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Disposing of chlorpyrifos products

Disposing of chlorpyrifos products

One ag commissioner wants the EPA to be responsible for its disposal

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

At least one state agriculture representative wants a federal department to take responsibility for a decision it made.

In August 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began taking steps to ban the use of chlorpyrifos pesticides.

The EPA officially revoked the food tolerances for chlorpyrifos on Feb. 28.

Farmers previously used these products to control pests in corn, soybeans and other crops.

Approximately 5.1 million pounds of the insecticide were used on U.S. farms each year between 2014 and 2018, the EPA said in a 2020 review.

Since the EPA made the decision to remove the product from farmers’ toolboxes, the EPA should be the ones to dispose of remaining supplies.

States like North Dakota aren’t equipped to handle these quantities of product, said Doug Goehring, North Dakota’s agriculture commissioner.

“I request that EPA immediately cease directing North Dakota chlorpyrifos users and distributors to the North Dakota pesticide disposal program for disposal of on-hand chlorpyrifos product,” he said in a Feb. 23 letter to Ed Messina, director of the office of pesticide programs with the EPA.

“EPA chlorpyrifos disposal guidance must clearly note that North Dakota will not accept any chlorpyrifos in our pesticide disposal program (Project Safe Send).”

Other states, however, are accommodating chlorpyrifos disposal.

In Minnesota, for example, producers can dispose of unwanted pesticides through the Waste Pesticide Collection Program.

Anyone can dispose of 300 pounds of pesticides for free. People with volume exceeding that weight should contact the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance has an online resource available for farmers.

The State Pesticide Disposal Database includes contact information and disposal program details for every state.

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