The public comment period for proposed EPA revisions to rules and regulations regarding the use of atrazine ended October 7 but it will still be some time yet before a final decision is made that could ultimately impact 65 million acres of corn, sorghum, and sugarcane nationwide.
“It’s going to have a significant impact on how we use atrazine going forward if this proposal does in fact come to fruition,” said Mark White, Sr. Stewardship Manager for Syngenta, who gave an update on the EPA proposal during a media event this week. The proposed rules published in June would reduce the concentration equivalent level of concern (CE-LOC) from 15 parts per billion to 3.4 parts per billion, reduce atrazine usage to a maximum of 2 pounds per acre per year, prohibit aerial spraying, and ban atrazine applications to saturated soils, as well as within 48 hours of forecast heavy precipitation.
White says EPA received over 68,000 public comments on the proposal, about half of which have been published so far, and EPA has already agreed to have an independent scientific advisory panel review the CE-LOC, which will not happen until sometime next year. In the meantime, the current label and use for atrazine remains in effect. “Even in a worse case scenario, if nothing were to change and the proposal went through as proposed, it would still be over a year, two years from now probably before we saw new labels come out,” said White, and Syngenta remains hopeful that good science will prevail in this case.
Learn more in this interview.
Syngenta media - Mark White interview 9:36