EPA Denies Petition to Ban Chlorpyrifos

On July 18, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Federal Register notice announcing a final order denying the Pesticide Action Network North America’s (PANNA) and the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) 2007 Petition requesting that EPA revoke all tolerances and cancel all registrations for chlorpyrifos (Order).  This Order constitutes final Agency action denying all of the Petitioners’ objections to EPA’s previous refusal to revoke the tolerances for chlorpyrifos.  This Order also constitutes final administrative action concerning all parts of the 2007 Petition that were not previously addressed by EPA.  Given the previous extensive chlorpyrifos litigation, this latest action by EPA will likely lead to further litigation challenging EPA’s decision to allow continued use of chlorpyrifos under the Federal  Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

The EPA stated in the Order that further examination of epidemiological studies of health risks associated with chlorpyrifos is necessary before the agency can make a final decision on its safety.  The EPA has also stated that there is good reason to continue allowing farmers to use chlorpyrifos given the importance to integrated pest management and the fact that critical questions remain regarding the significance of the data addressing neurodevelopmental effects.

The deadline for EPA to complete registration review is October 1, 2022, although EPA states that it intends to expedite this process and to issue a proposed registration review decision by October 2020.

While the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) have begun the cancellation process of chlorpyrifos in California, California Citrus Mutual (CCM) will continue to be actively engaged in the regulatory processes around the cancellation decision and will continue to explore all potential remedies to allow the safe and effective use of Chlorpyrifos.  CCM applauds EPA’s findings in the Order will continue to advocate for allowing our growers to use this crop protection tool.

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