EPA Announces Proposed Interim Decision on Neonicotinoids

EPA Announces Proposed Interim Decision on Neonicotinoids

EPA is proposing changes for five neonicotinoid insecticides that are widely used in the structural pest management industry.

February 10, 2020

In January, EPA released its Proposed Interim Decisions (PID) for five neonicotinoid insecticides that are widely used in the structural pest management industry (see proposed interim decisions for acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam.).

In the PID for neonicotinoids, EPA is proposing:

• management measures to help keep pesticides on the intended target and reduce the amount used on crops associated with potential ecological risks;
• requiring the use of additional personal protective equipment to address potential occupational risks;
• restrictions on when pesticides can be applied to blooming crops in order to limit exposure to bees;
• language on the label that advises homeowners not to use neonicotinoid products; and
• cancelling spray uses of imidacloprid on residential turf under the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) due to health concerns.
Jim Fredericks, vice president of technical and regulatory affairs, National Pest Management Association (NPMA), said the PID for Neonicotinoids includes multiple proposed risk mitigation measures that will impact labels and the way pest management professionals use these products. In an email to PCT, Fredericks wrote that NPMA has been actively engaged with EPA to help the Agency better understand the ways that our industry uses neonicotinoids in and around structures.  
“Based on our meetings, early drafts of the proposed label changes included greater restrictions on perimeter treatments, however, through constructive dialogue and ongoing education, we were able to positively affect the final proposal,” he wrote. “The proposed changes will mean that our industry will likely have to adapt some of our processes with the intention of reducing runoff and improving water quality. NPMA will provide substantive comments to EPA on the Proposed Interim Decision (PID) as there are multiple areas of concern, specifically relating to application restrictions based on expected rainfall and the confusing definition of spot treatments.”

Additionally, in the EPA press release, the Agency noted it is working with industry on developing and implementing stewardship and best management practices (BMPs).

Fredericks said NPMA has developed Pollinator Protection Best Management Practices for the structural pest management industry which NPMA has shared with EPA. “Our team will continue to remain engaged in pollinator protection issues, including the development of broader BMPs,” he said.