Q&A: EPA’s Atrazine Risk Assessment


EPA Ecological Risk Assessment on Atrazine

Frequently Asked Questions


How will it affect my farm?

Do you have a frog or a fish living nearby? EPA has recommended an aquatic life level of concern (LOC) of 3.4 parts per billion over 60 days. This LOC is currently 10 ppb and all credible science says it should be 25 ppb or higher. This ultra-low LOC will basically ban the use of atrazine in most of farm country. If this draft assessment is implemented, you would be limited to about 8 ounces (half a pound) per acre. Without atrazine, weed control costs will increase by nearly $60 an acre.


Wait, haven’t we done this before?

Yes. The triazine herbicides, including atrazine been in an EPA special review since 1994. Growers formed a coalition called the Triazine Network and have been involved in EPA’s regulatory actions of since that time with one goal: that all regulatory determinations be based on credible scientific evidence.


How is this different?

This aquatic life risk assessment is part of an EPA registration review of the triazine herbicides. EPA dusted off some research studies that its own science advisory panels threw out because they were flawed. EPA also used studies that don’t meet the agency’s standards, and ignored studies that do. It appears EPA cherry-picked research to reach a desired outcome, and this flawed research plays a key role in EPA’s recommendation that would amount to a de facto ban of atrazine.


We have plenty of frogs on our farm. Are they using the flawed frog science of the infamous anti-atrazine-activist-scientist Tyrone Hayes?

Yes. Remember the research EPA’s science advisory panel threw out several years ago? It’s back and just as flawed. But now EPA says that research is great.


Can EPA do that?

EPA is a federal regulatory agency that is required to use credible scientific evidence in its determinations. This sets a troubling precedent for the regulation of all farm chemicals. No herbicide could withstand a review using this methodology.


Does this even help the environment?

EPA isn’t just making life easier for weeds. EPA is making it harder for many farmers to use conservation tillage methods and no-till because of the loss of a long-lasting weed control product. And EPA is undermining its own efforts to stop herbicide resistance in weeds by taking away a key herbicide.


Why should I submit comments?

EPA told us, “We just aren’t hearing from farmers.” Of course, EPA hasn’t been very friendly to farmers lately. Well-funded environmental activists are organized and will take advantage of this opportunity to create a de facto ban on atrazine. If EPA can ban atrazine with its 7,000 studies and 60+ year safety record using these shoddy science standards, they can ban any crop protection tool. Let’s make sure they hear from farmers. Submit comments today at www.FightEPA.com.