- Field Implementation
- What is the Goal of the ESPP
- How does EPA intend to meet this goal through ESPP?
- What does all of this mean for me as a pesticide user?
- When do these changes take effect?
- Bulletins Live!
- What are Endangered Species Protection Bulletins and where can I get a copy?
- What is the difference between the voluntary county bulletins and these new, enforceable Endangered Species Protection Bulletins?
- Will EPA review information in the voluntary county bulletins?
- Can I get a bulletin more than six months in advance?
- How does EPA determine that a Bulletin is necessary?
- How will the Services be involved?
- How can the public participate in the Program?
- What is the role of States and Tribes?
- For more information
The goal of the ESPP is to carry out responsibilities under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) (PDF) (106 pp, 743 K, about PDF) in compliance with the Endangered Species Act (ESA), while at the same time not placing unnecessary burden on agriculture and other pesticide users.
The implementation approach relies on pesticide labels, as appropriate, referring the pesticide user to geographically specific Endangered Species Protection Bulletins that contain enforceable use limitations for a pesticide to ensure its use will not jeopardize the continued existence of a listed species or adversely modify designated critical habitat.
Bulletins are enforceable under FIFRA. If you do not follow the label or Bulletin applicable to your pesticide application, whether that failure results in harm to a listed species or not, you would be subject to enforcement under the misuse provisions of FIFRA (section 12(a)(2)(G)). Absent authorized incidental take, you could be liable under section 9 of the ESA for any take that occurs as a result of pesticide application, regardless of whether label provisions were followed. This aspect of listed species protection does not change under the ESPP. Enforcement actions under FIFRA are the responsibility of the EPA, but enforcement of the ESA is the responsibility of the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) (jointly referred to as the Services).
Endangered Species Protection Bulletins are enforceable upon reference to them on a pesticide product label. Pesticide users may check for Bulletin availability up to six months before applying a pesticide.
Endangered Species Protection Bulletins (Bulletins) show geographically specific pesticide use limitations to protect listed species or designated critical habitat. Bulletins include a map of the county or parish to which it applies, a description of the species being protected, a list of the pesticides of concern, and their use limitations. Bulletins may be accessed from EPA’s Web site or those without Internet access may check availability and applicability of Bulletins by calling EPA at 1-800-447-3813.
In the past, EPA developed voluntary county bulletins based on consultations with the Services. While these county bulletins are available on EPA’s web site for voluntary use by pesticide applicators, they are not legally enforceable pesticide use limitations. The new Bulletins are referenced on pesticide product labels and are mandatory and enforceable. If geographically specific use limitations are necessary to ensure a pesticide registration complies with the ESA, those use limitations will be relayed to pesticide users through Endangered Species Protection Bulletins referenced on the labels of affected pesticide products. When referenced on a pesticide label, Endangered Species Protection Bulletins are mandatory, enforceable pesticide use limitations.
EPA is pursuing whether a method exists that is short of a full re-evaluation of each pesticide’s use included in them to validate the information contained in the voluntary county bulletins. If that proves to be possible, EPA intends to pursue public comment on the process before finalizing the method. EPA then intends to incorporate the validated information into enforceable Endangered Species Protection Bulletins, as resources permit.
No. Bulletin information may be updated periodically to keep the information accurate and afford endangered species the most up-to-date protection. A six-month timeframe is reasonable for pesticide application planning, and minimal time for implementation of new mitigations and other bulletin updates.
EPA conducts an extensive risk assessment for every chemical registered as a pesticide. During the course of a risk assessment, possible effects to listed species are considered. If the risk assessment identifies potential effects to listed species after analysis of the usage patterns of the pesticide in relation to the location(s) of listed species, mitigation measures are investigated to protect the species. If those mitigations are geographically specific, a Bulletin (or Bulletins) will be developed to put the mitigations into place. These mitigations will be specific to that area(s) in which the species is exposed to the pesticide in question.
The Services may be involved in EPA’s processes to protect listed species and designated critical habitat in several ways: by consulting with EPA on specific endangered species concerns; by issuing Biological Opinions on certain species; or other ways, as necessary. For details on how EPA evaluates the potential risks from pesticides to listed species and consults with the Services, see Risk Assessment Process.
EPA intends the ESPP to be flexible and to modify it as necessary to achieve the goals of protecting listed species and minimizing the impact to pesticide users. The ongoing program will incorporate public participation within existing processes of registration, reregistration and registration review. The processes for public participation during registration and registration review are under development. Reregistration generally is a four- or six-phase process that provides one or two formal opportunities for public input. In general, there are three major phases of a listed species assessment that provide opportunity for public input:
(1) prior to a “may affect determination” by EPA;
(2) when identifying potential mitigation if a risk assessment identifies a listed species concern;
(3) prior to issuance of a Biological Opinion to EPA by the Services.
EPA will provide information on public participation on its Web site as they are developed and refined.
States and Tribes will continue to be integral to the success of the ESPP. Local, State and Tribal circumstances may influence the effectiveness of different approaches to listed species protection; therefore, local, State and Tribal governments may be afforded specific opportunities for Bulletin review. States and Tribes may also assist in determining the effectiveness of the ESPP via enforcement and inspection activity.
To learn more about endangered or threatened species or their designated critical habitat, visit ESPP’s Species Information page.