Tuesday, November 23, 2021

EPA finds glyphosate, atrazine and simazine can hurt endangered species or habitats; new rules could be coming

"The Environmental Protection Agency has finalized biological evaluations concluding that three common herbicides can adversely affect endangered species or their habitats," Philip Brasher reports for Agri-Pulse. "The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service will use the EPA's findings on glyphosate, atrazine and simazine to determine whether the weed-killers actually jeopardize the existence of any endangered species. The biological opinions that those agencies issue could result in additional restrictions being placed on the herbicides."

The report suggests new measures to mitigate the herbicides' impact, "including buffers to sensitive habitats, use deletions, and restrictions regarding where applications can occur," Brasher reports.

EPA reauthorized atrazine and simazine (part of a class called triazines) in September 2020, but put new restrictions on their use designed to limit potential harm to human health and the environment. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup. Manufacturer Bayer AG announced this summer that it will remove the weedkiller from the lawn and garden market in 2023, but it will remain available for farmers.

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