EPA is announcing the availability of two draft guidance documents for public comment. These documents describe how off-site spray drift will be evaluated for ecological and human health risk assessments for pesticides. EPA is seeking to strengthen its protections for people and the environment from exposure to pesticides that drift from fields to nearby areas, including homes, schools and playgrounds.

The Agency has a long-standing history of robust, routine assessments on every chemical to protect consumers from pesticide risks from treated food, workers who apply pesticides, and consumers who use pesticides in and around homes. These new approaches add to these routine assessments and will allow the Agency to estimate off-site drift, another step to protect communities living near fields where crops are grown from these exposures.

The January 29, 2014, Federal Register Notice specifically seeks public input on these approaches that include:

  • a policy for conducting human health risk assessments associated with the potential for exposure from off-site drift during pesticide applications and
  • an updated method for estimating environmental exposures associated with spray drift.

The 60-day public comment period will close on March 31, 2014. Following the public comment period, EPA will analyze the comments, make appropriate modifications to these policies and finalize them. The policies will then be used in pesticide risk assessment.

For more information, see Docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0676-0001 at http://www.regulations.gov/.