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EPA Requires ESA Labels on Insecticides
By Todd Neeley
Friday, July 1, 2022 11:09AM CDT

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- EPA is set to implement label changes to the insecticides malathion, chlorpyrifos and diazinon, after the agency announced on Thursday it had received a final biological opinion from the National Marine Fisheries Service as part of an ongoing Endangered Species Act review.

This first round of actions taken by EPA affects 75 endangered or threatened species in 61 critical habitats, all of which are outside of Corn Belt states.

The vast majority of new label restrictions will apply to users on the East and West coasts and north Atlantic states, according to the final biological opinion.

Though the agency already has banned ag uses of chlorpyrifos, the EPA announcement could be emblematic of the future of ag chemicals as ESA reviews continue.

EPA now has 60 days to request from registrants of the insecticides to submit amended labels to the EPA. According to a news release from EPA, the registrants will then have 60 days to submit new labels.

The agency already has revoked food and feed tolerances for chlorpyrifos, with the ban currently being fought by ag groups in court.

Diazinon is used widely in non-lactating cattle to combat bugs on ear tags, while malathion is used to control mosquitoes.

The final NMFS biological opinion calls for new restrictions on the three insecticides and for labels to include an ESA requirements statement.

For users of chlorpyrifos:

-- Users will not be able to apply products within 300 meters of ESA-listed species habitats when soil is saturated, or when a storm event is likely to produce runoff from the treated area is forecast (by NOAA/National Weather Service, or other similar forecasting service) to occur within 48 hours following application.

-- May not be applied when wind speeds exceed 10 miles per hour when applying the product with fine or finer droplet sizes, or when wind speeds exceed 15 mph when applying the product with medium or courser droplet sizes (ASABE); tank mixing with other neurotoxic pesticides (i.e., organophosphate, carbamate, pyrethroid, and neonicotinoid pesticides) at application rates that exceed 50% the maximum labeled rate of any pesticide active ingredient used in the tank mixture.

For diazinon users:

-- This product may not be applied within 300 m of ESA-listed species habitat when: soil is saturated, or when a storm event is likely to produce runoff from the treated area is forecast (by NOAA/National Weather Service, or other similar forecasting service) to occur within 48 hours following application.

-- May not be applied when wind speeds exceed 10 mph when applying the product via air blast, or wind speeds exceed 15 mph when applying via ground boom or other methods; tank mixing with other neurotoxic pesticides (i.e., organophosphate, carbamate, pyrethroid, and neonicotinoid pesticides) at application rates that exceed 50% the maximum labeled rate of any pesticide active ingredient used in the tank mixture.

For malathion users:

-- May not be applied within 300 m of ESA-listed species habitat when: soil is saturated, or when a storm event is likely to produce runoff from the treated area is forecasted (by NOAA/National Weather Service, or other similar forecasting service) to occur within 48 hours following application; tank mixing with other neurotoxic pesticides (i.e., organophosphate, carbamate, pyrethroid, and neonicotinoid pesticides) at application rates that exceed 50% the maximum labeled rate of any pesticide active ingredient used in the tank mixture.

Read more on DTN:

"Chlorpyrifos Ban Stands," https://www.dtnpf.com/…

"What the Endangered Species Act Means for Ag Pesticide Use," https://www.dtnpf.com/…

Todd Neeley can be reached at todd.neeley@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @DTNeeley


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