Important EPA Public Comment Period Open on the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Endangered Species Act (ESA) Biological Opinion (BiOp) for Chlorpyrifos, Malathion, and Diazinon
04/23/2018 -On March 23, 2018, EPA opened a public comment period on the Endangered Species Act (ESA) Biological Opinion (BiOp) issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service for chlorpyrifos, malathion, and diazinon. While the current BiOp claims that 38 different species would likely be jeopardized with extinction and 37 critical habitat units would be destroyed or adversely modified by continued use of this pesticides, the BiOp itself and the EPA Biological Evaluations (BEs) it was built from, along with the process used to develop both have serious flaws and lack both scientific and legal credibility. The potential impact on American agriculture is significant and wide-reaching. While the NMFS BiOp only address marine species, the restrictions proposed in the BiOp affect growers in more than 20 states along both coasts.
Chlorpyrifos is a critical tool for growers of more than 50 different types of crops in the United States and has been protecting crops from damaging insect pests for more than 45 years. And the importance of this BiOp goes beyond just these three pesticides. Implementation of ESA in the regulation of tools critical to agriculture is one of the most significant issues facing American farmers and growers today. The significance of this BiOp can impact the regulation of all pesticides in the future. The flawed approach used by NMFS in this initial BiOp is not scientifically sound and, if unchanged, will not only impact the future use of these three crop protection tools but also will serve as the model for the regulation of all pesticides in the future.
By submitting a comment before the July 23, 2018 close, you can tell EPA that chlorpyrifos is an important tool today and that we need a process for implementation of ESA that is scientifically-sound, engages stakeholders, relies on the best available data and science, and that results in regulatory decisions which are fair and workable for American Ag. You can submit a comment directly to EPA’s public docket.
For more on preparing and submitting a comment and more information on Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives (RPAs) and Reasonable and Prudent Measures (RPMs) click on the links below.