The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has opened the 60-day public comment period for its preliminary pollinator risk assessment for imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid insecticide, in a Federal Register notice published Friday, Jan. 15. After the comment period ends, the EPA may revise the pollinator assessment based on comments received and, if necessary, take action to reduce risks from the insecticide.

The preliminary risk assessment identified a residue level for imidacloprid of 25 ppb, above which effects on pollinator hives are likely to be seen and below which effects are unlikely. These effects may include reduction in numbers of pollinators as well as the amount of honey produced.
 
The imidacloprid assessment is the first of four preliminary pollinator risk assessments for the neonicotinoid insecticides. Preliminary pollinator risk assessments for three other neonicotinoids, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotefuran, are scheduled to be released for public comment in December 2016.

A preliminary risk assessment for all ecological effects for imidacloprid, including a revised pollinator assessment and impacts on other species such as aquatic and terrestrial animals and plants will also be released in December 2016.

EPA encourages stakeholders and interested members of the public to visit the imidacloprid docket, review the risk assessment and related documents, and submit comments. All comments submitted will be accounted for in our final risk assessment. The risk assessment and other supporting documents are available in the docket at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketBrowser;rpp=25;so=DESC;sb=postedDate;po=0;dct=SR;D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0844.

EPA is also planning to hold a webinar on the imidacloprid assessment in early February. The times and details will be posted at: http://www.epa.gov/pollinator-protection/how-we-assess-risks-pollinators