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Daily News Blog

01
May

Take Action: U.S. Geological Survey Critical to Pesticide Monitoring and Regulatory Action

(Beyond Pesticides, May 1, 2023) The sheer number of different chemicals in the nation’s waterways and thus potential for toxic mixtures presents significant risks to health and the environment. However, the range of pesticides and the widespread contamination across the country would not be as fully uncovered without the work of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Research conducted by USGS and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on urban runoff across the country in 2019 found 215 of 438 sampled toxic compounds present in the water.

The toxic soup in many U.S. waterways is unsustainable and threatens the foundation of many food chains. Imbalances in aquatic environments can ripple throughout the food web, creating trophic cascades that further exacerbate health and environmental damage. The data on water contamination has become one of the compelling reasons to abandon reliance on toxic chemicals in favor of organic land management to eliminate these threats.

Tell Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland to expand USGS mapping of pesticide use and monitoring of waterways. Tell EPA Administrator Michael Regan that pesticides shown to contaminate rivers and streams must be banned.

The USGS Water Resources Mission Area (WMA) researches pesticide use, trends in pesticide occurrence in streams, concentrations of pesticides in water of potential human health concern, pesticide toxicity to aquatic organisms, pesticides and stream ecology, and pesticides and lake sediment. While agricultural practices appear to correlate with peaking pesticide contamination during the growing season, urban runoff represents a larger overall proportion of the contamination flowing into waterways. With little to no natural soil to filter contamination, and impervious surfaces creating massive outflows of polluted water, this finding is unsurprising.

A recent USGS study shows that waterways that flow into the Great Lakes are experiencing year-round pesticide contamination that exceeds benchmarks meant to protect aquatic life. This is only one of many studies based on USGS monitoring of 110 stream and river sites, combined with mapping of annual agricultural chemical use. Other recent studies by USGS have found that dozens of pesticides are consistently found in midwestern streams; 88 percent of water samples in U.S. rivers and streams contain at least five or more different pesticides; 41% of public water supply wells are contaminated with pesticides or their degradates; and degradation of rivers from pesticide pollution continues unabated.

The studies relating pesticide use and contamination of waterways should be used by the EPA in pesticide registration decisions. “What you use makes it into the water,” Sam Oliver, PhD, coauthor of the most recent study, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. As important as the existing monitoring network is, a joint study by USGS and EPA shows that it underestimates the problem—more frequent sampling detects twice as many pesticides, at higher concentrations.

Tell Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland to expand USGS mapping of pesticide use and monitoring of waterways. Tell EPA Administrator Michael Regan that pesticides shown to contaminate rivers and streams must be banned.

Letter to U.S. Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland

A recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) shows that waterways that flow into the Great Lakes are experiencing year-round pesticide contamination that exceeds benchmarks meant to protect aquatic life. This is only one of many studies based on USGS monitoring of 110 stream and river sites, combined with mapping of annual agricultural chemical use. Other recent studies by USGS have found that dozens of pesticides are consistently found in midwestern streams; 88 percent of water samples in U.S. rivers and streams contain at least five or more different pesticides; 41% of public water supply wells are contaminated with pesticides or their degradates; and degradation of rivers from pesticide pollution continues unabated.

The studies relating pesticide use and contamination of waterways should be used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in pesticide registration decisions. “What you use makes it into the water,” Sam Oliver, PhD, coauthor of the most recent study, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. As important as the existing monitoring network is, a joint study by USGS and EPA shows that it underestimates the problem—more frequent sampling detects twice as many pesticides, at higher concentrations.

The USGS Water Resources Mission Area (WMA) researches pesticide use, trends in pesticide occurrence in streams, concentrations of pesticides in water of potential human health concern, pesticide toxicity to aquatic organisms, pesticides and stream ecology, and pesticides and lake sediment. While agricultural practices appear to correlate with peaking pesticide contamination during the growing season, urban runoff represents a larger overall proportion of the contamination flowing into waterways. With little to no natural soil to filter contamination, and impervious surfaces creating massive outflows of polluted water, this finding is unsurprising. Research conducted by USGS and EPA on urban runoff across the country in 2019 found 215 of 438 sampled toxic compounds present in the water. The sheer number of different chemicals and thus potential for even more toxic mixtures presents significant risks to health and the environment.  

