EPA proposal could take away use of chlorpyrifos for farmers; Comment deadline is Jan. 17 | TheFencePost.com

EPA proposal could take away use of chlorpyrifos for farmers; Comment deadline is Jan. 17

The Environmental Protection Agency is currently seeking public comment on a Notice of Data Availability concerning a proposal that would restrict use of chlorpyrifos — a critical tool for growers of over 50 different types of crops in the U.S. and worldwide. Farmers rely on chlorpyrifos because of its efficacy, low cost and ease of implementation. For many important pests, growers face limited or no viable alternatives to chlorpyrifos.

Despite its critical functions, in 2007 — barely a year after the EPA completed its re-registration of chlorpyrifos under the Food Quality Protection Act — the Natural Resources Defense Council and Pesticide Action Network North America petitioned the EPA to revoke all tolerances and cancel all registrations of chlorpyrifos. The EPA then initiated a registration review of the molecule — a decade ahead of schedule.

Not satisfied with the time it was taking for this rigorous scientific reassessment, NRDC and PANNA in 2010 sought a court order, requiring EPA to promptly act on the petition. The court eventually ordered EPA to make a final decision, and in 2015 — despite not having completed its scientific review — EPA sought comments on a proposal to revoke all tolerances. The court ordered EPA to take final action by March 31, 2017.

Until the EPA completes certain work related to the assessments for chlorpyrifos in connection with the ongoing Registration Review, the Notice of Data Availability is incomplete. It can't be relied upon to overcome EPA's earlier determination that chlorpyrifos — used in accordance with existing labels — meets all federal standards.

The public comment period for this Notice of Data Availability will likely be the last opportunity for stakeholders to weigh in on the cost-benefit analysis by expressing the critical need for chlorpyrifos, and to call for the EPA to rely on sound and transparent science and a reliable regulatory process. To voice your support for chlorpyrifos, go to http://www.chlorpyrifos.com/petition/agriculture before Jan. 17.

— Colorado Corn

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