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The EPA released its first-ever comprehensive workplan to protect endangered species from pesticides. The plan establishes four overall strategies and dozens of actions to adopt those protections while providing farmers, public health authorities, and others with access to pesticides. Under the new workplan, EPA will focus on its approach to registrations through the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). According to the EPA, this will set forth a new vision that focuses on protecting species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), while minimizing regulatory impacts to pesticide users, supporting the development of safer technologies to control pests, completing timely FIFRA decisions, and collaborating with other agencies and stakeholders on implementing the plan.

The workplan describes four strategies and multiple actions to further the vision.

  • A key strategy is for EPA to meet its ESA obligations for all FIFRA actions that invoke ESA. Because EPA does not have the capacity or scientific processes in place to meet all these obligations immediately, it has identified the FIFRA actions that are the highest priority for fulfilling its ESA obligations. These include actions with court-enforceable deadlines and new registrations of conventional pesticides.
  • A second strategy is to improve approaches to identifying and requiring ESA protections, especially for species facing the greatest risk from pesticides.
  • A third strategy is to improve the efficiency and timeliness of the ESA consultation process for pesticides, in coordination with other federal agencies.
  • The final strategy is to engage stakeholders more effectively, to better understand their pest control practices and implement species protection measures.

The WSPC is hopeful this new workplan will lessen the potential for ESA based court challenges to pesticide registrations.  Although, we are concerned about potential impacts to registration timelines for new pest control products.




Friday, 15 April 2022