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Daily News Blog

20
Oct

Take Action Today: Tell EPA To End Pesticide Dependency, Endangered Species Plan Is Inadequate

endangered species bumblebee EPA action

(Beyond Pesticides, October 20, 2023) Comments are due October 22. This action requires use of Regulations.gov. See instructions and proposed comment language that can be copy and pasted by clicking HERE.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) plan to “protect” endangered species, its Draft Herbicide Strategy Framework, continues a legacy of failed risk assessment and mitigation measures that do not meet the moment of looming biodiversity collapse. This is a critical time for the agency to embrace real fundamental change in how it regulates pesticides, recognizing that land management strategies, including in agriculture, exist that are no longer reliant on pesticides. This is not a time to tinker with strategies that EPA admits fall short.

Recognizing that its Pesticide Program has failed to meet its obligation to protect endangered species from registered pesticides, EPA has come up with a strategy to redefine its responsibilities to protect endangered species in its pesticide registration and registration review program. According to EPA, “The proposed Strategy is structured to provide flexibility to growers to choose mitigations that work best for their situation. Additionally, the draft Strategy may require more or less mitigation for growers/pesticide applicators depending on their location.”

Understandably, EPA has taken this approach, finding it virtually impossible to meet the statutory obligations of the Endangered Species Act (ESA)—given the fact that the agency itself admits, “EPA’s Pesticide Program has been unable to keep pace with its ESA workload, resulting not only in inadequate protections for listed species but also successful litigation against the Agency.” And, “Even if EPA completed this work for all of the pesticides that are currently subject to court decisions and/or ongoing litigation, that work would take until the 2040s, and even then, would represent only 5% of EPA’s ESA obligations.”

This action requires use of Regulations.gov. Click on this link. Then write your comments or copy and paste from this post. See copy and paste language. Comments are due October 22.

EPA starts with the position that farmers must use toxic chemicals, an assumption that clouds and undermines the regulatory process and keeps farmers on the pesticide treadmill. EPA says, “Without certain pesticide products, farmers could have trouble growing crops that feed Americans and public health agencies could lack the tools needed to combat insect-borne diseases.” Not true. Organic farmers are not reliant on these pesticides.

EPA recognizes that it needs to fundamentally change. But to EPA, the “fundamental change” means risk mitigation measures that have failed miserably over its history—drift mitigation being one of many key failures. In fact, the fundamental change that is needed is change of agricultural practices that have kept farmers dependent on chemical-intensive practices. Fundamental change requires EPA in every pesticide registration and registration review to ask whether there are practices that can eliminate the harm, not reduce risk with high degrees of uncertainty.

The planet faces an existential biodiversity crisis, with a rising number of species on the brink of extinction. The goal of ESA is to address the broader issue of biodiversity loss by protecting habitats of species most at risk, or, as stated in ESA, to “Provide a means whereby the ecosystems upon which endangered species and threatened species depend may be conserved, to provide a program for the conservation of such endangered species and threatened species, and to take such steps as may be appropriate to achieve the purposes of the treaties and conventions set forth. . .” in the law.

On the contrary, EPA’s language about its proposed changes includes phrases like “draft Strategy may require more or less mitigation for growers/pesticide applicators depending on their location.” That is not a plan to avoid biodiversity collapse.

Pesticide use is a major cause of declining biodiversity, which is manifested in extinctions, endangered species, and species vulnerable to environmental disturbances—including climate change, habitat fragmentation, and toxic chemicals. If EPA is serious about protecting biodiversity, it must look first to the ways it has created the crisis in the first place.

Yet EPA admits the limitations of its own proposal, saying, “The scope of this document is limited to spray drift, aqueous runoff, and runoff of sediment-bound residues (erosion).” Moreover, EPA fails to recognize that the agency does not have toxicological data for key endpoints or health outcomes like endocrine disruption, an effect that can wipe out a species by undermining its ability to reproduce.

Pesticides are a major contributor to the loss of insect biomass and diversity known as the “insect apocalypse,” posing a threat to life on Earth. EPA’s registration of insecticides has always endangered insects, but herbicides destroy the food and habitat of insects. Similarly, pesticides threaten food webs in aquatic and marine environments.

Pesticides threaten frogs and other amphibians in a way that demonstrates the potential to warp the growth and reproduction of all animals. Agricultural intensification, in particular pesticide and fertilizer use, is the leading factor driving declines in bird populations.

