Citing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s refusal to protect threatened and endangered species from pesticides, Northwest Environmental Advocates (NWEA) petitioned Oregon’s Environmental Quality Commission today to adopt new rules restricting the use of pesticides across the state. The proposed rules are based on findings by the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that use of certain pesticides will jeopardize the continued existence of some Oregon species.
At the heart of the petition are the federal fish and wildlife agencies’ instructions to EPA on restrictions that must be placed on pesticide labels to offset the jeopardy opinions. The petition asks the Commission to adopt these restrictions into Oregon water quality standards along with similar restrictions placed by NMFS on a national EPA permit to discharge pesticides to water.
In addition to new rules to restrict pesticides, NWEA petitioned the Commission to ask two other state agencies to incorporate the federal restrictions into their regulatory programs. The petition asks for the Commission’s help in convincing the Oregon Department of Agriculture to adopt the federal agencies’ restrictions and to develop point-of-sale notifications to the public about the hazards associated with using pesticides according to EPA-approved labels. The petition also seeks Commission support for rule changes at the Board of Forestry.