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EPA renews Enlist herbicides, adds new protective measures

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EPA renewed registrations for Enlist One and Enlist Duo herbicides but prohibited the herbicides in some counties with federally listed endangered species.

EPA renewed Enlist Duo and Enlist One herbicides registrations for seven years. According to the agency, the new labels meet the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act standards and comply with the Endangered Species Act.

In a Jan. 11 statement, EPA said it conducted a thorough analysis of scientific data, evaluated cost-benefit information and included discussions with industry stakeholders. It determined Enlist products, with new protective measures, should remain available to most American farmers.

Duo and Enlist One control weeds in conventional and genetically-modified corn, cotton, and soybeans. The registration for both would have expired in January 2022 if EPA hadn’t renewed their product registrations.

To evaluate the proposed uses of the Enlist products, EPA evaluated the potential effects of the products on federally threatened or endangered species, and their designated critical habitats, and started ESA consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

EPA determined the uses of Enlist Duo and Enlist One “are likely to adversely affect listed species but will not lead to jeopardy of listed species or to the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitats.”

The “likely to adversely affect” determination means EPA reasonably expects at least one individual animal or plant, among a variety of listed species, may be exposed to the pesticide at a sufficient level to have an effect, which will be adverse.

In addition to the ‘effects’ determination, EPA completed an ecological risk assessment that assessed the risks of 2,4-D choline salt (2,4-D), an active ingredient in both Enlist products, and glyphosate dimethylammonium salt (glyphosate), an active ingredient in Enlist Duo.

Based on the assessment, EPA is requiring new protective measures as a condition of the products’ registrations. Some of the protective measures EPA is taking include:

  • Prohibiting Enlist product application when rainfall is expected to occur within 48 hours and when soil can no longer absorb water.
  • Prohibiting irrigation that would result in runoff within 48 hours of application of the Enlist herbicide products.
  • Requiring users to select from a list of runoff reduction measures to reduce 2,4-D and glyphosate concentrations in runoff, while also providing users with flexibility.
  • Minimizing Enlist product application when soybean and cotton crops are in bloom to reduce risks to insect pollinators, such as honeybees.
  • Requiring the registrant to develop and provide mandatory education and training materials that emphasize the importance of pollinators and pollinator habitat for species including, but not exclusive to, monarch butterflies.

EPA will prohibit the use of Enlist Duo and Enlist One in counties where EPA identified risks to on-field listed species that use corn, cotton or soybean fields for diet and/or habitat. According to EPA, the counties where use will be prohibited by these new measures represents approximately 3% of corn acres, 8% of cotton acres, and 2% of soybean acres nationally.

Source: EPA, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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