The toxic soup in many U.S. waterways is unsustainable and threatens the foundation of many food chains. Imbalances in aquatic environments can ripple throughout the food web, creating trophic cascades that further exacerbate health and environmental damage. The data on water contamination has become one of the compelling reasons to abandon reliance on toxic chemicals in favor of organic land management to eliminate these threats.

Scientific research by USGS is essential to evaluating the impacts of pesticides and must be included in EPA’s pesticide registration decisions. I urge you to increase USGS research into pesticide use and impacts.

Thank you.

Letter to U.S. EPA Administrator Michael Regan

A recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) shows that waterways that flow into the Great Lakes are experiencing year-round pesticide contamination that exceeds benchmarks meant to protect aquatic life. This is only one of many studies based on USGS monitoring of 110 stream and river sites, combined with mapping of annual agricultural chemical use. Other recent studies by USGS have found that dozens of pesticides are consistently found in midwestern streams; 88 percent of water samples in U.S. rivers and streams contain at least five or more different pesticides; 41% of public water supply wells are contaminated with pesticides or their degradates; and degradation of rivers from pesticide pollution continues unabated.

The studies relating pesticide use and contamination of waterways should be used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in pesticide registration decisions. “What you use makes it into the water,” Sam Oliver, PhD, coauthor of the most recent study, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. As important as the existing monitoring network is, a joint study by USGS and EPA shows that it underestimates the problem—more frequent sampling detects twice as many pesticides, at higher concentrations.

The USGS Water Resources Mission Area (WMA) researches pesticide use, trends in pesticide occurrence in streams, concentrations of pesticides in water of potential human health concern, pesticide toxicity to aquatic organisms, pesticides and stream ecology, and pesticides and lake sediment. While agricultural practices appear to correlate with peaking pesticide contamination during the growing season, urban runoff represents a larger overall proportion of the contamination flowing into waterways. With little to no natural soil to filter contamination, and impervious surfaces creating massive outflows of polluted water, this finding is unsurprising. Research conducted by USGS and EPA on urban runoff across the country in 2019 found 215 of 438 sampled toxic compounds present in the water. The sheer number of different chemicals and thus potential for even more toxic mixtures presents significant risks to health and the environment.  

The toxic soup in many U.S. waterways is unsustainable and threatens the foundation of many food chains. Imbalances in aquatic environments can ripple throughout the food web, creating trophic cascades that further exacerbate health and environmental damage. The data on water contamination has become one of the compelling reasons to abandon reliance on toxic chemicals in favor of organic land management to eliminate these threats.

Scientific research by USGS is essential to evaluating the impacts of pesticides and must be included in EPA’s pesticide registration decisions. EPA must not register toxic chemicals that pollute waterways and groundwater. No contamination is reasonable under federal pesticide law, given the availability of cost-effective alternative practices and products certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program.

Thank you.

Letter to U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators

A recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) shows that waterways that flow into the Great Lakes are experiencing year-round pesticide contamination that exceeds benchmarks meant to protect aquatic life. This is only one of many studies based on USGS monitoring of 110 stream and river sites, combined with mapping of annual agricultural chemical use. Other recent studies by USGS have found that dozens of pesticides are consistently found in midwestern streams; 88 percent of water samples in U.S. rivers and streams contain at least five or more different pesticides; 41% of public water supply wells are contaminated with pesticides or their degradates; and degradation of rivers from pesticide pollution continues unabated.

The studies relating pesticide use and contamination of waterways should be used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in pesticide registration decisions. “What you use makes it into the water,” Sam Oliver, PhD, coauthor of the most recent study, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. As important as the existing monitoring network is, a joint study by USGS and EPA shows that it underestimates the problem—more frequent sampling detects twice as many pesticides, at higher concentrations.

The USGS Water Resources Mission Area (WMA) researches pesticide use, trends in pesticide occurrence in streams, concentrations of pesticides in water of potential human health concern, pesticide toxicity to aquatic organisms, pesticides and stream ecology, and pesticides and lake sediment. While agricultural practices appear to correlate with peaking pesticide contamination during the growing season, urban runoff represents a larger overall proportion of the contamination flowing into waterways. With little to no natural soil to filter contamination, and impervious surfaces creating massive outflows of polluted water, this finding is unsurprising. Research conducted by USGS and EPA on urban runoff across the country in 2019 found 215 of 438 sampled toxic compounds present in the water. The sheer number of different chemicals and thus potential for even more toxic mixtures presents significant risks to health and the environment.  

