The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft strategy this week detailing how it can protect endangered species amidst herbicide applications. In December 2022, EPA asked for public comments on addressing this decades-long challenge of protecting at-risk species from potential pesticide exposure and harm.
The proposed draft outlines early mitigation strategies for more than 900 listed species in designated critical habitats. The mitigation measures are intended to reduce spray drift, surface water runoff and soil erosion runoff. The proposed draft also addresses common ways conventional agricultural herbicides impact endangered species, most of which reside in agricultural areas.
The proposal would also give credit to landowners who already implement specific measures to reduce pesticide runoff. Two measures EPA defines as mitigation strategies include vegetated ditches and water retention ponds.
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