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Womack, Lawmakers Send Letter Pushing Back on the EPA’s New Atrazine Requirements

Washington, DC—August 17, 2022….Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) joined Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4), Congressman Tracey Mann (KS-1), and other members in pushing back on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recently proposed revisions to the interim decision for atrazine, a critical crop protection tool.

Atrazine is a herbicide used to protect corn, sorghum, sugarcane, and a variety of other crops from damaging weeds. For nearly 60 years, atrazine has been a reliable and proven herbicide for effective and efficient sustainable farming practices.

In the letter, the members wrote:

“We are alarmed by the agency’s departure from sound science by changing the concentration equivalent level of concern, and also with the mitigation measures in the proposed revisions. We know that the EPA asked the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to consult on a proposed ‘picklist’ of mitigation measures a producer would be required to implement when using atrazine; however, it is abundantly clear that the EPA did not incorporate any of USDA’s feedback in these revisions.”

On January 30, 2022, the EPA released proposed revisions to the previous atrazine decision that included new labeling and mitigation requirements. The EPA decided to reduce the aquatic ecosystem CE-LOC from 15 parts per billion (ppb) to 3.4 ppb, a decision based on invalid studies and questionable conclusions. This change contradicts previous scientific evidence and will have widespread impacts on the use and effectiveness of atrazine. In addition, the EPA proposed an unworkable list of mitigation measures that producers would be required to implement when using atrazine.

America’s producers rely on crop protection tools such as atrazine to help them provide the safest, most abundant, and most affordable food, fiber, and fuel supply in the world. The House members also requested the EPA do the following:

  1. Reissue for comment a mitigation pick-list that is workable for producers.
  2. Commit to and convene a formal FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel after the comment period has closed to accurately review current sound science regarding the appropriate CE-LOC for atrazine.

Read the full letter here.

Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) has represented Arkansas’s Third Congressional District since 2011. He is a member of the House Appropriations Committee.

womack.house.gov

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