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March 16, 2015

Jim Aidala’s Neonicotinoid Webinar Discussed In Inside EPA Article “State Agriculture Officials Oppose Pesticide Limits In EPA Pollinator Plan”

Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

A February 18, 2015 Daily News feature on included comments made by James V. Aidala  as part of a presentation before the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture:

In a Feb. 3 presentation to NASDA, Jim Aidala of the Washington, DC, law and consulting firm Bergeson & Campbell PC, said the federal strategy will include strict requirements on pesticide labels that must be followed wherever state plans are not in use.

But Aidala said EPA’s role in overseeing the state plans and the degree of autonomy states will have in developing, implementing and enforcing the plans remains unclear. Aidala also told the conference that EPA would like to have new labels with the stricter requirements in place for the 2016 growing season, but that would be a rushed time frame.

Late last year EPA’s advisory State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group (SFIREG) issued draft guidance to help states develop and implement pollinator protection plans, and took comment on the guidance from state regulators through Feb. 1. The draft says state pollinator protection plans should encourage growers and beekeepers to collaborate on choosing pesticide products and application times, and that states should seek stakeholder input in crafting a pollinator protection plan.

An industry source tells Inside EPA that the label restrictions the agency intends to propose as part of the federal strategy will be similar to restrictions placed on the four neonicotinoids in the summer of 2013. EPA will accept public comment before finalizing those labels, which the agency did not do the last time, the source says. While the labels will defer to state plans, the source says the proposal will give EPA a role in approving each state plan to ensure it is adequately protective. Both the industry source and Aidala said the new labeling requirements could affect more than 1,000 pesticide products considered toxic to bees.