The EPA recently reached an interim decision on reviewing the registration of several triazine herbicides (atrazine, simazine, and propazine). As part of that process they are finalizing language and rules that seek to protect human health, mitigate potential ecological risks, while maintaining the triazines as a tool for agricultural production. For these three herbicides a draft review of the biological evaluations as it relates to the EPA’s endangered species act. This draft is now available for public comment until January 5th 2021.
Public comments are a critical part of the EPA’s decision-making process for pesticide registration and help to shape the final rules, label language, use patterns, and ultimately status of registration. These comments can provide and will be combined with any additional data that is received to ultimately finalize a decision. Any possible changes or new potential risks will additionally be discussed with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Biological evaluations are created for listed endangered species (1,795 species) and any designated or associated critical habitats. These evaluations are grounded in the assumption that the products will be used according to the label and are ranked into 3 categories:
- No Effect- Does not impact habitat or species directly
- Not likely to adversely affect- There might be effects to habitat or species, but the effects are unlikely to be negative
- Likely to adversely affect- Even when used according to the label this product could negatively impact endangered species or critical habitat
For the 3 herbicides being tested the preliminary data and draft evaluation suggest:
- Atrazine is likely to adversely affect 54% of listed species and 40% of critical habitat
- Propazine is likely to adversely affect 4% of listed species and 2% of critical habitat
- Simazine is likely to adversely affect 53% of listed species and 40% of critical habitat
Public comments: www.regulations.gov and the docket is EPA-HQ-OPP-2020-0514. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2020-0514-0001