Department Of Interior
|Office of the Secretary
|For Immediate Release: July 29, 2004||
Dept. of the Interior: Hugh
US Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA Fisheries Issue Regulations to Improve Endangered Species Consultation Process for Pest Control Products
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries today finalized new regulations establishing for the first time a more efficient approach to ensure protection of threatened and endangered species as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's approval process for pest control products. The regulations were developed following a comprehensive scientific review of EPA's risk assessment methodology.
The improved review procedures, developed in cooperation with EPA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will provide a workable and efficient framework to ensure necessary measures are taken to protect fish and wildlife. At the same time, the procedures will ensure that farmers have the pest-control products they need to grow food, consumers can continue to use household disinfectants and lawn care products, and mosquito control products will continue to be available for use by public health authorities.
Under the Endangered Species Act, EPA must consult with the Services to ensure that registration of products under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of federally listed threatened or endangered species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat.
The two services proposed the regulations in January and received extensive public comment.
Because of the complexity of consultations to examine the effects of pest-control products, there have been almost no consultations completed in the past decade. A recent court decision cited the lack of consultations in limiting the use of essential agricultural pest-control products.
Under existing law, EPA routinely evaluates the broad impact of pest-control products on the environment, including the effects on endangered species and other non-target organisms. Before proposing this rule, scientists and regulators within the Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries spent a year conducting an extensive review of EPA's approach to ecological risk assessment and offered recommendations that EPA has incorporated.
Based on this scientific review, together with an understanding of EPA's considerable scientific expertise, the Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries concluded that EPA's approach to risk assessment will produce determinations that reliably assess the effects of these products on listed species and critical habitat.
"This is the first administration to address a long-standing need to create a workable framework to protect species, ranging from salmon to butterflies and songbirds, ensuring that the potential effects of thousands of pest-control products are examined in a timely and comprehensive manner," Service Director Steve Williams said. "At the same time, we are making sure that farmers can continue to provide abundant food for our country and that consumers can continue to use many popular household and garden products.'"
"The two agencies completed
a scientific review of EPA's risk assessment process, and concluded
it allows EPA to make accurate assessments of the likely effects of
pesticides on threatened and endangered species," said Bill Hogarth,
assistant administrator, NOAA Fisheries. "We've worked with EPA
to make sure that this new process will help eliminate the chances of
pesticides harming threatened and endangered species. This approach
will allow the Services to focus their resources on those consultations
that will have the greatest benefit for the species. I am very pleased
that we are able to help expedite the pesticide review process."
are the first-line conservationists. We applaud the proposed efficiencies
in this rule as a way to protect the health of our families and neighbors
while we continue to provide food for our communities. The new consultation
process compliments our efforts to reduce the potential impacts of pest
management activities on wildlife as well as soil, water and air quality,"
said Bruce Knight, USDA's chief of the Natural Resources Conservation
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