EPA Releases Final Guidance for Pesticide Submissions for New Outdoor Uses that Require ESA Reviews

EPA has published the document Final Guidance for Pesticide Submissions for New Outdoor Uses that Require Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) Reviews. In October, the Agency requested public comment on the draft version of this document which was due to the Agency by October 16. In its press release regarding the guidance, EPA stated that the document will fulfill the requirements imposed upon it under the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act of 2022 (“PRIA 5”). Under PRIA 5 EPA must develop and issue guidance to registrants regarding analyses necessary to support the evaluation of potential adverse effects from new outdoor uses of pesticide products on ESA species and designated critical habitats. The draft guidance will apply to the following outdoor uses:

  • new uses of existing conventional pesticides
  • new uses of existing biocides
  • new conventional pesticide active ingredients
  • New uses of biocide active ingredients

The document does not detail any new requirements for applicants. Its purpose is to serve to assist applicants in addressing potential effects on ESA species for the types of new outdoor uses listed above. Many recommended actions include steps that applicants can take voluntarily in developing proposed mitigation efforts. These efforts include:

  • identifying the action area,
  • identifying routes of exposure to potentially affected ESA species,
  • performing initial special overlap analysis to identify where proposed new uses will overlap with critical habitats,
  • identifying mitigation measures (such as decreasing run-off by deploying soil binding agents) and
  • address the risk associated with all active ingredients

The Agency states that “if followed, these recommendations should expedite the review for new outdoor uses of existing conventional pesticides and biopesticide active ingredients under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and improve the efficiency of the overall ESA-FIFRA process.”