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Status Report to Congress on Endangered Species Act Implementation in Pesticide Regulation
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By Lisa M. Campbell

On December 15, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) wrote a report to Congress on the status of Endangered Species Act (ESA) implementation in pesticide regulation. EPA, USDA, FWS, and NMFS seek to refine their approach to pesticide consultations in an effort to protect endangered and threatened species.

The report was required by the 2014 Farm Bill and summarizes actions carried out by the agencies since receiving the April 2013 National Academy of Sciences’ (NAS) report, entitled “Assessing Risks to Endangered and Threatened Species from Pesticides.”

Since receiving the NAS report, the agencies have:

* Built a collaborative relationship among the agencies;

* Clarified roles and responsibilities for the agencies;

* Improved stakeholder engagement and transparency during review and consultation processes;

* Held two joint agency workshops resulting in interim approaches for use in assessing risks to ESA-listed species from pesticides;

* Created a plan and schedule for applying the interim approaches to a set of pesticide compounds; and

* Hosted multiple workshops and meetings with stakeholders.

The full report is available at http://www.epa.gov/oppfead1/endanger/2014/esa-reporttocongress.pdf.