EPA releases draft strategy for agricultural herbicides
Posted on Aug 08, 2023 at 20:00 PM
On July 24, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the draft Herbicide Strategy which the agency said will better protect endangered species “from conventional agricultural herbicides.”
The strategy describes proposed early mitigations for more than 900 listed species and designated critical habitats to reduce potential impacts from the agricultural use of these herbicides while helping to ensure the continued availability of these important pesticide tools. The proposed mitigations in the strategy would address the most common ways that conventional agricultural herbicides impact these listed species.
The strategy’s proposed mitigations reflect practices that can be readily implemented by growers, identified by pesticide applicators and provide flexibility for growers to select the mitigations that work best for them. The strategy also gives credit to landowners who are already implementing certain measures to reduce pesticide runoff. For example, existing vegetated ditches and water retention ponds will qualify for credits that reduce the need for additional mitigation. Similarly, the strategy would require less mitigation on flat lands, which are less prone to runoff, and in many western states, which typically experience less rain to carry pesticides off fields. The strategy also describes how the EPA could add other mitigation practices to the menu of mitigation options in the future, particularly to incorporate emerging technology or new information on the effectiveness of specific practices.
The deadline to submit comments is Sept. 22.