Trump Administration Seeks Endangered Species Act Changes

The Environmental Protection Agency Thursday announced a new method for conducting biological evaluations under the Endangered Species Act. The change seeks to assure that pesticide registration review actions under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act do not jeopardize endangered species. EPA says the updated method ensures that, when available, the agency will use high-quality historical data that reflects where and how certain pesticides are used. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler says the new methodology will, “better protect and promote the recovery of endangered species while ensuring pesticide registration review decisions are conducted in a timely, transparent manner and are based on the best available science.” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says the Trump administration is “cutting the red tape to unleash the full potential of American agriculture.” The final Revised Method incorporates pesticide usage data into the agency’s biological evaluation process for the first time and was informed by input from a wide range of stakeholders, including states, tribes, environmental NGOs, and agricultural stakeholders.