The Environmental Protection Agency has begun re-evaluating how Section 24(c) Special Local Needs registrations are reviewed and under what circumstances the agency will refuse requests.
At issue is how some states have used Section 24(c)s to impose cut-off dates or other restrictions on federally registered products.
“Due to the fact that section 24(a) allows states to regulate the use of any federally registered pesticide, and the fact that some states have instead used 24(c) to implement cut-off dates (and/or impose other restrictions), EPA is now re-evaluating its approach to reviewing 24(c) requests and the circumstances under which it will exercise its authority to disapprove those requests,” the agency said on its website. “Before making any changes in this regard, EPA intends to take public comment on any potential new approaches before adopting them.”
EPA doesn’t plan to made any immediate changes nor does it expect any potential changes to affect state requests submitted ahead of the 2019 growing season, according to the website.
The agency receives about 300 requests annually for SLN registrations.
Section 24(a) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act allows states to regulate the use of any federally registered pesticide.
Section 24(c) allows the state to provide registration for additional uses of a federally registered pesticide formulated for distribution and use within that state. These local needs include applying the product to a different crop to address a pest outbreak, adding an alternative application method that suits the practices of that state, or adding a new pest species that is not on the federal label.
But some requests are to narrow the federal label, such as to add a more restrictive cut-off date, to add training and certification requirements, to add re-entry intervals or to restrict the use directions by limiting the number of treatments permitted by the federal label.
To do so, the state must first contact the EPA product manager about whether the labeling changes it seeks may be accomplished by label amendment. If that isn’t feasible, the state would need to conclude that a special local need exists for a product with specific restrictions not currently available in that state and then proceed to issue a 24(c) registration.
Illinois, for example, used a Section 24(c) on March 1 to impose further restrictions on applications of three in-season dicamba formulations used on Extend crops. These are Xtendimax from Bayer, FexiPan from Corteva and Engenia from BASF. Among the restrictions are all applicators must be trained and certified, applications may be made only during specific times of the day, and no applications to soybeans are permitted more than 45 days after planting and cotton more than 60 days after planting.