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EPA Seeks Comment on Proposed Pesticide Emergency Exemption Process Rule

Release Date: 09/01/2004
Contact Information:

Contact: Enesta P. Jones 202-564-7873 /

(Washington, D.C. - September 1, 2004) EPA is seeking public comment on a proposed rule that would streamline the application and review process for pesticide emergency exemptions. The revisions would allow applicants for emergency exemptions (state and federal agencies) to: (1) generally re-certify that emergency conditions continue in the second and third years for certain repeat requests, thus eliminating the need for annual documentation; and (2) use a loss-based approach to substantiate the "significance of economic losses" (the most commonly used criterion for demonstrating an emergency condition) rather than a comparison of revenues under the emergency to historical variations in revenues. Both of these proposed revisions are currently being evaluated in a limited pilot program. The Federal Register notice is expected to be published on Sept. 3, and there is a 60-day public comment period. The revisions would reduce the burden to applicants and EPA, allow for quicker decisions by EPA, and provide more consistent and fairer determinations of "significant economic loss" as the basis for an emergency. The proposed revisions do not affect the risk side of the assessment and decision. EPA has received significant input from government agencies and other stakeholders in the development of this proposal. Under Section 18 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, EPA can authorize a state or federal agency to use an unregistered pesticide on an emergency basis and for a limited time. The Agency evaluates a request for emergency exemption of a particular pesticide use to ensure that a pest-related emergency exists and that use of the product will be protective of human health and the environment.