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Seeking comments for EPA re: use of paraquat

Posted on behalf of Katie Murray, Statewide IPM Coordinator

As you may remember, one of my responsibilities is to track the EPA registration review process, and to help ensure feedback from Pacific Northwest commodities throughout the process for pesticides that are important to PNW industries. I do this on behalf of the Western IPM Center.

The EPA is currently conducting a registration review of paraquat dichloride, and has released draft human health and ecological risk assessments, which can be found within the docket here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0855-0133. There is currently an open public comment period, through December 16th, 2019, on these risk assessments. Paraquat is used on a broad range of PNW crops, but specific usage data is lacking from this region in terms of how much is applied, how many times per season, which weeds are targeted, and what the limitations of the available alternatives are. Now is an ideal time to ensure that EPA has reliable, realistic usage data from any crops for which a change in the current registration/labeling for paraquat would pose a challenge.

I ask that you please circulate this message, and encourage your associated industries to send comments to me or directly to EPA regarding current paraquat usage as noted above. Comments may be submitted directly to EPA online using the links provided in this email, or you may contribute to comments developed and submitted by me on behalf of the Western IPM Center. Information on how your industry uses paraquat, and why it may be important in your production system, is important to pass along at this stage for EPA’s consideration as they move into decision-making based on the risk assessment data.

I would note that the draft human health risk assessment does identify potential risks to workers who apply paraquat or enter treated fields after application. There are also potential risks identified from spray drift to bystanders at the edge of the field. The draft ecological risk assessment identifies potential risks to mammals, birds, adult honey bees, terrestrial plants, and algae. It’s difficult to predict whether these identified risks could lead to label changes, but being proactive in ensuring EPA understands PNW usage, as well as any current mitigations employed to reduce these risks is advisable.

For more information:

EPA Contact Person: Marianne Mannix  mannix.marianne@epa.gov  (703) 347-0275

Due Date for Comments Dec 16, 2019.

If you have questions or would like more guidance, please email or call Katie Murray, katie.murray@oregonstate.edu; 541-231-1983.