Congressional Outreach on EPA’s ESA Proposals
OFS continues to advocate for a risk-based approach as EPA works to finalize new proposals aimed at protecting species listed under the Endangered Species Act. EPA’s recent proposals include changes to rodenticide use, herbicide use, and complete restrictions on pesticide use in certain areas to protect listed species. OFS is working with partners to educate Oregon’s Congressional Delegation on the recent proposals and the severe impacts they would have in Oregon. Here is our Congressional briefing calling for adherence to a risk-based approach, refined habitat areas, and investments toward compensation and technical assistance for producers.
Ongoing Issues with Oregon’s Pesticide Stewardship Partnership Program
Since last year, OFS has repeatedly raised concerns about the Pesticide Stewardship Partnership (PSP), particularly the analysis and interpretation of pesticide detection data gathered as part of the Program. Despite meetings with agency leaders over the last year calling for rigorous scientific protocols for data handling and interpretation, the problems and our concerns have only intensified. Data is being presented to state and local advocacy groups, university faculty, and the public that falsely inflates pesticide detection trends and uses inappropriate water quality benchmarks to paint a worst-case scenario that has no connection to reality. OFS has long played a supportive role in this unique and valuable program, and it is alarming to see the direction this program has taken in recent years.
OFS is ramping up efforts to bring these issues to light with agency leadership, legislators, regional regulatory officials, and the scientific community until our state agencies commit to following a science-based approach with clear and transparent protocols for data analysis and presentation. With an end goal of enhanced stewardship, a high-integrity scientific process is essential to understanding true impacts and targeting outreach – and it is certainly a reasonable basic expectation to have of our state agencies.
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