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EPA Re-Opening Atrazine Registration – Comment Period Extended Until October 7

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced it has re-evaluated the current atrazine level of concern (LOC), which is 15 ppb, and “determined” in its proposed revised interim registration review decision (IRRD) that the LOC is 3.4 ppb with additional label mitigation measures required for atrazine use. The new deadline for comments on the Proposed Revisions to the Atrazine Interim Registration Review Decision is October 7, 2022. Farmers are encouraged to submit comments to EPA during the extended comment period.
According to the Triazine Network, a coalition of agriculture groups that have been involved in regulatory issues related to triazine herbicides since 1995, the move puts this key crop protection tool and today’s carbon-smart farming practices at risk. 
In its announcement, EPA stated: “After considering comments on the proposed revisions to the atrazine ID, EPA will determine if any changes are warranted to the proposed revisions and then release its decision on this re-evaluation. The agency also intends to seek external peer review of the risks to the aquatic plant community that underlies this proposed risk management strategy.”
Farmers rely on atrazine’s long-lasting weed control, and it is especially important as an aid to help farmers successfully use sustainable farming practices like conservation tillage and no-till, which plays a significant role in carbon sequestration. Placing severe limits on atrazine will have broad implications considering that atrazine is a key component in over 90 herbicide mixtures farmers rely upon. An LOC of 3.4 ppb would impact over 65 million acres of corn, sorghum and sugarcane acres (over 70% of all corn acres). Atrazine has been on the market for over 60 years. No herbicide has been studied more or has a longer safety record.

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