Environment

EPA OKs Enlist herbicides, announces new policy on endangered species

The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday issued seven-year registrations for the popular herbicides Enlist One and Enlist Duo, while promising to begin interagency consultations on endangered species before issuing pesticide registrations for the new active ingredients.

The agency said the new registrations for Corteva’s herbicide include “strict control measures to protect non-target plants and animals,” such as banning its use in counties where the EPA has identified risks to listed species in fields using corn, cotton or soybean fields. to diet and/or habitat.”

Enlist One contains 2,4-D, while Enlist Duo contains both glyphosate and 2,4-D. Both products, registered for use in corn, soybeans and cotton in 34 states, were due to expire this month.

The final registration decision can be found in the agenda. Question and answer about products here.

The EPA said it has determined that the use of the herbicide “is likely to adversely affect the listed species but will not endanger the listed species or destroy or modify designated critical habitats,” as defined by the Endangered Species Act.

The agency’s environmental assessment “found direct risks to unlisted and listed plants” from runoff, as well as risks to animals “that depend on these infested plants for diet or habitat, including unlisted and listed animals and some identified critical habitats.” The evaluation also “Direct effects on bees and the listed species that use corn, cotton, and soybean fields for their diet and/or habitat.”

The EPA said that based on these findings, it requires preventive measures as a condition of product registration. They include:

  • “Prohibit the application of the product when rain is expected within 48 hours and when the soil cannot absorb water;
  • “Prohibit irrigation that may lead to runoff within 48 hours of application of herbicide products;
  • “Requiring users to select from a list of runoff reduction measures to reduce the concentrations of 2,4-D and glyphosate concentrations in runoff, while also providing flexibility to users;
  • Minimize the application of product Enlist when soybean and cotton crops are in bloom to reduce risks to insect pollinators, such as honeybees; and
  • “Require the Registrar to develop and provide mandatory educational and training materials emphasizing the importance of pollinators and pollinator habitats for species including, but not limited to, monarch butterflies.”

“It’s good that the EPA is finally putting some action on the ground to protect the nation’s most endangered species from these highly toxic products,” said Lori Ann Burd, director of environmental health at the Center for Biological Diversity and a frequent litigant in pesticide cases.

But she added, “We are deeply concerned that the agency failed to complete consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Service during this process and hope that the service will quickly intervene to ensure that the nation’s most endangered plants and animals are adequately protected.”

Corteva Agriscience said it was “delighted to have it.” [EPA] Complete the Enlist herbicide registration amendment process, … giving farmers confidence in product availability as they complete their 2022 seed planting and crop protection plans.”

The Endangered Species Act declaration reflects the EPA’s long-term practice of not engaging in required consultation with federal wildlife agencies, which has led to numerous lawsuits and long-term court settlements. But it will only apply to applications of new active ingredients, or artificial intelligence. The EPA said it also “continues to explore the application of new ESA approaches to new AI systems for biocides and new AI systems for antimicrobials.”

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“Before today’s announcement, in most cases, the EPA had not consistently evaluated the potential effects of conventional pesticides on species listed when registering new AI systems,” the EPA said. “This has resulted in insufficient protection from new AI systems for listed species, as well as resource-intensive litigation against the EPA for registering new AI systems before assessing potential impacts on listed species. The EPA’s new policy should reduce these types of issues against the agency and to improve the legal defense of new AI systems, which often have lower risks to human health and the environment than older pesticides.”

The agency said I“and” that the modification is indirect or dangerous [to endangered species or their critical habitat] Most likely, the agency will only make a registration decision on a new AI after requiring registrants to implement mitigation measures that the EPA determines are likely to prevent exposure or adverse modification.”

“The EPA is currently developing a detailed action plan to identify incremental improvements to increase the agency’s compliance with ESA, including steps to implement protection measures for high-risk species more efficiently, provide farmers with more flexible mitigation measures, and increase stakeholder participation,” the agency said.

CBD Director of Governmental Affairs Brett Hartle said the group hopes the announcement will be “It marks the beginning of the end of reckless EPA approvals of dangerous pesticides. Now that the Environmental Protection Agency has stopped digging itself a deeper hole, it must make sure that real conservation measures are put in place on Earth to protect endangered species and the places they live in from harmful pesticides. “

CropLife America CEO Chris Novak called the announcement an important “first step” toward ensuring farmers’ regulatory certainty and protecting listed species.

“CropLife America and its members are working with environmental organizations, agricultural groups, and federal agencies to build consensus on a better process that achieves these goals,” Novak said. But he added that the EPA, FWS and NMFS need adequate funding and staffing.”To help ensure that pesticide registration processes, including consultations, are timely and legally defensible.”

For more news, go to www.Agri-Pulse.com

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