The EPA’s Proposed Herbicide Strategy and What it Means for Herbicide Use

By Alyssa Essman, The Ohio State University, Adapted from C.O.R.N. 2023-38

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 was passed by Congress in an effort to protect endangered species and their habitats. In recent years the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been under fire for not meeting the obligations outlined within the ESA, which ultimately left them vulnerable to legal ramifications. In early 2022 the EPA released the ESA workplan to address this issue. The herbicide strategy is one part of this larger workplan to protect the 900 plant and animal species classified as endangered. The proposed herbicide strategy was released in July 2023 and outlined the EPA’s plan for meeting ESA obligations with respect to herbicide drift, runoff, and/or erosion.

The proposed method of meeting ESA obligations is through the use of various mitigation strategies. For spray drift, mitigation strategies largely refer to the use of spray drift buffers. The required size of these buffers depends on application equipment, droplet size, and level of species impact, and can be reduced with the use of hooded sprayers or windbreaks.… Continue reading