AAPCO Meets in March

The Association of American Pesticide Control Officials will meet March 4-7, 2012, in Alexandria, Virginia.  On the first day, Mr. Steve Bradbury, Director, EPA Office of Pesticide Programs, will speak on EPA OPP’s Priorities and Initiatives.  The meeting agenda is available here:  http://aapco.ceris.purdue.edu/doc/announce/agen030412.pdf

Inspector General Responds to EPA’s EDSP Plans

On January 17, 2012, EPA finally publicly released the EPA Office of Inspector General’s Response to Corrective Action Plan for OIG Report No. 11-P-0215, EPA ‘s Endocrine Disrupt or Screening Program Should Establish Management Controls to Ensure More Timely Results, May 3, 2011.  The OIG is not entirely satisfied with EPA’s response.  For example, the IG’s  response letter asks for an “EDSP Management Plan [that] should clearly establish the criteria that the Agency will use to evaluate chemicals during Tier 2 testing, including references and links to specific guidance documents, targeted studies, risk assessment guidance, and hazard evaluation criteria to be used during Tier 2 testing.”

EPA Pesticides SAP Meets on Common Effects Assessment Methodology

There will be a 3-day meeting of EPA’s Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel on January 31, 2012 to February 2, 2012, from 9 a.m. to approximately 5:30 p.m. The purpose of this SAP meeting is to consider and review Common Effects Assessment Methodology developed in the Office of Pesticide Programs and Office of Water.

The Agency encourages that written comments be submitted by January 17, 2012 and requests for oral comments be submitted by January 24, 2012. However, written comments and requests to make oral comments may be submitted until the date of the meeting.

Atrazine Aids Environment, New Research Finds

According to recent research, use of the herbicide atrazine encourages conservation tillage and no-till farming, and reduces soil erosion by up to 85 million tons annually.  These conclusions come from a paper, “Estimating soil erosion and fuel use changes and their monetary values with AGSIM: A case study for triazine herbicides,” presented by  University of Wisconsin-Madison economist Paul D. Mitchell at the January 10, 2012, Wisconsin Crop Management Conference. Other findings in the study include:

● Atrazine and sister triazine herbicides, simazine and propazine, benefit U.S. society by up to $350 million in soil erosion costs per year;

IG Slams EPA’s Management of Nanao Materials

The EPA Inspector General has issued a report criticizing EPA’s regulation of nano pesticide materials.  The IG report is entitled “EPA Needs to Manage Nanomaterial Risks More Effectively.” The IG report found “that EPA does not currently have sufficient information or processes to effectively manage the human health and environmental risks of nanomaterials. EPA has the statutory authority to regulate nanomaterials but currently lacks the environmental and human health exposure and toxicological data to do so effectively.”

Read the IG report attached below.


The NAS/NRC Need to Know About NOAA/NMFS’ IQA Requirements

The National Research Council, of the National Academy of Sciences, is reviewing “Ecological Risk Assessment Under FIFRA and ESA.”  The NAS/NRC is performing this review at the request of EPA, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of Agriculture.

The NAS/NRC review site is at

http://www8.nationalacademies.org/cp/projectview.aspx?key=49396 .


Specific topics that the NAS/NRC will consider during its review include the following:  


Judge Temporarily Stays Washington ESA Pesticides Litigation

The Judge has stayed the Northwest Coalition v. EPA ESA pesticides litigation until March 30, 2012. The court’s stay order was issued after he read the parties’ joint status report, which stated that they were unable to reach agreement on how the case should proceed. The court’s order states that during the stay:

the parties shall confer, either in person or via telephone, to attempt to resolve as many issues as possible. If the parties are unable to reach a settlement, they shall file, on or before April 6, 2012, a Joint Status Report outlining: (i) the issues, if any, on which the parties have reached agreement; (ii) the precise issues to be decided by the Court; and (iii) a proposed briefing schedule. (3) On or after March 29, 2012, any party may move to extend the stay of this Matter….

Parties Unable to Agree on How to Conduct ESA Pesticides Litigation

Pursuant to court order, the parties in the ESA pesticides ESA litigation, Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides v. EPA, in Washington state federal district court, submitted their joint status report on how the case should proceed. Unfortunately, the parties “were unable to reach agreement.” The government defendant and industry interveners wanted the case stayed for various reasons, while the plaintiff NGOs wanted an aggressive summary judgment briefing schedule. 

The joint status report stating parties’ position on how Washington ESA Pesticides litigation should proceed is attached below.


NMFS and FWS Propose New Policy on Implementing the ESA

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.s. Fish and Wildlife Service have proposed a new federal policy proposed to help clarify which species or populations of species are eligible for protection under the Endangered Species Act.  The Services’ notice of the proposed change explains:

USDA Asks NAS/NRC Pesticides ESA Review Panel to Consider New Questions

Representatives of the U.S. Department of Agriculture spoke at the first public NAS/NRC panel meeting on risk assessments for pesticides under the Endangered Species Act.  During their presentation, the USDA representatives asked the panel to “Seriously Consider the Following for ESA Consultations”:

●The consultation process MUST use the best available real world pesticide use and usage information (includes temporal & spatial patterns)

            –Authorized use rates on labels should not be the basis for use rate determination

            –Actual pesticide use data can be analyzed to map where and when toxicity exposure is greatest within a region (geographically depicted)