When federal agencies consider changes to pesticide registrations, they issue a “Request for Information” or open a formal comment period to gather feedback from growers and others with on-the-ground expertise. The Western IPM Center gathers comments from a network of informed sources throughout the Western region, and provides the agencies with “coordinated comments,” expert-written reports to assist the agencies in their decision-making. Katie is one of three Comment Coordinators working through the Western IPM Center, and her project encompasses the Pacific Northwest Region, including Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Colorado.
This project aims to create and maintain a coordinated and responsive network of growers, commodity group representatives, and university personnel in the Pacific Northwest around the theme of understanding pesticide usage patterns, critical crop/pest/pesticide product combinations, and risks and mitigation strategies. This makes it possible to communicate more effectively with regulatory agencies, and support more informed regulatory decision-making.
This work keeps stakeholders apprised of pertinent and relevant regulatory actions, and encourages stakeholder involvement in the regulatory process. Previously submitted comments have been cited in EPA response documents as relevant and helpful to their decision-making process.
Pesticide risk reduction, an important aspect of IPM, is enabled by an informed and communicative regulatory system that is able to listen and respond to stakeholder needs and input. This maintains the availability of efficacious pesticides, targets their uses to where they are most needed, and encourages crop and pest-specific risk management practices that minimize the potential for harm to human health and the environment.
Outreach has been conducted across this PNW network, which keeps a wide range of industry groups informed regarding important regulatory reviews and proposed decisions. Pesticide usage information, along with feedback on various products, alternatives, risks, and mitigations is regularly communicated to USDA/EPA in the form of comprehensive, formal comments, often representing multiple industries.
Katie has coordinated Pacific Northwest comments on the active ingredients aldicarb, carbaryl, chlorpyrifos, diazinon, synthetic pyrethroids, malathion, neonicotiniods, simazine, sulfoxaflor, and sulfonylurea herbicides. Previously submitted comments can be searched by chemical, date, or state, using the comment database maintained by the Western IPM Center.
Western IPM Center
US Environmental Protection Agency
USDA Office of Pest Management Policy
Pacific Northwest Agricultural researchers, extension agents, and other crop industry representatives
Pesticide Stewardship Partnership