The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced plans to adjust the agricultural chemical registration process last January to comply with the 1973 Endangered Species Act (ESA). The agency says the impact of agricultural chemicals on federally threatened or endangered species has not been routinely examined. The Biden administration’s efforts to uphold the ESA are an attempt to fix decades-long issues within EPA.

A revamp to the review process requires EPA to evaluate every new and active ingredient in conventional pesticides for their effects on the environment and more than 1,300 endangered or threatened species. The more in-depth evaluation involving more back-and-forth communication will consider the impact on each species’ population. However, the process update certainly comes with pains for growers. Many farmers felt blindsided by the loss of Enlist registration in their counties. A total of 128 counties saw limitations in their soybean weed-management plans due to the presence of the American burying beetle, a threatened species living in parts of Oklahoma, Nebraska and Kansas.

Registration was eventually restored for use in most counties. But the issue remains a standing provocation to EPA to refine a process that could adversely impact safe and long-standing food production measures throughout the country.

Read more on the EPA chemical review rule here.