Duplicative regulations would cost taxpayers $474 million
CropLife America (CLA) expressed concern at the findings of a new report that estimates duplicative regulations on crop protection products could cost taxpayers an additional $474 million over the next 10 years, should the existing broken system of endangered species consultations continue for crop protection products.
A new report from Summit Consulting, LLC (Summit) and commissioned by CLA estimates the cost to taxpayers of continuing the duplicative consultation process. Amendments to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) in 1996 and 2007 established a 15-year cycle of pesticide registration review to ensure that all registered products meet current regulatory requirements; the first cycle must be completed by 2022. All EPA pesticide registration actions are further subject to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which requires that EPA consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) if the pesticide use “may affect” endangered species. The Services conduct their own independent risk analysis, despite the fact that EPA already rigorously reviews a product’s potential impacts on the environment in accordance with FIFRA, including possible effects on threatened or endangered species.
The report from Summit documents the review process as currently conducted through the individual agencies. It includes a review of the budgetary capacity of the agencies and a breakdown of estimated costs over time. The report found:
- Under the current consultation process, where NMFS and FWS conduct their own assessments in addition to EPA, completing the currently scheduled review of 744 pesticide registration dockets by fiscal year 2023 would require an additional taxpayer expense of $474 million above current budgetary levels.
- Completion of these dockets would require a 13-fold increase in current budget and a 25-fold increase over current staffing levels at NMFS.
- Completion of these dockets would require a 17-fold increase over current budget and a 71-fold increase over current staffing levels at FWS.
“This new report prepared by Summit confirms that the current regulatory system for review of EPA decisions under FIFRA by FWS and NMFS, under authority of ESA, creates a broken regulatory system for crop protection products, providing no additional benefits to wildlife, farmers or taxpayers,” said Jay Vroom, president and CEO of CLA. “We look forward to working in a collaborative dialogue with EPA, USDA and the Services to find a solution that continues to protect threatened and endangered wildlife, while using government resources more efficiently. It is unrealistic to expect that our government will spend hundreds of millions of dollars more to expand regulatory capacity at FWS and NMFS, only to affect regulatory redundancy.”
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