Industrial agriculture eliminates habitat—either through outright destruction or through toxic contamination. In much of the U.S., agricultural fields are bare for half the year and support a single plant species for the other half. As opposed to industrial agriculture, organic producers are required to conserve—protect and increase—biodiversity.

In other words, a major reason that species are endangered is that EPA has registered pesticides that harm them. If EPA is to really protect endangered species, it must eliminate the use of toxic pesticides and encourage organic production.

This action requires use of Regulations.gov. Click on this link. Then write your comments or copy and paste from this post. See copy and paste language. Comments are due October 22.

Thank you for your commitment to creating a world free of toxic pesticides!

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12 Responses to “Take Action Today: Tell EPA To End Pesticide Dependency, Endangered Species Plan Is Inadequate”

  1. 1
    Gary Beckerman Says:

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) plan to “protect” endangered species, its Draft Herbicide Strategy Framework, must meet the moment of looming biodiversity collapse. This is a critical time for the agency to embrace real fundamental change in how it regulates pesticides, recognizing that land management strategies, including in agriculture, exist that are no longer reliant on pesticides.
    In recognizing that its Pesticide Program has failed to meet its obligation to protect endangered species from registered pesticides, EPA is proposing an approach that falls short of the its statutory obligations under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)
    EPA starts with the position that farmers must use toxic chemicals, an assumption that clouds and undermines the regulatory process and keeps farmers on the pesticide treadmill. EPA says, “Without certain pesticide products, farmers could have trouble growing crops that feed Americans and public health agencies could lack the tools needed to combat insect-borne diseases.” Not true. Organic farmers are not reliant on these pesticides.
    EPA recognizes that it needs to fundamentally change. But to EPA, the “fundamental change” means risk mitigation measures that have failed miserably over its history –drift mitigation being one of many key failures. In fact, the fundamental change that is needed is change of agricultural practices that have kept farmers dependent on chemical-intensive practices. Fundamental change would require EPA in every pesticide registration and registration review to ask whether there are practices that can eliminate the harm, not reduce risk with high degrees of uncertainty.
    The planet faces an existential biodiversity crisis, with a rising number of species on the brink of extinction. The goal of ESA is to address the broader issue of biodiversity loss by protecting habitats of species most at risk, or, as stated in ESA, to “Provide a means whereby the ecosystems upon which endangered species and threatened species depend may be conserved, to provide a program for the conservation of such endangered species and threatened species, and to take such steps as may be appropriate to achieve the purposes of the treaties and conventions set forth. . .” in the law.
    On the contrary, EPA’s language about its proposed changes includes phrases like “draft Strategy may require more or less mitigation for growers/pesticide applicators depending on their location.” That is not a plan to avoid biodiversity collapse.
    Pesticide use is a major cause of declining biodiversity, which is manifested in extinctions, endangered species, and species vulnerable to environmental disturbances—including climate change, habitat fragmentation, and toxic chemicals. If EPA is serious about protecting biodiversity, it must look first to the ways it has created the crisis in the first place.
    Yet EPA admits the limitations of its own proposal, saying, “The scope of this document is limited to spray drift, aqueous runoff, and runoff of sediment-bound residues (erosion).” Moreover, EPA fails to recognize that the agency does not have toxicological data for key endpoints or health outcomes like endocrine disruption, an effect that can wipe out a species by undermining its ability to reproduce.
    Pesticides are a major contributor to the loss of insect biomass and diversity known as the “insect apocalypse,” posing a threat to life on Earth. EPA’s registration of insecticides has always endangered insects, but herbicides destroy the food and habitat of insects. Similarly, pesticides threaten food webs in aquatic and marine environments.
    Pesticides threaten frogs and other amphibians in a way that demonstrates the potential to warp the growth and reproduction of all animals. Agricultural intensification, in particular pesticide and fertilizer use, is the leading factor driving declines in bird populations.
    Industrial agriculture eliminates habitat—either through outright destruction or through toxic contamination. In much of the U.S., agricultural fields are bare for half the year and support a single plant species for the other half. As opposed to industrial agriculture, organic producers are required to conserve—protect and increase—biodiversity.
    Organic agricultural practices both protect endangered species and enhance productivity and profitability in the agricultural sector. Therefore, I urge EPA to incorporate in its strategy an evaluation of these alternative practices that (i) eliminate the uncertainty of its stated mitigation measures, (ii) account for the lack of agency attention to endocrine disruption, other endpoints, and pesticide product ingredient mixtures that are devastating to endangered species, and (iii) recognize the viability, productivity, and profitability of USDA certified organic practices.
    Thank you for your consideration.

