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EPA Opens Comment Period on NMFS’s Assessment on Chlorpyrifos, Diazinon, and Malathion

For Release: March 23, 2018

EPA is seeking comment on the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS’s) Biological Opinion (BiOp) for the pesticides chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion. EPA is asking for input from stakeholders on NMFS’s jeopardy findings, Reasonable and Prudent Measures (RPMs), and Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives (RPAs), and is soliciting additional information, including comment on: 

  1. The scientific approaches and data sources used to support the BiOp and reach determinations for the listed species and critical habitat.
  2. The RPAs and RPMs. Can they reasonably be implemented? If not, why not? Are there different measures that may provide equivalent protection to the ones in the BiOp but result in less impact on pesticide users?
  3. National- and state-level use and usage data and information, in particular, information for non-agricultural use sites (e.g., nurseries, managed forests, pasture, rights-of-way, golf courses, and wide-area mosquito control). If possible, provide sources for data that should be considered.

EPA encourages input on the RPMs and RPAs from pesticide users, registrants, public interest organizations, other interested parties, and state, tribal, and local governments.  This request for input is necessary because, as a result of the U.S. District Court Western District of Washington’s failure to extend NMFS’s court-ordered deadline, NMFS had to issue the final BiOp in December 2017 without having received input from the public and applicants (pesticide registrants). This was at odds with EPA’s 2013 public stakeholder process for ESA consultations – an open and transparent process supported by the Services, EPA, and USDA.

This input will be considered prior to either reinitiating consultation on the BiOp or implementing the measures of BiOp. EPA will evaluate the comments received in determining how to proceed with respect to the final BiOp, whether the alternatives or measures can reasonably be implemented, and whether there are different measures that may provide equivalent protection but result in less impact on pesticide users.

The Biological Opinion is included in docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2018-0141 at EPA will forward to NMFS for its consideration all public comments we receive on this Biological Opinion. 

Submit your comments, identified by the docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2018-0141 and the pesticides to which the Biological Opinion pertains, by one of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail: Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460.
  • Delivery: EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number is (202) 566-1744.