UEP calls for extension period for commenting on rodenticide biological evaluation

December 14, 2023

UEP is asking the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to grant a 60-day extension for commenting on its biological evaluation (BE) of the effects of rodenticide use on threatened and endangered species. Endangered Species Act (ESA) litigation has forced the EPA to conduct this evaluation for multiple pesticides, including rodenticides, and to require restrictions on these products’ use if they are found to kill individual animals or threaten populations protected by the ESA. This BE was released for comment in late November, and comments are currently due in January. UEP is requesting this additional time because of the large number of species that EPA has considered threatened or endangered by rodenticide use, the large geographical areas–including entire states–in which use restrictions will be imposed, and the complexity of the mitigation measures required under those restrictions. Considering the amount of work to be done and the disruptions caused by the holiday season, the additional 60 days will allow a more thorough evaluation of the findings and proposed measures. EPA is revising federal rodenticide policies under two separate but related tracks, one being under the ESA and the other under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

EPA proposed similar restrictions on rodenticide use earlier this year under its FIFRA review, and this latter process is expected to be completed in the latter half of 2024. UEP is engaged on that matter as well. The bottom line is that EPA’s proposals are not based on an accurate understanding of how, when, and under what uses rodenticides could harm non-target species. Under ESA and FIFRA processes, the resulting restrictions will be far more stringent than necessary and make rodenticides far harder and more costly to use, with serious negative consequences for rodent control on many layer operations. If you have questions about EPA’s rodenticide policy making and its effect on your layer operation, please contact Tom Hebert or Lauren Lurkins.

View the Lethal Dose: Rat Poison & Local Wildlife graphic from the National Park Service.