  2. 2
    Stacey McRae Says:

    End pesticide dependency and save the bees..

  3. 3
    Pamela Kjono Says:

    Pesticide use is a major cause of declining biodiversity, which is manifested in extinctions, endangered species, and species vulnerable to environmental disturbances—including climate change, habitat fragmentation, and toxic chemicals. If EPA is serious about protecting biodiversity, it must look first to the ways it has created the crisis in the first place. If EPA is to really protect endangered species, it must eliminate the use of toxic pesticides and encourage organic production.

  4. 4
    russ ziegler Says:

    EPA starts with the position that farmers must use toxic chemicals, an assumption that clouds and undermines the regulatory process and keeps farmers on the pesticide treadmill. EPA says, “Without certain pesticide products, farmers could have trouble growing crops that feed Americans and public health agencies could lack the tools needed to combat insect-borne diseases.” Not true. Organic farmers are not reliant on these pesticides.

    EPA recognizes that it needs to fundamentally change. But to EPA, the “fundamental change” means risk mitigation measures that have failed miserably over its history—drift mitigation being one of many key failures. In fact, the fundamental change that is needed is change of agricultural practices that have kept farmers dependent on chemical-intensive practices. Fundamental change requires EPA in every pesticide registration and registration review to ask whether there are practices that can eliminate the harm, not reduce risk with high degrees of uncertainty.

    The planet faces an existential biodiversity crisis, with a rising number of species on the brink of extinction. The goal of ESA is to address the broader issue of biodiversity loss by protecting habitats of species most at risk, or, as stated in ESA, to “Provide a means whereby the ecosystems upon which endangered species and threatened species depend may be conserved, to provide a program for the conservation of such endangered species and threatened species, and to take such steps as may be appropriate to achieve the purposes of the treaties and conventions set forth. . .” in the law.

    On the contrary, EPA’s language about its proposed changes includes phrases like “draft Strategy may require more or less mitigation for growers/pesticide applicators depending on their location.” That is not a plan to avoid biodiversity collapse.

    Pesticide use is a major cause of declining biodiversity, which is manifested in extinctions, endangered species, and species vulnerable to environmental disturbances—including climate change, habitat fragmentation, and toxic chemicals. If EPA is serious about protecting biodiversity, it must look first to the ways it has created the crisis in the first place.

    Yet EPA admits the limitations of its own proposal, saying, “The scope of this document is limited to spray drift, aqueous runoff, and runoff of sediment-bound residues (erosion).” Moreover, EPA fails to recognize that the agency does not have toxicological data for key endpoints or health outcomes like endocrine disruption, an effect that can wipe out a species by undermining its ability to reproduce.

    Pesticides are a major contributor to the loss of insect biomass and diversity known as the “insect apocalypse,” posing a threat to life on Earth. EPA’s registration of insecticides has always endangered insects, but herbicides destroy the food and habitat of insects. Similarly, pesticides threaten food webs in aquatic and marine environments.

    Pesticides threaten frogs and other amphibians in a way that demonstrates the potential to warp the growth and reproduction of all animals. Agricultural intensification, in particular pesticide and fertilizer use, is the leading factor driving declines in bird populations.

    Industrial agriculture eliminates habitat—either through outright destruction or through toxic contamination. In much of the U.S., agricultural fields are bare for half the year and support a single plant species for the other half. As opposed to industrial agriculture, organic producers are required to conserve—protect and increase—biodiversity.

