Jun 29, 2018
EPA organophosphate opinion faces July 23 comment deadline

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking comment until July 23 on the final Biological Opinion (BiOp) issued under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), regarding the potential effects of chlorpyrifos, malathion, and diazinon on federally listed threatened or endangered species (listed species) and their designated critical habitats.

Comments are being sought regarding:

  1. The scientific approaches and data sources used to support the BiOp and reach determinations for the listed species and critical habitat.
  2. The RPAs and RPMs. Can they reasonably be implemented? If not, why not? Are there different measures that may provide equivalent protection to the ones in the BiOp but result in less impact on pesticide users?
  3. National- and state-level use and usage data and information, in particular, information for non-agricultural use sites (e.g., nurseries, managed forests, pasture, rights-of-way, golf courses, and areawide mosquito control). If possible, provide sources for data that should be considered.

EPA encourages input on the RPMs and RPAs from pesticide users, registrants, public interest organizations, other interested parties, and state, tribal and local governments.

As a result of the U.S. District Court Western District of Washington’s failure to extend NMFS’s court-ordered deadline, NMFS had to issue the final BiOp in December 2017 without having received input from the public and applicants (pesticide registrants). This was at odds with EPA’s 2013 public stakeholder process for ESA consultations.

This input will be considered prior to either reinitiating consultation on the BiOp or implementing the measures of BiOp. EPA will evaluate the comments received in determining how to proceed with respect to the final BiOp, whether the alternatives or measures can reasonably be implemented, and whether there are different measures that may provide equivalent protection but result in less impact on pesticide users.

You can submit your comments online or mail your comments to Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460.

Here is the docket number: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2018-0141-0001

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