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Endangered Species

Implementing NAS Report Recommendations on Ecological Risk Assessment for Endangered and Threatened Species

Background

In 2011, the EPA and the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce and the Interior requested that the National Research Council of the National Academy of Science convene a committee of independent experts to examine topics pertaining to tools and approaches for assessing the effects of proposed FIFRA actions on endangered and threatened species and their critical habitats.

The NRC was asked to consider a range of issues, including:

  • identifying best available scientific data and information;
  • considering sub-lethal, indirect and cumulative effects;
  • assessing the effects of chemical mixtures and inert ingredients;
  • using models to assist in analyzing the effects of pesticide use;
  • incorporating uncertainties into the evaluations effectively; and
  • using geospatial information and datasets in the course of these assessments.

NAS released its report in April 2013 with its recommendations. Read the NAS reportExit

Status

Since receiving the NAS report, the agencies have been working together to develop shared scientific approaches that reflect the advice provided by the NAS. Working together, scientists from the requesting agencies have met, analyzed the recommendations and have developed interim approaches they will jointly implement as part of a phased iterative process. They are also identifying future tools, models and approaches that will need to be developed some time over a period of years. 

Interim Approaches for Pesticide Endangered Species Act Assessments based on National Academy of Sciences Report Recommendations

EPA has finalized Biological Evaluations (BEs) for the three pilot chemicals: chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion. The final BEs are based on interim methods for assessing risk to listed species that were developed in conjunction with Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service in response to the National Academy of Science report on assessing risks to threatened and endangered species from pesticides. These methods may be further refined as we conduct ESA assessments on additional chemicals. A Response to Comment document (PDF)(20 pp, 977 K, About PDF) that addresses public comments submitted in response to the April 2015 draft BEs is also available. The information provided for each chemical will be on a separate page:

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