    In other words, a major reason that species are endangered is that EPA has registered pesticides that harm them. If EPA is to really protect endangered species, it must eliminate the use of toxic pesticides and encourage organic production

  5. 5
    Joseph Quirk Says:

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) plan to “protect” endangered species, its Draft Herbicide Strategy Framework, must meet the moment of looming biodiversity collapse. This is a critical time for the agency to embrace real fundamental change in how it regulates pesticides, recognizing that land management strategies, including in agriculture, exist that are no longer reliant on pesticides.
    In recognizing that its Pesticide Program has failed to meet its obligation to protect endangered species from registered pesticides, EPA is proposing an approach that falls short of the its statutory obligations under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)
    EPA starts with the position that farmers must use toxic chemicals, an assumption that clouds and undermines the regulatory process and keeps farmers on the pesticide treadmill. EPA says, “Without certain pesticide products, farmers could have trouble growing crops that feed Americans and public health agencies could lack the tools needed to combat insect-borne diseases.” Not true. Organic farmers are not reliant on these pesticides.
    EPA recognizes that it needs to fundamentally change. But to EPA, the “fundamental change” means risk mitigation measures that have failed miserably over its history –drift mitigation being one of many key failures. In fact, the fundamental change that is needed is change of agricultural practices that have kept farmers dependent on chemical-intensive practices. Fundamental change would require EPA in every pesticide registration and registration review to ask whether there are practices that can eliminate the harm, not reduce risk with high degrees of uncertainty.
    The planet faces an existential biodiversity crisis, with a rising number of species on the brink of extinction. The goal of ESA is to address the broader issue of biodiversity loss by protecting habitats of species most at risk, or, as stated in ESA, to “Provide a means whereby the ecosystems upon which endangered species and threatened species depend may be conserved, to provide a program for the conservation of such endangered species and threatened species, and to take such steps as may be appropriate to achieve the purposes of the treaties and conventions set forth. . .” in the law.
    On the contrary, EPA’s language about its proposed changes includes phrases like “draft Strategy may require more or less mitigation for growers/pesticide applicators depending on their location.” That is not a plan to avoid biodiversity collapse.
    Pesticide use is a major cause of declining biodiversity, which is manifested in extinctions, endangered species, and species vulnerable to environmental disturbances—including climate change, habitat fragmentation, and toxic chemicals. If EPA is serious about protecting biodiversity, it must look first to the ways it has created the crisis in the first place.
    Yet EPA admits the limitations of its own proposal, saying, “The scope of this document is limited to spray drift, aqueous runoff, and runoff of sediment-bound residues (erosion).” Moreover, EPA fails to recognize that the agency does not have toxicological data for key endpoints or health outcomes like endocrine disruption, an effect that can wipe out a species by undermining its ability to reproduce.
    Pesticides are a major contributor to the loss of insect biomass and diversity known as the “insect apocalypse,” posing a threat to life on Earth. EPA’s registration of insecticides has always endangered insects, but herbicides destroy the food and habitat of insects. Similarly, pesticides threaten food webs in aquatic and marine environments.
    Pesticides threaten frogs and other amphibians in a way that demonstrates the potential to warp the growth and reproduction of all animals. Agricultural intensification, in particular pesticide and fertilizer use, is the leading factor driving declines in bird populations.
    Industrial agriculture eliminates habitat—either through outright destruction or through toxic contamination. In much of the U.S., agricultural fields are bare for half the year and support a single plant species for the other half. As opposed to industrial agriculture, organic producers are required to conserve—protect and increase—biodiversity.
    Organic agricultural practices both protect endangered species and enhance productivity and profitability in the agricultural sector. Therefore, I urge EPA to incorporate in its strategy an evaluation of these alternative practices that (i) eliminate the uncertainty of its stated mitigation measures, (ii) account for the lack of agency attention to endocrine disruption, other endpoints, and pesticide product ingredient mixtures that are devastating to endangered species, and (iii) recognize the viability, productivity, and profitability of USDA certified organic practices.
    Thank you for your consideration.
    Joseph Quirk

  6. 6
    Cathie Wanner Ernst Says:

    Please end Pesticide Dependency and the Endangered Species Plan is inadequate. Do the right thing.

  7. 7
    Jim Yanda Says:

