For pesticides that may affect listed species, EPA consults with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and/or the Commerce National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), depending on the species of concern. The services may issue a biological opinion that includes reasonable and prudent alternatives or measures in which to avoid jeopardy to the species or minimize incidental take.
The Biological Resources Division (BRD) of the U.S.Geological Survey (USGS) provides EPA with biomonitoring information on the distribution, productivity, and health of the Nation's plants, birds, mammals, amphibians, and their habitats. BRD also provides the Agency with data on the effects of contaminant exposure to fish and wildlife.
The Water Resources Division (WRD) of the U.S.Geological Survey (USGS) provides EPA with hydrologic data that describes the occurrence of pesticides and nutrients in the Nation’s water resources. The Agency uses USGS’ water monitoring data in its water assessments.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides EPA with pesticide usage information which it uses in its risk assessments. NASS also maintains the National Agricultural Library which contains the largest collection of agricultural-related information in the world.
The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture USDA provides soil and water conservation assistance to landowners and managers of natural resources. NRCS develops conservation programs (e.g., Best Management Practices) designed to protect vulnerable land and water resources from agricultural impacts. It also maintains the National Resources Inventory which describes the status, condition, and trends of soil, water, and related resources in the United States.
The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture USDA conducts research on pesticide fate, transport, application technology, water and soil quality impacts. ARS develops simulation models, conducts water monitoring of pesticides, conducts pesticide runoff/leaching, drift erosion, and nonpoint pollution research. EPA uses this research in its pesticide risk assessments.
These measures are the basis for use limitations found on the pesticide labels or in county maps and bulletins. In some cases, EPA has taken steps to incorporate use limitations during the registration process to minimize anticipated effects and make lengthy consultation unnecessary.