Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association
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EPA Throws Up Roadblock to State Restrictions on Dicamba, Other Pesticides

State regulators are reeling from a sudden apparent policy change by EPA that will make restricting pesticides -- such as dicamba -- beyond the federal label much harder for states to accomplish in the years ahead.
The policy change was announced in a single footnote, buried amid dozens of pages of regulatory documents accompanying EPA's three new dicamba registrations released on Oct. 30. The footnote is only three sentences long, but it packs a punch, regulators and legal experts said. It will require states to go through state law or rulemaking processes if they want to further restrict a federal pesticide, like dicamba.
That means in 2021, most states may be limited to the federal dicamba labels, and unable to implement local dicamba cutoffs and restrictions before the spray season. Only Arkansas's cutoff date of May 25, which has gone through a state rulemaking process each year, is likely to remain in place.
That footnote also reverses decades of precedent, breaks EPA's past promises to the states and threatens to damage the longstanding cooperative relationship between federal and state regulators.
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