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Pesticide Safety Education
EPA Reinstates No-Spray Buffer Zones in California, Oregon and Washington to Protect Salmon as a Result of Final Settlement Agreement for Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides v. EPA
EPA is reinstating streamside no-spray buffer zones to protect endangered or threatened Pacific salmon and steelhead in California, Oregon and Washington State. No-spray buffer zones will be imposed for the pesticides carbaryl, chlorpyrifos, diazinon, malathion and methomyl in waters that support salmon. These buffer zones will remain in place until EPA implements any necessary protections for Pacific salmon and steelhead based on reinitiated consultations with the National Marine Fisheries Services.
This action is directed by a stipulated injunction (agreed to by the parties) that settles litigation brought against EPA by the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides and others in U.S. District Court in Washington State. On August 15, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington entered the stipulated injunction, reinstating the streamside no-spray buffer zones that were originally established in prior litigation, Washington Toxics Coalition v. EPA. The reinstated buffers are part of the final court order; however, they will not be included as labeling requirements under Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.
For more information on the specific buffer zones and background on this court case, visit
EPA Introduces New Graphic to Help Consumers Make Informed Choices about Insect Repellents
The EPA today unveiled a new graphic that will be available to appear on insect repellent product labels. The graphic will show consumers how many hours a product will repel mosquitoes and ticks when used as directed.
The EPA’s new graphic will do for bug repellents what SPF labeling did for sunscreens. This new graphic will help parents, hikers and the general public better protect themselves and their families from serious health threats caused by mosquitoes and ticks that carry debilitating diseases. Incidence of these diseases is on the rise. The CDC estimates that there are nearly 300,000 cases of Lyme disease in the United States each year. Effective insect repellents can protect against serious mosquito- and tick-borne diseases.
The EPA is accepting applications from manufacturers that wish to add the graphic to their repellent product labels. The public could see the graphic on products early next year.
EPA is Advancing Pollinator Science and Sharing Useful Information with Growers and Beekeepers
At the request of beekeepers and growers alike, the agency has posted the Residual Time to 25% Bee Mortality (RT25) Data online. Bees may be susceptible to harm from direct exposure to pesticides sprayed on flowering plants, but pesticide residues generally decrease in toxicity as the spray dries and time passes. Farmers and beekeepers can use EPA's RT25 data to gauge the amount of time after application that a particular pesticide product remains toxic enough under real-world conditions to kill 25 percent of bees that are exposed to residues on treated plant surfaces. Some have used this information to select pesticide products with shorter periods in which the chemicals remain active and can affect bees.
Web-Distributed Labeling (WDL) for Pesticide Products
EPA is announcing the availability of PR Notice 2014-1 which presents the Agency's guidance on optional participation in WDL. The notice is intended to improve existing labeling by allowing users to download the portions of the pesticide labeling specific to their intended state and site of use.
Seed Treatment Resources Available
The American Seed Trade Assoc. and CropLife America have produced the "Guide to Seed Treatment Stewardship" to increase awareness among seed treatment applicators and growers about safe stewardship practices.
Consideration of Spray Drift in EPA's Pesticide Risk Assessment:
Notice of Availability and Request for Comment
EPA is announcing the availability of two draft guidance documents for public comment. These documents describe how off-site spray drift will be evaluated for ecological and human health risk assessments for pesticides. Once final, these guidance documents will be posted on EPA’s Web site, to ensure consistent risk assessment practices and provide transparency for pesticide registrants and other interested stakeholders. Comments must be received on or before March 31, 2014.
Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID)
number EPA–HQ–OPP–2013–0676, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal . Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
WSDA Releases Criteria for Designating Pesticides Under I-502/I-692
WSDA has added a web page(http://agr.wa.gov/pestfert/pesticides/pesticideuseonmarijuana.aspx) to assist growers authorized by I-502 or I-692 who choose to use pesticides for the production of marijuana in Washington. The page contains links to the relevant regulatory agencies and to the WSDA criteria for designating pesticide use on marijuana. A searchable list of these pesticides is available from the WSU Pesticide information Center Online (PICOL) database. Tutorials for using PICOL are available on YouTube.
ODA Takes Steps to Protect Pollinators
The Oregon Department of Agriculture has announced a series of measures designed to protect bees and other pollinators from exposure to certain pesticide products. ODA is requiring specific label statements restricting use of products containing the active ingredients dinotefuran and imidacloprid while strengthening its outreach and education efforts to pesticide users regarding pollinator protection. The steps were outlined today at a hearing held by the House Interim Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.
As a condition of annual registration for 2014, ODA is requiring an Oregon-specific label statement on dinotefuran and imidacloprid products being sold or distributed in the state that prohibits the application of these products on linden, basswood, or Tilia species. Bee deaths reported this year involved products containing these active ingredients applied to European linden trees. It appears the tree species’ natural toxicity to bumblebees in combination with the pesticide contributed to the deaths. Taking the rare step of requiring an Oregon-specific label statement on pesticide products indicates the importance ODA places on protecting pollinators. More information available at http://www.oregon.gov/ODA/Pages/news/131121bee_measures.aspx
U.S. Agricultural Safety and Health Centers joint YouTube
The November issue of the Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health (PNASH) Center newsletter featured this new hub for free ag safety videos. Best ag safety practices are described and demonstrated in a new series of videos, which will be added weekly, with 60 expected by year's end:
Assessing Pesticide Risks to Endangered Species – Workshop on Implementing NAS Recommendations
On November 15, 2013, four federal agencies – the EPA, NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture – will hold a stakeholder workshop entitled "Status of Efforts to Implement the Recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences' Report, 'Assessing Risks to Endangered and Threatened Species from Pesticides.'"
