EPA Finalizes Steps to Better Protect Bees from Pesticides

 EPA Pesticide Program Updates

     From EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs 

     www.epa.gov/pesticides

January 12, 2017

 In This Update:

EPA Finalizes Steps to Better Protect Bees from Pesticides

EPA’s is releasing a final policy which describes methods for addressing acute risks to bees from pesticides.  Applications of acutely toxic pesticides would be prohibited under certain conditions when bees are most likely to be present.  While the restrictions focus on managed bees, EPA believes that these measures will also protect native bees and other pollinators that are in and around treatment areas.  New label language will protect managed bees under contract to provide crop pollination services.

The final Policy to Mitigate the Acute Risk to Bees from Pesticide Products is more flexible and practical than the proposed policy.  For example, a product that retains its toxicity to bees for a shorter time might be allowed to be applied under certain circumstances. Also, in some cases, pesticide application would be allowed when it is unlikely that pollinators will be foraging for crops that have extended bloom periods. The EPA will begin implementing this policy in 2017 by sending letters to registrants describing steps that must be taken to incorporate the new labeling.

EPA continues to encourage efforts by states and tribes to reduce pesticide exposure to bees and other insect pollinators through locally-based measures, such as through Managed Pollinator Protection Plans (MP3s). EPA will continue to assist the American Association of Pest Control Officials in developing performance measures for MP3s and will continue to monitor the progress and effectiveness of pollinator protection plans in reducing bee exposure to pesticides.  EPA has also engaged the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee in examining the best ways to measure the effectiveness of MP3s.

For more information on the proposal, its supporting documents, and comments received, please seeregulatory docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0818.

EPA’s Actions to Protect Pollinators

Pollinator Protection at EPA

 EPA distributes its Pesticide Program Updates to external stakeholders and citizens who have expressed an interest in the agency’s pesticide program activities and decisions. This update service is part of EPA’s continuing effort to improve public access to federal pesticide information.

For general questions about pesticides and pesticide poisoning prevention, contact the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC),  by email at npic@ace.orst.edu or, by visiting http://npic.orst.edu.

For information about ongoing activities in the Office of Pesticide Programs, visit our homepage at: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides.

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