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Mann, Hartzler, Colleagues Push Back on the EPA’s New Atrazine Requirements

Judd Weil-News Director


U.S. Representatives Tracey Mann (KS-01), Vicki Hartzler (MO-04), and House colleagues are addressing the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed revisions to the interim decision for atrazine. [PHOTO: Office of Tracey Mann]

U.S. Representatives Tracey Mann (KS-01) and Vicki Hartzler (MO-04) led 90 of their House colleagues in pushing back on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recently proposed revisions to the interim decision for atrazine, a critical crop protection tool. The announcement came Aug. 19.

Atrazine is an herbicide used to protect corn, sorghum, sugarcane, and a variety of other crops from damaging weeds. For nearly 60 years, atrazine has been a reliable and proven herbicide for effective and efficient sustainable farming practices.

On June 30, the EPA released proposed revisions to the previous atrazine decision. The revisions included new labeling requirements and “an unworkable list of mitigation measures that producers would be required to implement when using atrazine.”

U.S. producers rely on crop protection tools such as atrazine to help them provide the safest, most abundant, and most affordable food, fiber, and fuel supply in the world, according to Congressman Mann’s office.

“This decision, which was based on invalid studies and questionable conclusions, contradicts previous scientific evidence and will have widespread impacts on the use and effectiveness of atrazine,” the members stated.

“We are alarmed by the agency’s departure from sound science by changing the concentration equivalent level of concern, and also with the mitigation measures in the proposed revisions," the members wrote. "We know that the EPA asked the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to consult on a proposed ‘picklist’ of mitigation measures a producer would be required to implement when using atrazine; however, it is abundantly clear that the EPA did not incorporate any of USDA’s feedback in these revisions.”

“The continued availability of atrazine is absolutely critical to the success of Kansas farms," said Kansas Farm Bureau President Rich Felts. "The EPA’s recent proposal breaks with more than six decades of consensus about the safe use of atrazine to benefit crop production, including the implementation of conservation tillage and no-till practices to conserve soil, preserve and increase nutrients, improve water quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I encourage the EPA to refrain from imposing strict concentration standards that limit how I can use this environmentally beneficial crop technology.”

This effort is also supported by Kansas Grain Sorghum, Kansas Corn Growers Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, National Corn Growers’ Association, American Sugar Cane League, Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri Corn Growers Association, Florida Sugar Cane League, Rio Grande Valley Sugar Growers, and Minnesota Crop Production Retailers.

The full text of the letter can be read here.

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