EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs and COVID-19 — A Conversation with Richard Keigwin
This week, I was thrilled to sit down with Richard Keigwin, Director of the Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) here in Washington, D.C. As OPP Director, Rick leads the EPA office that reviews and approves pesticide products used to combat the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Historically, OPP has consistently been one of the busiest offices in EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP). The pandemic has invited a virtual flood of interest in the next generation of antimicrobial pesticides to combat the virus’s spread, and Rick and his team have been navigating this flood and keeping their heads above water, as it were, from the safety of their own homes. Rick takes us through what EPA is doing to accelerate the availability of new tools to combat the spread of the virus, how he has been orchestrating this massive effort from his remote office, and how he has been doing so while simultaneously addressing the usual heavy load of routine pesticide business during this pandemic.
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