Comments Extended for Controversial EPA Organophosphate Opinion
The EPA seeks comments on the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS’s) Biological Opinion (BiOp) for the pesticides chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion. EPA is asking for input from stakeholders on NMFS’s jeopardy findings, Reasonable and Prudent Measures (RPMs), and Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives (RPAs), and is soliciting additional information, including comment on:
- The scientific approaches and data sources used to support the BiOp and reach determinations for the listed species and critical habitat.
- 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?
- 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.
All comments are due by July 23.
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.