EPA issued an update on the proposed Vulnerable Species Pilot (VSP), which identified approximately 1 million acres in Oregon as a pesticide use exclusion zone, purportedly to protect the Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly, a species listed under the Endangered Species Act. The agency announced its plans to make revisions to the VSP framework in response to the detailed comments they received.
Proposed revisions include refinements to habitat areas to those areas within species’ ranges that are most important for species conservation. EPA also commits to revising proposed mitigations, and including additional mitigations specific to specialty crops, and to non-agricultural uses. EPA intends to provide additional updates by fall of 2024.
OFS will continue to work closely with state and national partners on the EPA proposals and will be working to ensure that EPA’s revisions for the VSP consider impacts in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest and propose feasible solutions.
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