Source: CropLife America

CropLife America (CLA) filed a petition with the Department of the Interior and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) requesting improvements to the evaluation of federal agency actions under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Specifically, the improvements would expand the role of the applicant during the consultation process for pesticide registration under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). CLA, and its members, have highlighted several problems in how the current ESA consultation process is conducted, most notably that the process is often delayed, not based on the "best scientific and commercial data available," and often excluding entities with the most pertinent information, such as crop protection and public health product registrants. These problems result in flawed scientific analysis by the Services, and unnecessary litigation that prevent farmers and others from using vital crop protection and other essential products necessary to produce America's food and fiber and serve other pubic needs.

The requested improvements would codify already existing guidance that is frequently ignored during ESA consultation and strengthen the role of applicants beyond what is presently provided in, but in a manner fully consistent with, the ESA and implementing regulations. The petition underscores the need for more structure in pesticide review under ESA. EPA and the Services, including NMFS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), have vastly differing views on approaches to assessing risk and the current system must be revised to facilitate a more streamlined and transparent process with more input from applicants. 

Original news release