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EPA SEEKS COMMENTS ON AGENCY POLICY TO PROVIDE MORE PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IN PESTICIDE RISK REDUCTION DECISIONS

Release Date: 08/11/94
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EPA SEEKS COMMENTS ON AGENCY POLICY TO PROVIDE MORE PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IN PESTICIDE RISK REDUCTION DECISIONS

EPA is seeking comments and suggestions concerning its current mechanisms to allow for public involvement in its final decisions regarding significant risk reduction measures on registered pesticides. The Agency is interested in providing a variety of opportunities for public involvement in addition to those currently provided through the formal Special Review process, particularly when settlement agreements are negotiated. EPA has found that the Special Review process (a formal process that may be used when the Agency has reason to believe that use of a registered pesticide may pose an unreasonable risk to public health and the environment) can prove resource intensive and time consuming because of the number of steps involved. Settlement agreements, on the other hand, are accords between the Agency and pesticide registrants to achieve effective risk reduction measures more quickly than through the Special Review process. As a result, EPA has been using settlement agreements more frequently in the past few years. In some of the negotiated settlements, EPA sought public participation by holding workshops and public hearings. However, in l993 EPA's Office of Inspector General concluded that such agreements do not always provide for adequate public participation. EPA is exploring other avenues of public participation in pesticide risk reduction and is asking for comment. The Federal Register notice on this issue is expected to be published on Aug.

l0. Public comments must be received by Oct. l0 and should be addressed to: Public Response and Program Resources Branch, Field Operations Division (7506C), Office of Pesticide Programs, U.S. EPA, 40l M St. S.W., Washington, D.C. 20460.