EPA Takes Steps to Protect Endangered Fish from Pesticide Exposure
For Release: July 9, 2021
EPA is taking steps to protect more than two dozen endangered and threatened fish species on the west coast. EPA is taking this action in response to two final biological opinions on metolachlor, bromoxynil, prometryn and 1,3-D issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). EPA worked with NMFS and pesticide registrants to develop a range of risk reduction measures, which include no-spray buffers, retention ponds, and participation in recognized stewardship programs. Pesticide users will have several options to comply with the listed species protection goals.
The biological opinions evaluate the impact of these pesticides on 28 federally listed endangered and threatened species of Pacific salmon and steelhead in Washington, Oregon and California. The biological opinions find that registered uses of these pesticides do not jeopardize the listed salmon and steelhead populations or their critical habitats. The biological opinions also describe reasonable and prudent measures to minimize unintentional harm or death that could result from use of these pesticides to individuals of these listed species and their critical habitats.
EPA will implement the final biological opinions through Endangered Species Protection Bulletins as appropriate. These bulletins will direct how these pesticides may be applied in the vicinity of listed salmon and steelhead species’ habitats. Implementation of these biological opinions aligns with EPA’s efforts to mitigate risks to species protected by the Endangered Species Act in a timely and effective manner.
Metolachlor, bromoxynil and prometryn are herbicides used to control grasses and broadleaf weeds, and 1,3-D (also known as telone) is a pesticide used in pre-plant soil fumigation.