Proposed Changes to Interim Methodology for Endangered Species Risk Assessments for Pesticides

Susan L. Stephens and Steven Kahn

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently seeking comments on proposed revisions to the interim method used to evaluate risks pesticides pose to endangered species. EPA uses its risk assessment method to make biological evaluations (BEs) for pesticides being evaluated for registration under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) for endangered and threatened species and their critical habitats. Those BEs result in one of two determinations: a pesticide’s use will have “no effect” on listed species or their habitats or “may affect” them. A “may affect” determination triggers the involvement of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and/or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service (hereinafter, the Services) pursuant to section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). These proposed revisions are the most recent step in what the EPA expects to be an extended iterative process.

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