EPA to Restore Chlorpyrifos on Shelves

EPA to Restore Chlorpyrifos Uses Following November Court Ruling

Todd Neeley
By  Todd Neeley , DTN Environmental Editor
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The insecticide chlorpyrifos will be available to farmers on 11 specific uses after the EPA announced it was restoring food tolerances. (DTN file photo)

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is set to restore registration of the insecticide chlorpyrifos after a federal appeals court in November threw out the agency's complete ban on the chemical.

The agency announced Tuesday it would reestablish chlorpyrifos tolerances on 11 uses identified by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in its ruling, https://www.dtnpf.com/….

"EPA is also engaged in discussions with the registrants to further reduce exposures associated with the 11 uses of chlorpyrifos that were referenced by the Eighth Circuit, a process that will also include taking into account the 2020 draft document and public comments received thereto," the agency said on Tuesday.

It is not clear, however, if chlorpyrifos will be made available for the 2024 growing season.

The agency is set to again allow chlorpyrifos use on alfalfa, apple, asparagus, cherry (tart), citrus, cotton, peach, soybean, strawberry, sugar beet, wheat (spring) and wheat (winter).

EPA said final cancellation orders on chlorpyrifos remain in place barring additional actions by the EPA, however.

EPA finalized a rule on Feb. 28, 2022, revoking food tolerances for the chemical. That action effectively banned the legal use of chlorpyrifos. The rule was issued by the Biden administration in response to an order from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

EPA issued an interim registration for the insecticide in December 2020 before the Ninth Circuit handed down its order in April 2021. That order led EPA to issue its food tolerance revocation.

In the December 2020 action by EPA, it found 11 high-benefit, low-risk crop uses for chlorpyrifos. That finding was the subject of the lawsuit in the Eighth Circuit.

The Eighth Circuit said the agency could have implemented a partial ban like it has with other chemicals.

"The Eighth Circuit's decision stated that EPA should have considered modification of tolerances in addition to complete revocation and noted that the agency had 'identified 11 specific candidates' of food and feed crop uses whose tolerances could be so modified in a preliminary interim decision EPA issued in 2020," the agency said on Tuesday.

"Consequently, the agency expects to expeditiously propose a new rule to revoke the tolerances associated with all but the 11 uses referenced by the court."

Todd Neeley can be reached at todd.neeley@dtn.com

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Todd Neeley

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