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®: CRE Regulatory Action of the Week

EPA Acts on Atrazine Data Quality Petition
EPA has changed its position on atrazine's purported endocrine effects on wildlife in response to the Data Quality Act Petition filed in November by the Triazine Network, the Kansas Corn Growers Association and CRE. This Petition argued that EPA's FIFRA/FQPA Environmental Risk Assessment for atrazine violated both EPA's own DQA Guidelines and Government-wide ICCVAM guidelines by concluding that atrazine causes endocrine effects in frogs and other wildlife when there are no validated tests for those effects. EPA concluded that the Agency's ecological risk assessment "does not suggest that endocrine regarded as an regulatory endpoint at this time." In its "interim" IRED for atrazine under FIFRA and the FQPA, which was released on February 20, EPA agreed with the Petition by explaining that:

  • endocrine disruption, or potential effects on endocrine mediated pathways, cannot be regarded as an atrazine regulatory endpoint at this time; and
  • appropriate testing protocols must be established before EPA can reach a conclusion regarding atrazine's endocrine effects.

In its IRED, EPA stated that it will make changes to the Environmental Risk Assessment in response to the DQA Petition. EPA also explained in its IRED that the reliability of test methods for amphibian wildlife endocrine effects will be among the issues reviewed by the SAP in its June 2003 review of atrazine, and that there was substantial ongoing work on this issue in various laboratories.

The atrazine endocrine effects issue is not yet resolved given the pending SAP review of it. However, EPA's IRED statements acknowledge that no conclusion can be reached on this issue until there are established test methods capable of determining whether there are any such effects. CRE commends EPA on its response to this issue so far. CRE also believes that EPA's response: (i) is precedential under the DQA given the few Petitions that have been filed under this new Act; and (ii) that it could have Government-wide implications with regard to both DQA Petitions and the need for test validation.

  • Click for EPA's IRED (relevant pages are 68 and 72)
  • Click for related article on June SAP Meeting
  • Click for the atrazine DQA Petition
  • CRE Regulatory Services