EPA pesticide officials seek more, earlier collaboration with industry

EPA pesticide officials seek more, earlier collaboration with industry.
ARLINGTON, VA, April 12, 2017 – EPA pesticide officials reassured the crop protection industry last week that despite a slowdown in regulatory decisions caused by the transition to a new administration, they’re still striving to meet statutory deadlines for pesticide registration decisions.
“We’re doing the best we can,” Mike Goodis, director of the Registration Division in EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs, told attendees at the CropLife America/RISE annual regulatory conference in Arlington, Va.
“The expectation is we’ll back to a normal process at some point,” he said.
The pesticide program is partially funded through industry fees and works more in partnership with industry than other EPA programs regulating air and water pollution, whose actions are often targets of industry lawsuits.
The political team working with new EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is “just trying to understand – what is a tolerance, what does that mean?
Especially for the re-evaluation program, they don’t know that people want to see the risk assessment that we have produced, or interim decisions so they can submit comments.” In an interview at the conference, CropLife President and CEO Jay Vroom said he appreciated the “can-do attitude” of the EPA officials, despite “distractions” such as President Trump’s proposal to cut the agency’s budget by 31 percent.
“I’m impressed with how committed and high their spirits are,” Vroom said.
That’s causing some uncertainty just waiting for other key jobs to be filled.” One regulatory manager with a company that works closely with EPA said after the conference that although he’s disappointed by the slowdown in new rules such as food tolerances, he recognizes that OPP personnel are often pulled in different directions.
Goodis said having fewer people also makes the task of meeting deadlines more difficult.

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