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EPA Public Comment on Biological Opinions

USDA Forest Service – Southern Research Station , USDA Forest Service, SRS, Bugwood.org

The EPA Public Comment on Biological Opinions is open for 60 days and provides the opportunity to review the actual language of a biological opinion. The last blog outlined the basics of a Biological Opinion and how they function. We are in luck because the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released 4 biological opinions for public comment.

 

Four pesticides are currently open for public comment: 3 herbicides (metolachlor, bromoxynil, and prometryn) and 1 fumigant (1,3-D). These biological opinions focus on 26 listed endangered and threatened species as well as the Pacific salmon and steelhead in the Pacific Northwest and California. None of the species evaluated are at risk from these 4 pesticides.

 

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and EPA are seeking input from stakeholders for:

  1. Additional risk reduction options to add to the Reasonable and prudent measures (RPM)
  2. Efficacy data to support additional risk reductions, for 1,3-D including the increased soil injection depth and tarping methods to reduce aquatic loading.
  3. Any existing stewardship program to reduce pesticide loading where salmon and trout might require additional RPM

 

The public has 60 days to comment and comments close on April 20, 2021. The comments can be made by finding docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2021-0150 at www.regulations.gov

Brian Lockhart, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

Each set of files has almost 20 chapters and multiple supporting documents. They are VERY long documents. They cover topics such as the current status of the species being tested, the total amount of possible exposure, the toxicity data associated with these products, specific mitigation plans…in short nearly ALL the information is there for those stakeholders who want to be informed. The EPA Public Comment on Biological Opinions is a key way to ensure everyone has a voice as it relates to pesticide safety.

 

Link to download file: https://www.regulations.gov/document/EPA-HQ-OPP-2021-0150-0001

1,3-D and metolachlor files: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2021-02/metolachlor_and_13-d-20210216t222545z-001_0.zip

Bromoxynil and prometryn files: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2021-02/bromoxynil_and_prometryn-20210216t222356z-001_0.zip