On 11 September 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it will be placing additional limitations on three types of organophosphate pesticides in order to protect Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed salmon and steelhead in California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The pesticides chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion are know to impair the olfactory senses of salmon and steelhead. The fish’s ability to smell is very important in finding food, mating, and locating natal spawning grounds.
The EPA will require buffer zones and application limits based on weather conditions, wind speed and soil moisture. Fish deaths will be recorded and reported to the EPA in order to monitor the effectiveness of new pesticide regulations. It is also EPA’s plan to initiate a separate monitoring study to measure the effectiveness of the new regulations. Dow Chemical Company, Cheminova, and Makhteshim Agan of North America are the primary manufacturers of these pesticides and will be the targeted financiers of the monitoring program. Pesticide manufacturers will be asked to begin labeling their products with the new restrictions voluntarily. However, the EPA will take legal action against the companies if the companies do not comply.
For a 11 September 2009 press release from the EPA, go to http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/cd1f6f9dbe3db7d68525762e004f693a?OpenDocument.
For a 11 September 2009 article from the Oregonian see www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2009/09/epa_further_limits_three_pesti.html<http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2009/09/epa_further_limits_three_pesti.html