Roughly 1.4 million metric tons of herbicide was applied globally in 2020. EPA looks to reduce the U.S.’s contribution to global herbicide numbers via a new regulation proposed on Monday.
The 96-page draft Herbicide Strategy focuses on developing and implementing early protections for more than 900 federally threatened and endangered species in 48 states, according to EPA.
“This strategy reflects one of our biggest steps to support farmers and other herbicide users with tools for managing weeds, while accelerating EPA’s ability to protect many endangered species that live near ag areas,” said Jake Li, deputy assistant administrator for pesticide programs at EPA. “Ensuring safe use of herbicides is an important part of EPA’s mission to protect the environment.”
In the Herbicide strategy, growers are offered a menu of options to choose from to adhere to protections. They include
Here are the “guiding principles” EPA used to develop the strategy:
• Focus on minimizing impacts to non-target listed plants and animals that depend on plants.
• Focus on routes of exposure—spray drift and runoff/erosion.
• Develop mitigation measures that growers and applicators can easily use and let them choose the mitigation process that works best for them.
• Propose consistent mitigation measures for all conventional herbicides.
• Provide options for adding other measures in the future, particularly in adding new technology or information on the effectiveness of new measures.
Comments on EPA’s proposed herbicide regulations can be submitted here until the deadline of Sept. 23, 2023.