EPA announces endangered species workplan
On April 12, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a comprehensive workplan to address the challenge of protecting endangered species from pesticides. The plan establishes four overall strategies and dozens of actions to adopt those protections while providing farmers, public health authorities, and others with access to pesticides, according to an agency press release.
A key strategy is for EPA to meet its Endangered Species Act (ESA) obligations for all FIFRA actions that invoke ESA. Because EPA does not have the capacity or scientific processes in place to meet all these obligations immediately, it has identified the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) actions that are the highest priority for fulfilling its ESA obligations. These include actions with court-enforceable deadlines and new registrations of conventional pesticides.
A second strategy is to improve approaches to identifying and requiring ESA protections, especially for species facing the greatest risk from pesticides.
A third strategy is to improve the efficiency and timeliness of the ESA consultation process for pesticides, in coordination with other federal agencies.
And the final strategy is to engage stakeholders more effectively, to better understand their pest control practices and implement species protection measures.
The EPA indicated that over the coming months it 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. The workplan is a living document that EPA will periodically revisit to incorporate lessons learned from implementation.
To read the entire workplan, click here.