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) plan to “protect” endangered species, its Draft Herbicide Strategy Framework, must meet the moment of looming biodiversity collapse. This is a critical time for the agency to embrace real fundamental change in how it regulates pesticides, recognizing that land management strategies, including in agriculture, exist that are no longer reliant on pesticides.
    In recognizing that its Pesticide Program has failed to meet its obligation to protect endangered species from registered pesticides, EPA is proposing an approach that falls short of the its statutory obligations under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)
    EPA starts with the position that farmers must use toxic chemicals, an assumption that clouds and undermines the regulatory process and keeps farmers on the pesticide treadmill. EPA says, “Without certain pesticide products, farmers could have trouble growing crops that feed Americans and public health agencies could lack the tools needed to combat insect-borne diseases.” Not true. Organic farmers are not reliant on these pesticides.
    EPA recognizes that it needs to fundamentally change. But to EPA, the “fundamental change” means risk mitigation measures that have failed miserably over its history –drift mitigation being one of many key failures. In fact, the fundamental change that is needed is change of agricultural practices that have kept farmers dependent on chemical-intensive practices. Fundamental change would require EPA in every pesticide registration and registration review to ask whether there are practices that can eliminate the harm, not reduce risk with high degrees of uncertainty.
    The planet faces an existential biodiversity crisis, with a rising number of species on the brink of extinction. The goal of ESA is to address the broader issue of biodiversity loss by protecting habitats of species most at risk, or, as stated in ESA, to “Provide a means whereby the ecosystems upon which endangered species and threatened species depend may be conserved, to provide a program for the conservation of such endangered species and threatened species, and to take such steps as may be appropriate to achieve the purposes of the treaties and conventions set forth. . .” in the law.
    On the contrary, EPA’s language about its proposed changes includes phrases like “draft Strategy may require more or less mitigation for growers/pesticide applicators depending on their location.” That is not a plan to avoid biodiversity collapse.
    Pesticide use is a major cause of declining biodiversity, which is manifested in extinctions, endangered species, and species vulnerable to environmental disturbances—including climate change, habitat fragmentation, and toxic chemicals. If EPA is serious about protecting biodiversity, it must look first to the ways it has created the crisis in the first place.
    Yet EPA admits the limitations of its own proposal, saying, “The scope of this document is limited to spray drift, aqueous runoff, and runoff of sediment-bound residues (erosion).” Moreover, EPA fails to recognize that the agency does not have toxicological data for key endpoints or health outcomes like endocrine disruption, an effect that can wipe out a species by undermining its ability to reproduce.
    Pesticides are a major contributor to the loss of insect biomass and diversity known as the “insect apocalypse,” posing a threat to life on Earth. EPA’s registration of insecticides has always endangered insects, but herbicides destroy the food and habitat of insects. Similarly, pesticides threaten food webs in aquatic and marine environments.
    Pesticides threaten frogs and other amphibians in a way that demonstrates the potential to warp the growth and reproduction of all animals. Agricultural intensification, in particular pesticide and fertilizer use, is the leading factor driving declines in bird populations.
    Industrial agriculture eliminates habitat—either through outright destruction or through toxic contamination. In much of the U.S., agricultural fields are bare for half the year and support a single plant species for the other half. As opposed to industrial agriculture, organic producers are required to conserve—protect and increase—biodiversity.
    Organic agricultural practices both protect endangered species and enhance productivity and profitability in the agricultural sector. Therefore, I urge EPA to incorporate in its strategy an evaluation of these alternative practices that (i) eliminate the uncertainty of its stated mitigation measures, (ii) account for the lack of agency attention to endocrine disruption, other endpoints, and pesticide product ingredient mixtures that are devastating to endangered species, and (iii) recognize the viability, productivity, and profitability of USDA certified organic practices.
    Thank you for your consideration.

  8. 8
    Angie Dixon Says:

    We must stop our dependence on pesticides. They are killing our pollinators and we need pollinators for the survival of us all! We need our bees, birds and bats. We need food, not poison. Pesticides are poison and they crep into our entire ecosystem and poison other species and our food, water a nd air. STOP IT! Use your common sense. Poison is poison and there are other ways to control pests that are not poisonous that save our pollinators and do NOT poison them or us.

  9. 9
    Toni Noll Says:

    No more pesticides!!!

  10. 10
    H ande Says:

    Please do the right thing

  11. 11
    Yvonne Fisher Says:

    Hello everyone,
    I wanted to ask you to review your policies when it comes to pesticides and the use of them in agriculture. We need to minimize the use of many of these toxic chemicals whose use is banned in Europe. There is a reason for this: they are TOXIC!! For some reason Americans are consuming a lot more pesticides in their food which has an adverse effect on their health. Please safeguard organic farmers and allow nature to thrive. Bee colonies are collapsing due to the neonic (toxic) pesticide use. Isn’t it time we act to ensure abundant harvests in years to come for ourselves and for future generations?
    Thank you for reading.
    Kind regards,
    Yvonne

  12. 12
    Nancy J Stevenson Says:

    We need sustainable agriculture and everything else or we won’t have a liveable planet

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