CropLife America and RISE support steps to improve federal protection of wildlife

CropLife America
Farm Forum

WASHINGTON, D.C. – CropLife America (CLA) and RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment) applaud the administration’s efforts to improve federal protection of endangered and threatened species and their habitats.

Recently, the Trump Administration announced the establishment of an interagency working group to coordinate Endangered Species Act (ESA) consultations for pesticide registrations and registration review in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of the Interior (DOI), which includes the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and the Department of Commerce (DOC), which includes the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).

The MOA outlines the difficulties with the current consultation process and proposes an Interagency Working Group to support EPA and the Services in meeting their obligations related to the pesticide consultation process. Through the MOA, EPA and the Services will request the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Office of Management and Budget join the Working Group and that CEQ serves as its chair.

“It’s encouraging to see that our work with the environmental and farming communities and the administration has resulted in a positive step towards solving this important and complex issue,” said Jay Vroom, CLA president and CEO. “We expect the Working Group’s recommendations will not only help to ensure that consultation works between agencies to actually protect species, but will also promote government efficiency and effectiveness.” He continued, “CLA looks forward to engaging other stakeholders to ensure that federal protection of the species is more effective and efficient while maintaining the access to safe and effective technologies for farmers.”

Aaron Hobbs, RISE president, noted the specialty pesticide industry’s enthusiastic support of the MOA. “Public health authorities have also been impacted by the issues this MOA addresses,” he said. “Effective control of disease vectors like mosquitos can only happen when a predictable regulatory system for pesticide technology use and protection of the species is working.”

The MOA establishes an action plan to guide the working group to analyze relevant statutes, regulations, and case law, review past ESA pesticide consultation practices to learn lessons from recent experiences, prepare recommendations to improve scientific and policy approaches, and document the approach moving forward.

“We look forward to the recommendations made by the Working Group following their work with various stakeholders and the completion of the action plan,” added Vroom.