes EPA’s decision to use the concentration of 15 µg/L as a 60-day average for the purposes of determining the need for any potential mitigation to protect aquatic plant communities during Registration Review.”

Settlement Agreement on Pesticide Effects Determinations

On October 22, 2019, a United States district court entered a stipulated partial settlement agreement among EPA, several environmental groups, and several agriculture parties regarding EPA’s Biological Effects review and assessment for several pesticides. Under the agreement, EPA agrees to complete assessments of four pesticides by 2021. Assessments of four rodenticides must be finalized in 2024. Click here to read the entire agreement.

“EPA Releases Aquatic Life Benchmarks for Freshwater Species and Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Registered Pesticides”

Editor’s note: EPA posted the above-titled notice, which reads in part as follows:

“Today, EPA released the revised Aquatic Life Benchmarks table, which includes both new and updated aquatic life benchmark values.

State, tribal and local governments use these benchmarks in their interpretation of water monitoring data. Comparing a measured concentration of a pesticide in water to an aquatic life benchmark can be helpful in interpreting monitoring data and in identifying and prioritizing sites and pesticides that may require further investigation.

New aquatic life benchmarks represent newly available toxicity endpoints for registered chemicals. EPA’s goal is to add to these benchmarks on an annual basis.