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Endangered Species

Interim Use Limitations for Eleven Threatened or Endangered Species in the San Francisco Bay Area

The eight counties on the map below are those that support 1 or more of 11 species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and in which interim use limitations may apply to pesticide products containing any of 69 active ingredients. Although there were 75 pesticides at issue in this case, EPA to date has made “No Effect” determinations, and therefore completed its consultation obligation, for six pesticides (azinphos-methyl, carbofuran, disulfoton, methamidophos, methidathion and tralomethrin) due to their cancellation. As a result, the interim use limitations no longer apply to these six pesticides and they have been removed from the SFB interactive mapper. These limitations are included in a Stipulated Injunction entered by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on May 17, 2010.

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San Francisco Bay Area - Interim Pesticide Use Limitations interactive map (SFB interactive map

San Francisco Bay Map

If you plan to use any of the pesticides subject to the interim use limitations in the Stipulated Injunction in any of these eight counties, you should first read the Background and Exceptions and Modifications information below, then check for specific limitations on the SFB interactive map.

Background

On May 17, 2010, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued an Order and Stipulated Injunction that, among other things, established interim protective measures for 11 federally listed threatened or endangered species until such time as EPA has completed its review and any necessary consultation with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, regarding the potential effects of a pesticide active ingredient to the subject species.

The interim protective measures are no-use buffer zones adjacent to certain features within certain geographic areas in the eight counties. These buffer zones are different depending on the species at issue and the pesticide being used. The specific buffer zones can be found on the San Francisco Bay Area - Interim Pesticide Use Limitations interactive map (the “SFB interactive map”).

The Stipulated Injunction describes several exceptions or modifications to the buffers that otherwise apply and are shown on the SFB interactive map. Please read the Exceptions and Modifications section below before reviewing the SFB interactive map to determine if your use is excluded from the requirements or if there are alternate requirements for your use of the pesticides subject to the Stipulated Injunction.

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Exceptions and Modifications

Below are descriptions of specific uses for which there is no buffer for any of the pesticides subject to the Court Order, and uses for which a modified buffer applies for any of the pesticides subject to the Court Order. Also below are specific exceptions or modifications that apply to Rodent Control, Subterranean Termite Treatments, Public Health Vector Control Programs, Invasive Species and Noxious Weed Control Programs, and Endangered Species Act Approved Uses.

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Uses for which there is no Buffer Imposed

The pesticide uses identified below are not subject to the buffers indicated on the SFB interactive map. Please remember to follow the instructions on the pesticide’s label.

There is no buffer imposed for:

  • use in cattle ear tags;
  • indoor uses;
  • homeowner applications to household potted plants;
  • use of the pesticides in flea and tick collars for dogs and cats; and 
  • tree injection applications – however, the buffers described in the SFB interactive map relative to the valley elderberry longhorn beetle continue to apply if injecting acephate, aldicarb, chlorpyrifos, endosulfan or phorate into elderberry trees.

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Uses for which a Modified Buffer is Imposed

When the following pesticide uses are undertaken, the buffer indicated by the SFB interactive map may be reduced to 60 feet:

  • spot treatments of wasp and hornet nests;
  • individual tree removal using cut stump application; and
  • basal bark applications

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Rodent Control

Except for brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difenacoum and difethialone for which the buffers on the SFB interactive map continue to apply, there are no buffers for use of a pesticide for control of rodents adjacent to residential buildings (e.g., houses, apartment buildings, nursing homes, hospitals) or food handling, processing or serving establishments, provided:

  1. the pesticide is applied by a certified applicator certified in a category that includes the use of rodenticides; and
  2. the pesticide is used in a tamper-resistant bait station deemed to be a Tier 1 bait station according to the standards described in the “Risk Mitigation Decision for Ten Rodenticides” (EPA May 2008); and
  3. the bait station is placed within ten feet of the structure.

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Subterranean Termite Treatment

There are no buffers for use of a pesticide for subterranean termite control provided:

  1. the pesticide is applied by a certified applicator certified in a category that includes the use of subterranean termite control products; and
  2. the product is used within 10 feet of the structure being treated for termites.

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Public Health and Vector Control Programs

There are no buffers imposed when:

  1. the pesticide is used as part of a public health vector control program provided such program is administered by public entities; or
  2. the pesticide is used by a certified applicator for control of a vector pest when such control is necessary to respond to a federally or state-declared public health emergency.

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Invasive Species and Noxious Weed Programs

The no-use buffers described on the SFB interactive map are reduced to 20 feet for aquatic and non-aquatic uses to control state- or federally-designated invasive species and noxious weeds when such a program is administered by public entities and provided that:

  1. applications are limited to localized spot treatments using hand-held devices;
  2. applications are overseen by a certified applicator;
  3. applications are not made when precipitation is occurring or is forecast to occur within 24 hours after application; and
  4. for 2,4-D, only the amine formulation can be used.

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Endangered Species Act Approved Uses

There are no buffers imposed where use is permissible under one or more of the following:

  • a “no jeopardy” biological opinion issued under the ESA section 7(a)(2) by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, that addresses the use of the pesticide and effects on any one or more of the 11 species subject to this Stipulated Injunction, provided that such use follows any “reasonable and prudent measures” established in connection with an incidental take statement included with the Service’s opinion;
  • a “reasonable and prudent alternative” identified in a “jeopardy” biological opinion issued under ESA section (7)(a)(2) by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, that addresses the use of the pesticide and effects on any one or more of the 11 species subject to this Stipulated Injunction provided that such use follows the “reasonable and prudent alternatives” and any “reasonable and prudent measures” established in connection with an incidental take statement included with the Service’s opinion;
  • a written concurrence by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in a “not likely to adversely affect” determination made under ESA section (7)(a)(2) that addresses the use of the pesticide and effects on any one or more of the 11 species subject to this Stipulated Injunction; and
  • an incidental take permit issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under ESA section 10(a) that authorizes the take of any of the 11 species subject to this Stipulated Injunction from application or use of the pesticide.

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Pesticides Subject to the Stipulated Injunction

If you are planning to use a pesticide in one of the eight counties shown above, and that pesticide contains one or more of the active ingredients subject to this Stipulated Injunction, there may be interim limitations in the form of no-use buffer zones that apply to your use of the pesticide. You are encouraged to review the Background and Exceptions and Modifications sections above to determine the general exceptions and then to use the SFB interactive map to determine specific buffers that apply to your use of the pesticide.

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