Opportunities to Participate in Pesticide Reevaluation
Public participation is vital to our effective reevaluation of pesticides. All interested individuals and groups are welcomed to participate in our pesticide reevaluation programs. During registration review, we routinely provide the following opportunities for comment, input, and involvement.
- A pesticide's registration review begins when EPA establishes and requests public comment on the docket for a registration review case.
- We publish a Federal Register notice announcing and requesting comment for at least 60 days on the registration review case docket. The docket includes, among other things, a Preliminary Work Plan (PWP) that:
- summarizes information that we have about the pesticide
- describes the anticipated path forward
- discusses data we believe we will need and
- provides an estimated timeline for the review.
During the comment period, anyone may submit relevant data or information for the Agency's consideration. If you are interested in following this or other pesticide issues, sign up for email updates (see the box on the right side of the Pesticide Reevaluation homepage).
Docket information will also be included in the Federal Register notices for the pesticide. You also can find information about dockets by searching on our Chemical Search site or at www.regulations.gov. In Chemical Search, select the Regulatory Actions tab when you access a chemical's page. At regulations.gov, you may find several dockets for any given pesticide, so you will need to look for one related to registration review.
- We will generally request public comment on draft risk assessments, except those for low risk pesticides.
- We publish Federal Register notices requesting comment on draft human health and ecological risk assessments, including endangered species assessments, developed during registration review.
- If risk assessments indicate that changes to reduce risk are needed, we may also request comment and input on those potential risk mitigation measures before completing a proposed registration review decision.
- The risk assessment documents will be in the docket established for each pesticide.
- We request public comment on proposed registration review decisions.
- We publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing the proposed decision and requesting comment for at least 60 days.
- We may ask the public to suggest risk mitigation for pesticides posing risks of concern.
- We also announce registration review final decisions in the Federal Register.
Focus Meetings, Timing of Consultations, Outreach and Discussion of Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives
In past years, many stakeholders expressed concerns regarding the apparent lack of transparency surrounding Endangered Species Act (ESA) consultations conducted during registration review. In response, EPA and the other federal agencies involved are continuing to explore science and process issues that, once resolved, will enhance our ability to meet our obligations in a sound and timely manner while providing increased transparency and opportunities for collaboration.
EPA, USDA and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (the Services) intend the changes to result in greater openness and transparency in pesticide registration reviews and ESA consultations. The changes described in the final paper and summarized below are based on considerable dialogue with the Services, USDA, and stakeholders on how to improve those processes.
- We will hold “Focus” meetings at the start of registration review for each pesticide active ingredient to clarify current uses and label directions and to consider the potential for minimizing exposures and reducing risk early.
- We will initiate any needed formal ESA consultations at a later stage in the registration review process.
- Consulting later in the process allows us to develop more refined ecological risk assessments and to engage stakeholders in discussions that should result in more focused consultation packages that include risk mitigation for listed species.
- During comment periods on draft biological opinions, we will reach out to potentially affected pesticide users to discuss the technical and economic feasibility of reasonable and prudent alternatives intended to avoid jeopardy to threatened or endangered species. USDA’s relationships with the agricultural community will be invaluable in making these connections.
We will collect and organize comments on draft biological opinions and provide them to the Services. The Services will prepare a document to be included in the administrative record of the consultation explaining how the comments were considered, and as appropriate, how the biological opinion was modified to address the comments.
See: Enhancing Stakeholder Input in the Pesticide Registration Review and ESA Consultation Processes and Development of Economically and Technologically Feasible Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives (March 2013) in docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0442.