EPA Should Ask a SAP to Review the Agency’s Nano Plans, Including EPA’s Collection of Information on Nanoscale Ingredients in Pesticides

Executive Summary

EPA wants to collect more information on the use of nanoscale ingredients in pesticide products.  EPA’s currently proposed process for collecting and evaluating this information is marred by

  • the lack of a clear definition of what constitutes a pesticide nanoscale material;
  • the need to determine additional core data requirements (product chemistry, toxicology, environmental fate, ecotoxicology, etc.) and standard testing methodologies based on new information gathered since the 2009 SAP on nanosilver pesticides (http://www.epa.gov/scipoly/sap/meetings/2009/110309ameeting.html); and
  • the need to propose regulatory processes, including the appropriate use of bridging data and identifying chemical classes of concern/triggers.

SFIREG Meeting Includes ESA Consultation Letter

The Association of American Pesticide Control Officials/State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group’s Full Committee will hold a 2-day meeting, beginning on December 5, 2011, and ending December 6, 2011. The meeting will be held at EPA, One Potomac Yard (South Bldg.), 2777 Crystal Dr., Arlington Virginia, First Floor, South Conference Room. Tentative agenda issues include Endangered Species Act Consultation, and the letter on this issue that SFIREG sent to EPA.

● Click here to read Federal Register notice of meeting

Court Rejects Industry Challenge to NMFS Pesticides BiOp

On October 31, 2011, the United States District Court for Maryland rejected industry challenges to a biological opinion issued by NMFS for the pesticides chlorpyrifos, malathion and Diazinon, and their effects on salmon.  This BiOp is part of court ordered consultation between EPA and NMFS during EPA’s FIFRA pesticides registration process. Dow AgroSciences, LLC, Makhteshim Agan of North America, Inc., and Cheminova, Inc. USA, challenged NMFS’ BiOp, alleging various violations of the Administrative Procedure Act and the Endangered Species Act.

The Court’s opinion is attached below.


EPA Issues Final PGP

On October 31, 2011, EPA issued its final NPDES Pesticide General Permit for point source discharges from the application of pesticides to waters of the United States. EPA issued this PGP in response to a 2009 decision by the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (National Cotton Council, et al. v. EPA). As a result of the court’s decision, NPDES permits are generally required for these types of discharges as of October 31, 2011.

EPA’s EDSP Guidance and Evaluation Procedures Violate OMB Requirements

Tier 1 of EPA’s Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program focuses on pesticides.  EPA recently published a Weight of Evidence guidance document to be used in assessing Tier 1 test results from the EDSP. The WoE document is available online at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OPPT-2010-0877-0021 .

EPA has also published Standard Evaluation Procedures to be used during Tier 1 of the EDSP. [1] The SEPs are available online at http://www.epa.gov/endo/pubs/toresources/seps.htm .

NAS/NRC Publishes Agenda for first Meeting Reviewing Ecological Risk Assessment Under FIFRA and ESA

On November 3-4, the National Academy of Science’s National Research Council will meet for the first time to review ecological risk assessment under FIFRA and ESA.  EPA, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service, and the Fish and Wildlife Service are the federal agencies whose risk assessment practices and consultations are being reviewed.  The NAS/NRC agenda for the November 3rd public meeting is available online at http://www8.nationalacademies.org/cp/meetingview.aspx?MeetingID=5724&MeetingNo=1

The meeting will be held at:

National Academies Keck Center, Room 201
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

There will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of the meeting on November 3. 

Short Grace Period for PGP Compliance

EPA representatives at the October 17, 2011, SFIREG meeting stated that operators covered by EPA’s imminent pesticides general permit will have until January 12, 2012, to file a notice of intent under the PGP.  EPA hopes that this grace period will relieve some of the pressured caused by the PGP’s October 31, 2011, court-ordered publication/compliance date.    At the meeting, one of the SFIREG members asked EPA to move the court for a six-month extension of the publication/compliance date.  The SFIREG member said that in his state there will be many persons unable to comply with the current deadline.   The EPA representatives at the meeting responded by saying that EPA does not intend to request that the court extend the deadline.

NAS/NRC to Meet November 3-4 on EPA Pesticide ESA Consultations

On November 3 and 4, 2011, the National Academy of Science’s National Research Council will hold its first meetings on EPA’s ESA consultations with FWS and NMFS for pesticides. This NRC project is entitled Ecological Risk Assessment Under FIFRA and ESA. During it, NRC will examine scientific and technical issues related to the methods and assumptions used by EPA, FWS, and NMFS to assess ecological risks to ESA-listed species from FIFRA-registered pesticides.  Information on these meetings will be posted at the NAS project website, http://www8.nationalacademies.org/cp/projectview.aspx?key=49396 /

The public can comment on this project at anytime by accessing


California POTWs Lobby for Pesticides General Permit

The California Association of Sanitation Agencies, a state-wide association of publicly owned wastewater treatment agencies, sent a letter dated September 20, 2011, to Sen. Barbara Boxer, who is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.  This letter states the public owned treatment works’ opposition to the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011, H.R. 872) that is pending before the U.S. Senate.  Their letter states in part:

SFIREG Meets with NMFS and FWS

At its October 17, 2011 meeting in Arlington, Virginia, the State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group will discuss ESA issues with the National Marine Fisheries Service representatives.  After that, SFIREG will discuss ESA Issues with representatives of the United States Fish and Wildlife Services. Later that day, SFIREG will receive an update from EPA on Biological Opinions and ESA lawsuits.  These meetings and discussions are open to the public.

Click here for the meeting agenda and details.