EPA proposes new label restrictions for pesticides Email
Tuesday, June 02, 2015 10:58 AM

New proposal from Environmental Protection Agency

EPA has posted to the Federal Register a document entitled “Proposal to Mitigate Exposure to Bees from Acutely Toxic Pesticide Products, Notice of Availability.” There is will be a 31-day comment period, ending June 29, 2015 on this proposal for changes to pesticide labeling.

According to the notice, “EPA is proposing mandatory pesticide label restrictions to protect contracted managed bees, e.g., honey bee colonies that are under contract to provide pollination services, from foliar applications of pesticides that are acutely toxic to bees on a contact exposure basis, i.e., those pesticides with an acutely lethal dose to 50% of the bees tested of less than 11 micrograms per bee, based on acute contact toxicity testing. Contracted pollination services result in a heightened risk potential where a large number of honey bee colonies are intentionally placed at a use site, and application of a toxic pesticide in this scenario is nearly certain to result in direct exposure to pollinators.”

The notice goes on to state that:

  • EPA proposes to prohibit the foliar application of acutely toxic products during bloom for sites with bees on-site under contract, unless the application is made in accordance with a government-declared public health response.
  • EPA proposes to remove the existing neonicotinoid 48-hr notification exception to the bloom prohibition.

In addition, EPA is encouraging states and tribes to develop Managed Pollinator Protection Plans (MP3s) for areas that do not involved contract pollination services. According to the notice, “EPA would monitor success of these MP3s in mitigating risk to bees from acutely toxic pesticides on an ongoing basis and determine whether additional EPA action is warranted. Therefore, for managed bees not under contract pollination services, EPA is not proposing to require any new language for pesticide labels. This does not alter EPA’s previous requirement for more specific restrictions on neonicotinoid pesticides for which EPA required language to address risks to bees not under contract for pollination services.”

If you are interested in commenting on this proposal, visit the Federal Register for more information. For tips on commenting on EPA documents, visit www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

Previously on the LAB:
Pollinator Task Force announces national strategy

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