The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this week released its first-ever comprehensive work plan to address the challenge of protecting endangered species from pesticides. The plan establishes four overall strategies and dozens of actions to adopt protections while providing farmers, public health authorities, and others with access to pesticides.
EPA has an opportunity and an obligation to improve how it meets its duties under the Endangered Species Act when it registers pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. For most of EPA’s history, the agency has met these duties for less than five percent of its FIFRA decisions. This has resulted in over 20 ESA lawsuits against the agency, which have increased in frequency in recent years, creating uncertainty for farmers.
Through the work plan, EPA is describing its future directions in the hope of collaborating on implementation. Over the coming months, EPA will engage with a wide range of stakeholders to identify opportunities for collaboration and will continue seeking input on more effective and efficient ways to meet its ESA obligations.
(From the National Association of Farm Broadcasters)