EPA Approval of Pesticides
If you are a farmer who recently was was granted an "Emergency Approval" from the EPA to use certain pesticides, you are not alone as many farmers did just that in the last year.
The high number of acres allowed as well as the number of emergency approvals has led environmental groups to question the EPA.
Nathan Donley with the Center for Biological Diversity explains - the EPA needs to make sure these approvals are for actual emergencies.
"In the major pesticide law in this country, there's an exemption-approval process carved out for true emergencies," says Donley. "EPA has been abusing this emergency-approval process and, we believe, approving uses that aren't really actual emergencies."
Donely says - the EPA reports last year, it issued emergency approvals for use of a pesticide on more than 16 million acres.
"But what we're finding is that EPA is making these approvals for many, many consecutive years, in some cases up to 8 or 9 consecutive years," says Donley. "And in our opinion that is no longer an emergency, that is a foreseeable event, and EPA - if they really, truly believe, this pesticide needs to be used - then that needs to go through a normal approval process, which is more robust."
Donley says farmers should consider alternatives to pesticides to reduce the risk of water and food contamination.