The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has extended its comment period for the preliminary ecological risk assessment for the pyrethroid class of insecticides.
Originally, the deadline was March 31; the EPA reopened the docket this week and will accept comments until July 7, 2017.
Comments submitted before Jan. 30, 2017, don’t need to be resubmitted. FMC recommends comments submitted to the EPA after Jan. 30 be resent to ensure they are considered.
Rick Kesler, FMC’s industry relations manager, expects the EPA to announce its mitigation measures and label restrictions by the end of 2017. A second comment period will follow, and any possible restrictions will likely be applied by 2019.
“This is the time to really get involved,” Kesler said. “If we don’t, they could put a lot more mitigation on these products is what might happen. It’s not a witch hunt, but once they announce their restrictions, it gets harder and harder for the EPA to back away from that.”
Pyrethroids are applied on about 4 million acres in Minnesota and 50 million acres in the United States. Bifenthrin is the country’s most common pyrethroid, and in active ingredient in products like Capture® and Brigade ® 2EC. It is used on more than 14 million acres nationwide and nearly a million acres in Minnesota alone.
“Bifenthrin gives growers an alternative mode of action,” Kesler said. “Pyrethroids are still fairly low cost — we start losing this, then we start to lose not only an effective tool, but also one that is a lower-cost option.”
Growers and other interested stakeholders can submit comments in one of the following ways:
- defendbifenthrin.com — This website provides draft sample comments for growers, crop advisers and ag retailers.
- Regulations.gov —Stakeholders can upload comments directly to the docket.
- Pyrethroid Working Group website —This website provides an alternative sample draft that can be further customized and submitted directly to the EPA docket.