The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released its much anticipated report on pesticides and endangered species today stating that EPA, the National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS), and the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) should use a common approach when determining the potential effects a pesticide has on an endangered species and its environment.
"Better communication and coordination between EPA and the Services are key components of this report with the committee recommending the FWS and the NMFS build on EPA’s analysis of pesticide effects on endangered species instead of each using their own approaches,” said Aaron Hobbs.
“The NAS report underscores the recent court decisions and reinforces the need for a comprehensive, science-based process that will assist EPA and the Services in making informed decisions about pesticide registrations while also protecting endangered species, their habitats, and public health and safety,” noted Dudley Hoskins, who attended the briefing this morning.
The NAS report comes on the heels of last week's U.S. District Court's dismissal of the "Mega Suit" (Center for Biological Diversity and Pesticide Action Network North America v. Environmental Protection Agency) and a recent Fourth Circuit Court opinion in Dow Agrosciences et al. v. National Marine Fisheries Service vacating a BiOp (biological opinion) NMFS submitted to EPA following ESA consultations.
In 2011, EPA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), FWS, and NMFS asked NAS to evaluate the ESA consultation review process for pesticide registration actions related to endangered species. To date, this inter-agency consultation review process has faced numerous challenges due to differences in how EPA and NMFS conduct risk assessments.
National Academy of Sciences press release.