"States Overuse ‘Emergency’ Pesticide Exemptions, Watchdogs Say"

"Three states that ask the EPA every year for permission to use a pesticide proven to harm bees are using emergency exemptions as a backdoor way to evade pesticide rules, an environmental group argues.

Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia recently petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency for an emergency exemption to use dinotefuran, a neonicotinoid-based insecticide, on peaches, apples, and nectarines. The chemical helps control the brown marmorated stink bug, an invasive plant-eating pest that can ravage fruit, vegetable, and ornamental crops.

Generally, pesticide products can only be used as labeled. When an agricultural emergency arises, such as an invasive pest that threatens to destroy crops, states can request an emergency exemption under Section 18 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.

If approved, 2020 would be the 10th consecutive year these states have received emergency exemptions to use dinotefuran. Delaware, New Jersey, North Carolina, and West Virginia have been granted similar approvals for each of the previous nine years."

Adam Allington reports for Bloomberg Environment June 3, 2020.

Source: Bloomberg Environment, 06/15/2020