Endangered Species Act Compliance and EPA Herbicide Strategy

Endangered Species Act Compliance and EPA Herbicide Strategy

Lorrie Boyer
Lorrie Boyer
Reporter
Western Sugar Vice President, Chief Scientist, and Government Affairs Specialist, Rebecca Larson explains that the Environmental Protection Agency has released an herbicide strategy in order for them to come in line with their endangered species obligations.

“It's tired of getting sued, and it's trying to avoid those lawsuits. So to get better predictability on the farm for access to chemicals and make sure that EPA can get out of this litigation cycle, they've created some strategies that are part of this Endangered Species Act work plan.”

According to EPA.gov, 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 herbicides while helping to ensure the continued availability of these important pesticide tools. So what will make this plan more workable for farmers?

“We firmly believe that EPA is overestimating both risk and exposure to its listed species and critical habitats. We also believe that EPA is undervaluing the mitigation measures that farmers have put in place on the farm. So if they could make both of those things more realistic, it'd be easier for farmers to implement the plan.”

Larson says the EPA would like to roll out and implement their herbicide strategy for March 30th, and she says farmers need to be aware because this strategy will impact how products are reviewed and approved by the EPA. She encourages farmers to watch the federal docket and provide public comment most of the US is impacted by this EPA herbicide.

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