MEMPHIS – The National Cotton Council strongly supported last week’s federal government rule that formalizes a process for the Environmental Protection Agency’s pesticide registration program to be fully compliant with the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Under the new rule, promulgated by the Fish & Wildlife Services and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, procedures have been established procedures for ensuring that registered pesticides can continue to be used safely without posing harm to species and habitats protected under the ESA.
“The new rule allows growers to have access to safe and essential pesticide products, while also assuring these products can be used safely in areas where endangered species are found,” NCC Chairman Woody Anderson said. “EPA, along with U.S. Fish and Wildlife and National Marine Fisheries, has worked out an even-handed regulation that will protect endangered plants and animals while allowing our growers to have access to crop protection products they depend on.”
These “Counterpart Regulations” will allow the EPA to work closely with the Services during the registration process and rely on EPA assessments input from the Services for all but the most serious concerns for a product’s effect on species.
The regulations were supported vigorously by commodity groups, technology providers, forestry interests, public health districts and others. Of the some 70,000 comments that were received by the Services on this ruling, about 40,000 came from agricultural and other supporting interests.