PPDC Advises EPA on ESA Consultations

On April 20-21, 2011, the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee met to consider several issues.  These issues include three questions concerning EPA’s troubled Endangered Species Act pesticides consultations with the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service.

The complete article is attached below.


NMFS’ Pesticide BiOps Don’t Comply with NMFS’ IQA Pre-Dissemination Review Requirements

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has stringent pre-dissemination review requirements under the Information Quality Act. These requirements apply to all information disseminated by NMFS, including biological opinions issued during the Endangered Species Act Section 7 consultation process. A BiOp issued by NMFS’ Southwest Region demonstrates these IQA pre-dissemination review requirements.

Read the complete article attached below.


NMFS Will Revise and Issue Draft 6-Pesticide BiOp for More Comment

NMFS has issued a draft biological opinion for captan, chlorothalonil, 2,4-D, diuron, linuron, and triclopyr BEE.  The current comment period for this 6-pesticide BiOp expired April 5, 2011. EPA and NMFS negotiated an extension to their court-ordered deadline for issuing the final BiOp for these 6 pesticides.   EPA explained in its news release:

NMFS will issue a revised draft Biological Opinion no later than May 13, 2011. When   NMFS provides the revised draft Biological Opinion to EPA in mid-May, EPA will make that document available and will seek comment on the draft RPMs and RPAs, and will announce the new comment period. Interested persons may then submit comments on the newly revised sections or on the entire revised draft document. EPA will forward all comments it receives on either draft of the opinion to NMFS for consideration.

No Action Yet On Dow ESP Bulletin Petition

On January 19, 2010, Dow AgroSciences LLC, Makhteshim Agan of North America, Inc., and Cheminova, Inc. USA filed with EPA a Petition for Rulemaking to Establish Procedures for the Creation and Amendment of Endangered Species Protection Bulletins.

Read the complete article attached below.


Sixth Circuit Allows EPA More Time to Produce General Permit

The United States Court of Appeals granted EPA’s request for an extension until October 31, 2011, of the court-ordered deadline for producing a general permit authorizing pesticide spraying activities under the federal Clean Water Act.  Environmental groups suing EPA for the permit had opposed this long an extension.  According to EPA, the need for ESA consultation over pesticides is one reason why EPA needed this much additional time. The Court granted EPA’s motion for more time without any accompanying opinion.

EPA Cites ESA Consultation as One Reason Why the Agency Needs More Time

EPA wants to issue a nation-wide general permit to comply with a court order that the Agency require Clean Water Act NPDES permits for pesticide applications to, over, or near waters of the United States. The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit granted EPA’s request for two years to develop a general permit.  On March 3, 2011, EPA asked for an extension of time until October 31, 2011, to complete development and issuance of the permit.  EPA gave the time needed for ESA consultation on the permit with NMFS and FWS as one reason for the extension:

Enviros Agree that ESA Consultation Requires More Time for EPA’s Pesticides-Spraying General Permit, but Ask Court for Less Time than EPA Wants

On March 3, 2011, EPA has asked the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit for an extension of time until October 31, 2011, to complete an NPDES general permit under the Clean Water Act for pesticide application to, above or near waters of the United States. EPA’s motion for more time cites the need for ESA consultation with NMFS and FWS as one reason for the extension.

The entire article is attached below.  Also attached below is the court filing discussed in the article.

esa63    epapest6epaextbrief

Court Grants Parties’ Motion to Stay Pesticides ESA Litigation

On January 20, 2011, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Pesticides Action Network North America sued the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States District Court in San Francisco.  The plaintiffs’ complaint alleged that EPA had failed to perform its duties under the Endangered Species Act to consult with other agencies during EPA’s regulation of pesticides. The complaint asks the court to usurp a large portion of EPA’s statutory authority over pesticides. March 21, 2011, is the current deadline for EPA’s response to the plaintiffs’ complaint.

Attached below is the complete article.  Also attached below is the joint motion/order.

Growers Petition EPA for Transparency During ESA Pesticide Consultations

Growers for ESA Transparency (GET) filed a petition with EPA on September 16, 2010, asking EPA to establish “clear and equitable procedures” for stakeholder comment during the ESA consultation process for EPA pesticide registrations.  Their petition asks EPA “to confirm the rights guaranteed to agricultural producers, pesticide applicators, and other end users” with “the opportunity to comment on the decision that use of a pesticide ‘may affect’ or ‘may adversely affect’ listed species, as well as an opportunity to comment on all aspects of a Biological Opinion resulting from an ESA consultation.”

The complete article is attached below.


18 Members of Congress Ask CEQ to Mediate Department and Agency Disputes

In a January 26, 2011, letter to the President’s Council on Environmental Quality, 18 members of Congress urged the Obama Administration to “ensure that NMFS, EPA, the Department of the Interior, USDA, and DOJ work together” to strengthen the modeling and to use the best scientific and commercially available information to re-evaluate existing biological opinions (BiOps) and to inform BiOps for EPA’s Endangered Species Act consultations during pesticide registrations.

The entire article is attached below.


Attached below is the Congressional letter to CEQ.