The four agencies worked collaboratively to develop interim scientific policies and procedures, and will present their joint Interim Approaches for implementing the recommendations contained in the April 2013 NAS report. The stakeholder workshop will provide an opportunity for the public to provide feedback on the document. This Interim Approaches document and a meeting agenda will be available shortly before the meeting at http://www.epa.gov/espp
The meeting will be held on November 15, 2013, from 1 pm to 4 p.m. Eastern Time at the NOAA Silver Spring Metro Center Complex, NOAA Auditorium, 1301 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. This meeting is accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Sunny Snider (301) 427-8405 (voice) or (301) 713-0376 (fax), at least five days before the scheduled meeting date. Persons planning to attend should bring a picture ID to enter the facility. Participation via webinar will also be available. Please send an email to Sunny Snider at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Friday, November 8, 2013.
The National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences wrote the report after the four agencies asked the NRC to consider a range of scientific and technical issues. The report outlines recommendations on specific scientific and technical issues related to the development of pesticide risk assessments that are compliant with the Endangered Species Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. The report is available at: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18344.
The Multi-agency Pesticide Report (formerly called PIRT Report) now Available.
"Working Together":Practical Solutions for Pesticide Safety
PNASH partnered with pesticide educators and local Washington State growers and applicators - 25 farms and 95 growers, managers, handlers and safety educators contributed. The Practical Solutions for Pesticide Safety guide is a collection of 24 solutions and ideas identified on farms. Download a free guide in Spanish or English.
Update of Human Health Benchmarks for Pesticides in Water
The EPA has updated its list of human health benchmarks for pesticides. The EPA develops these benchmarks as screening levels for use by states and water systems in determining whether the detection of a pesticide in drinking water or a drinking water source may indicate a potential health risk. This year, the EPA added 11 new benchmarks to the list, revised 10 of the benchmarks published in 2012 to reflect new scientific information and added cancer effects benchmarks for 40 of the pesticides. To view the revised list of human health benchmarks for pesticides, visit www.epa.gov/pesticides/hhbp.
WSDA has posted a free brochure titled "Ten Ways to Protect Bees from Pesticides". This two-page PDF contains tips on choosing less toxic pesticides, researching bee protection statements on labels and recognizing active ingredients most dangerous to bees during the flowering period.
The NASDA Research Foundation is pleased to announce the 2013 publication of the Recognition and Management of Pesticide Poisoning: 6th Edition. The updated manual is a quick reference resource for healthcare providers to obtain the best toxicology and treatment information for patients with specific pesticide exposures.
The 6th edition guides clinicians on how to:
conduct a critical environmental and occupational exposure screening for patients with suspected pesticide-related illnesses or injuries,
report exposure incidents, and
access a wealth of available pesticide information resources.
Under two cooperative agreements with the US Environmental Protection Agency, this manual was written by Drs. James R. Roberts and J. Routt Reigart of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and the design and printing managed by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Research Foundation.
The manual is available for download at: http://www2.epa.gov/pesticide-worker-safety.
Free hardcopies of the manual are available from the EPA’s National Agricultural Center at: www.epa.gov/agriculture/awor.html. The EPA publication number is 735K13001.
EPA Launches New FIFRA Section 18 Emergency Exemption Online Training Resource
The EPA is announcing a new online training resource for the Section 18 Emergency Exemption Program under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Section 18 of FIFRA authorizes the EPA to allow an unregistered use of a pesticide for a limited time if we determine that an emergency condition exists and risks from the proposed use are acceptable.
The primary goal of this online resource is to assist state and federal agencies in determining situations where it is appropriate to request a section 18 emergency exemption and, when doing so, how to submit a complete and accurate application to facilitate a timely and effective review by the EPA.
The multimedia resource focuses on the following four types of exemptions available under section 18 of FIFRA: specific, quarantine, public health and crisis. Highlights of the resource include:
- section 18 application requirements,
- overview of the EPA review process,
- other options available to address significant pest problems, and
- interactive exercises to review the important concepts covered.
Buffer Zone Calculator is Available to Assist Soil Fumigant Applicators
An electronic Buffer Zone Calculator is available in EPA’s Soil Fumigant Toolbox. The EPA developed this new tool to help soil fumigant applicators, growers, enforcement personnel and others determine the buffer zone distances now required by soil fumigant product labels. Buffer zones provide distance between the edge of fields treated with pesticides and bystanders, people who live, work or otherwise spend time nearby.
Azinphos-Methyl Uses Cancellation September 30, 2012; Use of Existing Stocks Allowed through September 2013
After considering comments from growers and other stakeholders, EPA has completed a final risk-benefit analysis for the remaining uses of the organophosphate insecticide azinphos-methyl (AZM). AZM can present health risks to workers and can cause negative ecological impacts, while effective alternatives to this insecticide are available to growers. EPA has decided to maintain the September 30, 2012, effective date for cancellation of the remaining uses of AZM, on apples, blueberries, sweet and tart cherries, parsley, and pears.
Due to unusual bad weather conditions in 2012, EPA will modify the cancellation order to allow growers to use only existing stocks of AZM in their possession for another year, through September 30, 2013. All the required mitigation measures now reflected on AZM labeling will remain in effect during this use. Distribution or sale of AZM after September 30, 2012, remains prohibited. This decision will not result in greater use of AZM than originally anticipated, and provides a safer alternative to disposal arrangements.
Further information is available in AZM docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0061 at Regulations.gov.