Ag professional says he’s not surprised by feedback for EPA’s Atrazine registration revisions

After more than 16,000 farmers submitted comments against the EPA’s proposed revision to its Atrazine registration, Greg Krissek with the Triazine Network says the outpouring of emotion is not surprising.

“No, I’m not terribly surprised. I think that’s a good number for the ag community to respond. I don’t think we know yet how many opponent comments there were, and this is one of the things we work hard with. I am the co-chair of the Triazine Network, and that’s a group of commodity and farm organizations that work on this issue and have been working on this issue going on for 25 years now, believe it or not,” said Krissek.

Krissek says while the comment period is over, there are still more steps in the process before a final decision.

“One, EPA will be reading and analyzing the comments to get the weight of the public sentiment on it, but a really important part, in this particular time, is that EPA has publicly committed that there will be a scientific advisory panel, or it’s called an SAP, held specifically on the part of this proposal, which is establishing what’s called a level of concern, LOC. In this case, it’s called a C-LOC,” Krissek said.

He says the EPA’s proposal should simplify; follow the science.

“EPA proposed 3.4 parts per billion. There have been a couple of different scientific advisory panels in the last 20 years. Their mission is to say, ‘what does the science say?’ so that the EPA should make decisions based on sound and credible science. Since 2011, we feel that there have been several studies that have reaffirmed the safety of this product and the fact that a reasonable C-LOC could be as high as 25 or 26.”

Krissek says it is crucial for the level of concern to be set correctly, and he believes 15 parts per billion would be acceptable depending on the science.

The EPA will release its decision at a later time. Organizations like the National Corn Gowers Association have criticized the Agency’s review process and pending decision.