EPA Announces Updated Schedule, Completes Safety Assessments and Decisions for Hundreds of Pesticides to Address Risk and Ensure Safe Pesticide Use
For Release: December 2, 2021
Today, EPA is releasing the registration review schedule for the next four years through fiscal year 2025. While EPA has historically updated this schedule once each year, it will be updated on a quarterly basis going forward.
In 2007, an amendment to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) formalized a requirement that EPA review each registered pesticide at least every fifteen years. During the registration review process, EPA completes draft risk assessments, proposed interim decisions/proposed decisions, and interim decisions/final decisions. Throughout, EPA makes its information, assessments, and supporting material for each case available to the public through the case’s docket at regulations.gov.
Registration review ensures that, as the ability to assess risk evolves and as policies and practices change, the pesticide continues to meet the statutory standard of causing no unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment. When EPA identifies risks of concern to human health or the environment, it imposes pesticide label amendments designed to reduce risk. Mitigation measures can include the cancellation of uses or pesticide registrations, reduced application rates, spray drift restrictions, personal protective equipment, and advisory language, among myriad other options.
For the 726 pesticide cases that were registered before October 1, 2007, the amendment to FIFRA required EPA to complete its review by October 1, 2022. Working toward this goal over the past fifteen years, EPA has:
- Issued more than 550 interim or final decisions,
- Completed more than 600 proposed interim decisions,
- Conducted more than 680 human health and ecological draft risk assessments (excluding endangered species assessments),
- Imposed new risk mitigation requirements for 51 percent of antimicrobial pesticides and 70 percent of conventional pesticides for which EPA issued an interim or final decision, and
- Cancelled some or all uses in 120 cases.
Today’s updated registration review schedule provides a roadmap for the next several years of EPA’s registration review program. For some pesticides registered before October 1, 2007, EPA anticipates that its review will extend beyond October 1, 2022 due to a number of challenges including delays in receiving data from registrants; the demands of responding to COVID-19; and a significant increase in recent years of resources devoted to litigation.
Complying with the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is also part of the registration review process. Since 2007, EPA has completed ESA assessments for certain high priority pesticides and, in the coming years, plans to assess the effects of many more pesticides on endangered species in registration review. Further, in the coming months, the Agency will release its first ESA pesticides workplan, which will outline steps the Agency will take to come into compliance with the ESA in ways that are fair and transparent to the agriculture sector.
By following the science and making evidence-based decisions that rely on the input of career scientists, EPA will continue to ensure that risk assessments and regulatory decisions reflect the best available public health and ecological science.