EPA Releases Final Guidance for New Pesticide Applications and Registration Review Activities that Require Endangered Species Act Reviews
Released on September 14, 2023
Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released final guidance to pesticide registrants to improve the efficiency of EPA’s Endangered Species Act (ESA) analyses for new pesticide active ingredient applications and active ingredients undergoing registration review. This guidance fulfills requirements outlined in the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act of 2022 (PRIA 5) and furthers goals outlined in EPA’s 2022 ESA Workplan to protect listed species from exposure to pesticides.
Among other requirements, PRIA 5 mandates that EPA develop and issue guidance to registrants on analyses the Agency needs to evaluate the potential adverse effects from outdoor uses of pesticide products on listed species and designated critical habitat. PRIA 5 specifies that the draft guidance be available for public comment and be finalized within nine months of PRIA 5 enactment.
EPA held a comment period on the draft guidance from May 16th to June 16th, 2023, and received 20 comments from stakeholders including pesticide registrants, commodity groups, and environmental organizations. EPA considered all public comments as it worked to finalize the guidance.
The guidance applies to:
- New conventional pesticides and biopesticides that are intended for outdoor use; and
- Existing conventional pesticides and biopesticides that are intended for outdoor use that are being reevaluated under registration review.
Although this document does not create new requirements, the recommendations in the guidance are intended to help applicants address potential effects to listed species for new active ingredients and registration review actions. In particular, the recommendations focus on activities that applicants can voluntarily pursue to inform potential mitigation measures that address impacts to listed species. These actions include identifying where a pesticide will be used, how species may be exposed to the pesticide, and how to recommend potential mitigation measures to reduce the exposure(s). If followed, EPA expects that these recommendations will help expedite EPA’s consideration of the FIFRA action and improve the efficiency of the overall ESA-FIFRA process.
EPA expects to make guidance on new uses of existing active ingredients available at a later date.