A Weekly News Update on Pesticides, Health and Alternatives
See PANUPS updates service, for complete information.
January 04, 2007
EPA relaxes Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Reporting: The EPA has given polluters an additional break by raising the threshold for reporting releases of toxic pollution, including bioaccumulative toxics such as lead and mercury. Beginning in 2007, companies can now release up to 2,000 pounds of toxins into the community without detailed reporting, a jump from the 500 pound threshold previously in place. "Mom and pop plants rarely are big enough to make the old reporting threshold of 500 pounds. This rollback primarily benefits big companies, who own numerous facilities that can take advantage of the new loophole,” says Tom Natan of the National Environmental Trust. See more on the story in Science Now Daily News.
Pesticide industry challenges EPA over water rule: Though the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently relaxed rules governing pesticide contamination near water, pesticide industry advocacy groups say that the lifting of water protection rules doesn’t go far enough. CropLife America and Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE) filed a legal challenge against EPA, insisting that agricultural areas also should be exempt from the federal Clean Water Act, according to the western U.S. farm and ranch weekly Capitol Press. Public health and environmental advocates say, who had already sued EPA for relaxing the rules, say that when EPA registers a pesticide, it often doesn’t consider increased toxicity due to combinations of pesticides contaminating water or the pesticide drift that travels by air or from land to water. Read more about EPA action Nov. 30 PANUPS, “EPA allows water poisoning,” and “EPA sued for pesticide pollution in water,” Dec. 21 PANUPS.
New database for pesticide impact on amphibians and reptiles: Californians for Alternatives to Toxics (CATs) announced a new database with extensive research on the impact of pesticides on amphibians and reptiles. “The updated research is searchable by species and genus, location of research, pesticide studied and toxicological effect. It includes a list of 327 scientific papers published since 1999 on the effects of pesticides on amphibians, as well as 128 research papers on pesticides’ impacts on reptiles,” according to the CATs website. CATs research reveals that “California is one of the ‘hot spots’ in the global decline of amphibian populations, and native aquatic frog and toad species have been disappearing for two decades.”