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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Idaho' Category


16
Apr

Fisheries Service Tells EPA to Better Protect Endangered Species from Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, April 16, 2012) The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has released a draft Biological Opinion finding that three commonly used herbicides are increasing the chance of extinction for threatened and endangered Pacific salmon and steelhead runs. The NMFS assessment reverses earlier assurances from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that the pesticides are “not likely to adversely affect” the dwindling salmon populations. The draft Opinion also contains restrictions on applying the three pesticides near waterways in California, Washington, Oregon and Idaho that provide habitat for the threatened and endangered runs. Public comment on the draft is being accepted through April 30 and the restrictions on applying the pesticides will take effect no later than one year after the final assessment is released. NMFS prepared the draft Opinion in response to EPA’s initial assessment of the risk that current uses of the herbicides oryzalin, pendimethalin and trifluralin pose for the threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead species. NMFS’ findings contradict significant conclusions from EPA’s work and highlight weaknesses in the agency’s current ecological risk assessment process that underestimate risk and fail to meet modern standards of analysis. For example, NMFS cites EPA’s failure to provide any analysis of […]

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17
Nov

Agricultural Fungicides Contaminate Waters Downstream

(Beyond Pesticides, November 17, 2010) Researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have found a dozen agricultural fungicides in the waters and sediments downstream of farms and orchards in western states. Presented November 8, 2010 at the annual meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) in Portland, Oregon, the findings represent the first such data on fungicides in the western U.S. Farmers routinely use fungus-killing compounds to spray or dust food crops, such as strawberries, corn, and soybeans. Some crops receive up to a dozen doses per growing season. Nationwide, fungicide use has risen considerably since the 1990s, reaching 350 million pounds in 2001. However, the environmental prevalence and effects on wildlife and ecosystems, particularly of newer fungicides, are poorly understood, says Kathryn Kuivila, PhD, of the USGS California Water Science Center. Environmental monitoring programs monitor concentrations of few or no fungicides, she notes. The study entitled, “Occurrence of Azoxystrobin, Propiconazole, and Selected Other Fungicides in US Streams, 2005—2006,” documents the occurrence of fungicides in select U.S. streams soon after the first documentation of soybean rust in the U.S. and prior to the corresponding increase in fungicide use to treat this problem. Water samples were collected from […]

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08
Sep

Third Biological Opinion Finds Pesticides Jeopardize Endangered Species

(Beyond Pesticides, September 8, 2010) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has received a new Biological Opinion from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) with a finding that the application of products containing any of 12 organophosphate (OP) pesticides are likely to jeopardize federally listed threatened or endangered Pacific salmon and steelhead and their designated critical habitat. The 12 OPs addressed in this Biological Opinion, issued under the Endangered Species Act, are azinphos-methyl, bensulide, dimethoate, disulfoton, ethoprop, fenamiphos, methamidophos, methidathion, methyl parathion, naled, phorate, and phosmet. This opinion concludes that EPA’s registration of pesticides containing bensulide, dimethoate, ethoprop, methidathion, naled, phorate, and phosmet are each likely to jeopardize the continued existence of one or more of the 28 endangered and threatened Pacific salmonids and are each likely to destroy or adversely modify designated critical habitat for one or more of the 28 threatened and endangered salmonids. NMFS reached this conclusion because predicted concentrations of these seven pesticides in salmonid habitats, particularly in floodplain habitats, are likely to cause adverse effects to at least one listed Pacific salmonids including significant reductions in growth or survival. EPA’s registration of bensulide, dimethoate, ethoprop, methidathion, naled, phorate, and phosmet is also likely to result […]

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20
Nov

EPA Issues Minimal Fines to Three Companies for Pesticide Registration Violations

(Beyond Pesticides, November 20, 2009) Three companies in Washington, Oregon and Idaho are the target of enforcement actions for their failure to follow federal pesticide laws, according to orders issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The fines range from $1,280 to $28,080, and are characterized by safety advocates as a mere slap on the wrist for violations that the EPA says pose public safety hazards. J.R. Simplot Company of Boise, Idaho; Agricare of Amity, Ore.; and Northwest Agricultural Products of Pasco, Wash. violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) at their respective facilities, according to the EPA. Numerous other violations of FIFRA this past year have led to EPA fines or lawsuits, including several in the state of Washington last spring. In October, EPA fined Samsung for violating the federal pesticide law when it publicized that its keyboards, produced with nanosilver, were antimicrobial and inhibited germs and bacteria without registering its products. EPA also filed suit against VF Corporation for the sale and distribution of unregistered pesticides through its retail company, The North Face. “Companies that produce pesticides but fail to register their facilities or submit required reports are not only operating illegally, but also pose a […]

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30
Apr

Three Additional Pesticides Found to Harm Salmon

(Beyond Pesticides, April 30, 2009) On April 20, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) released a Biological Opinion (BiOp) finding that three additional pesticides, carbaryl, carbofuran, and methomyl, harm salmon and steelhead protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The BiOp prescribes measures necessary to keep these pesticides out of salmon waters in Washington, Oregon, California, and Idaho. It is the second such plan issued in the last six months under a court settlement with fishermen and conservationists, filed by the non-profit law firm Earthjustice. The previous BiOp identified three organophosphate insecticides: chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion. “These pesticides are designed to kill insects on agricultural crops, but when they get into the water system, they also kill aquatic insects that salmon feed on.” said Angela Somma, who heads the NMFS endangered species division. Under the terms of settlement, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must implement measures within a year-long timeframe to prevent further exposure of the pesticides to the water that cultivate these species. The measures recommended by NMFS include: a ban on application of the three pesticides in windy conditions and buffer zones near water resources and require that land applications must be at least 50-600 feet from the […]

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