The toxic soup in many U.S. waterways is unsustainable and threatens the foundation of many food chains. Imbalances in aquatic environments can ripple throughout the food web, creating trophic cascades that further exacerbate health and environmental damage. The data on water contamination has become one of the compelling reasons to abandon reliance on toxic chemicals in favor of organic land management to eliminate these threats.

Scientific research by USGS is essential to evaluating the impacts of pesticides and must be included in EPA’s pesticide registration decisions. USGS needs your continued support to elevate its role in uncovering and documenting the contamination caused by registered pesticide use. In addition, please urge EPA to cancel pesticides that pollute waterways and groundwater. No contamination is reasonable under federal pesticide law, given the availability of cost-effective alternative practices and products certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program.

Thank you.

Share

8 Responses to “Take Action: U.S. Geological Survey Critical to Pesticide Monitoring and Regulatory Action”

  1. 1
    Tracy Feldman Says:

    We as a nation need to decrease our use of pesticides and herbicides–recent studies show we are contaminating our water sources, including the great lakes and others. We need to act to restrict excessive use of pesticides, and certain especially harmful pesticides like Neonics should be banned.

  2. 2
    Sandra Parciak Says:

    stop this insanity. we’re all being impacted negatively by y these pesticides toxic chemicals are going to kill all of us..and this planet ..and so are guns and weapons of mass destruction. sad. really sad.

  3. 3
    priscilla martinez Says:

    We need to take better care of what is left of our environment, for people, wildlife, marine life, and plant life.

  4. 4
    Maryann Smale Says:

    Please expand USGS mapping of pesticide use, and monitoring of waterways..

  5. 5
    Isabel Cervera Says:

    A recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) shows that waterways that flow into the Great Lakes are experiencing year-round pesticide contamination that exceeds benchmarks meant to protect aquatic life. This is only one of many studies based on USGS monitoring of 110 stream and river sites, combined with mapping of annual agricultural chemical use. Other recent studies by USGS have found that dozens of pesticides are consistently found in midwestern streams; 88 percent of water samples in U.S. rivers and streams contain at least five or more different pesticides; 41% of public water supply wells are contaminated with pesticides or their degradates; and degradation of rivers from pesticide pollution continues unabated.

    The studies relating pesticide use and contamination of waterways should be used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in pesticide registration decisions. “What you use makes it into the water,” Sam Oliver, PhD, coauthor of the most recent study, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. As important as the existing monitoring network is, a joint study by USGS and EPA shows that it underestimates the problem—more frequent sampling detects twice as many pesticides, at higher concentrations.

    The USGS Water Resources Mission Area (WMA) researches pesticide use, trends in pesticide occurrence in streams, concentrations of pesticides in water of potential human health concern, pesticide toxicity to aquatic organisms, pesticides and stream ecology, and pesticides and lake sediment. While agricultural practices appear to correlate with peaking pesticide contamination during the growing season, urban runoff represents a larger overall proportion of the contamination flowing into waterways. With little to no natural soil to filter contamination, and impervious surfaces creating massive outflows of polluted water, this finding is unsurprising. Research conducted by USGS and EPA on urban runoff across the country in 2019 found 215 of 438 sampled toxic compounds present in the water. The sheer number of different chemicals and thus potential for even more toxic mixtures presents significant risks to health and the environment.  

    The toxic soup in many U.S. waterways is unsustainable and threatens the foundation of many food chains. Imbalances in aquatic environments can ripple throughout the food web, creating trophic cascades that further exacerbate health and environmental damage. The data on water contamination has become one of the compelling reasons to abandon reliance on toxic chemicals in favor of organic land management to eliminate these threats.

    Scientific research by USGS is essential to evaluate the impacts of pesticides and must be included in EPA’s pesticide registration decisions. I urge you to increase USGS research into pesticide use and impacts.

    Thank you.

  6. 6
    Yvonne Fisher Says:

    Please monitor and prevent the dumping of toxic pesticide waste and agricultural runoff into our rivers and waterways. This causes untold damage to the eco-system, the fish and our health. This is a practice based on outdated farming methods. It needs to change now! Thank you for reading.
    Yvonne

  7. 7
    Pam WILBOURN Says:

    Why do we need sooo much poison in our food and water,,,,,,,,,,,WWWHHHYYY?

  8. 8
    Marcelo Says:

    Stop toxics pesticides¡¡¡¡

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