Advancing Chemical Safety by Listening to You

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Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Assistant Administrator of U.S. EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution PreventionBy Alexandra Dapolito Dunn
Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention

Like many things in life, the way we work to ensure chemical safety is a process. I’m proud to say we’ve taken some big steps in that process over the past several weeks by issuing our first two final risk evaluations for methylene chloride and 1-bromopropane. Now we’re taking the next step in the process by moving to risk management. This is where we develop a plan to protect public health from the unreasonable risks we found in our final risk evaluations.

What can you expect from us as we take this next step? You can expect transparent, proactive, and meaningful education, outreach, and engagement with our many stakeholders. We need your input, expertise, and feedback now, early in the process, to help shape the ways we’re going to address the unreasonable risks we’ve found.

This will include public webinars as well as one-on-one meetings with stakeholders. In fact, we’re working to schedule our first two public webinars for September and expect to announce the details soon. We’ll also be holding formal consultations with state and local governments, tribes, environmental justice communities, and small businesses.

We’ll be using these different opportunities to educate the public and our stakeholders on what we found in our final risk evaluations, the risk management process required by TSCA, which options are available to us for managing unreasonable risk, and what that means for all of you moving forward. We’ll also be seeking input on potential risk management approaches, their effectiveness, and any impacts those approaches might have on businesses.

We all have a shared purpose in this effort – to protect workers and consumers from any unreasonable risks while ensuring businesses continue to grow and thrive.

That’s why we’re embarking upon this outreach effort. We want workable solutions that protect the health of people who work with and use chemicals every day. We need to know about how any potential risk management approaches could impact business operations, in both positive and negative ways. Then we can use that feedback to develop proposed regulations that are both protective and practical.

There are several actions we can take to address the unreasonable risks we’ve found including banning or phasing out certain uses of a chemical, requiring warning labels and other special instructions on how a chemical can be used, recordkeeping/testing, and requiring manufacturers to notify distributors of any unreasonable risks.

I’d like to encourage all of you to take advantage of these engagement opportunities as they come up. Your feedback is an integral part of the work we do. We’re relying on you to ask questions, raise concerns, bring things to our attention that we may not have considered, and to provide us with information we may not already have. I assure you, we will be listening to you as we all work together to advance chemical safety.

More information on our risk management process and opportunities for engagement will be posted at https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/current-chemical-risk-management-activities. We’ll also be improving this page and others to make sure points of contact and other key information is easy to find.

 

About the author: Alexandra Dapolito Dunn is the Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. Prior to that she served as the Regional Administrator for EPA Region 1, and her responsibilities included overseeing the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and ten tribal nations. Read more.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

Celebrating Our Agriculture Communities, Partnerships

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By Carrie Vicenta Meadows
Agriculture Advisor to Administrator Wheeler

As EPA recognizes our many partners as part of EPA’s 50th anniversary celebration, it is vital to highlight partners who touch our lives every day: our agriculture community. Now more than ever, Americans are appreciating the critical role that farmers have in our society. Farmers and ranchers are invaluable partners in fulfilling our mission to protect human health and the environment. We at EPA, with the leadership of Administrator Wheeler, have focused on working hard to enhance and strengthen our partnership with farmers and ranchers.

One of the Trump Administration’s priorities is to engage more effectively with the agriculture community. Last year, we welcomed over 650 farmers and ranchers from across the country to visit EPA Headquarters — many for the first time. We have also launched the Smart Sectors program in all 10 of our regional offices to hear from a variety of sectors, including the agriculture community. We know the importance of hearing firsthand from producers on the issues impacting their day-to-day life.

As EPA’s Agriculture Advisor, I look forward to meeting with members of the agriculture community, but I know it takes more than meetings to constitute meaningful change in our communities. One of the Administrator Wheeler’s priorities for EPA has been to restore trust for our agency among agricultural stakeholders and rural communities. To truly understand what’s going on at farms and in fields across the country, Administrator Wheeler reinstated the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee in 2020 with full membership. This committee will provide valuable input on how EPA’s decisions impact rural America. Reinstating this committee, is another step toward restoring that trust and strengthening the voice of American agriculture at EPA.

We are also cultivating partnerships with the next generation of farmers. In 2019, Administrator Wheeler signed EPA’s first-ever agreement in the agency’s history with the National FFA Organization. This MOU reflects the importance of agricultural practices in promoting environmental stewardship and will help expand environmental education courses taught to FFA’s 670,000 student members.

We have made great strides at strengthening our relationship and restoring trust with the agriculture community, and we look forward to continuing to build on our partnership. EPA’s goal has always been and will continue to be promoting environmental stewardship, through working cooperatively with the public and this must include the agriculture community. As we reflect on EPA at 50, we celebrate our partnership with farmers and ranchers and our commitment to protecting the land, water and air, and recognize the continued work by American agriculture and rural America to protect our natural resources.

I’d like to invite you to reach out to our team of agricultural liaisons at EPA. Contact your Regional Ag Advisor or email us at Headquarters ruraloutreach@epa.gov.

 

About the Author: Carrie Vicenta Meadows is the Agriculture Advisor to Administrator Wheeler. The role of the Agriculture Advisor’s Office is acting as a primary advocate and liaison for U.S. agriculture at EPA. Before coming to EPA, Carrie is a 16-year veteran of Capitol Hill where she worked extensively on agricultural policy.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

TSCA is ‘4’ the Future

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Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Assistant Administrator of U.S. EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution PreventionBy Alexandra Dapolito Dunn
Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention

I am a strong believer that the future depends on what we do in the present. The 2016 Lautenberg Act amendments to the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) set the stage for EPA’s work over the past four years to build a new regulatory program from the ground up, informed by the past and inspired by the future.

Under the Trump Administration, we have set up the processes, policies, and resources to review over 40,000 existing chemicals in the marketplace and any new chemicals that companies want to bring to market. We’ve taken the necessary time to do this in a way that increases transparency, produces high quality work using sound science, and ensures that Americans are protected from unreasonable risks. We’re learning from our experiences and adapting as we move forward; our goal is to transparently carry out a chemical safety program for our nation. We know our work will benefit public health and the environment, as well as facilitate innovation in the chemistry for years to come.

Other examples of how we’ve been working towards a safer, heathier future under TSCA include:

With these and many more important accomplishments under our belt, we intend to focus the second half of 2020 on:

  • Finalizing the remaining nine risk existing chemical risk evaluations, so we know where to focus future risk management rulemaking efforts to reduce risks from these chemicals.
  • Issuing final scope documents for the next 20 risk evaluations, so the public knows which uses our future risk evaluations of these chemicals will cover.
  • Issuing restrictions on five persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals, to ensure future generations won’t have to deal with the consequences of these chemicals that build up and persist in the environment.
  • Finalizing our proposal to strengthen lead regulations, to protect children from the health effects of lead exposure and help them achieve their full future potential.
  • Gathering important, best available scientific evidence on the next 20 chemicals, and others on the 2014 TSCA work plan, so that when we begin work on a chemical, we have a complete set of information on exposure and hazards.

Looking back over the past few years and looking ahead to the future, I think it’s important to focus on our common goals. I know we’re all working on TSCA to protect public health and the planet – right now and for the future. What do you do TSCA “4”?

 

About the author: Alexandra Dapolito Dunn is the Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. Prior to that she served as the Regional Administrator for EPA Region 1, and her responsibilities included overseeing the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and ten tribal nations. Read more.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

Protecting Public Health and the Planet Through Pollution Prevention and Green Chemistry

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Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Assistant Administrator of U.S. EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution PreventionBy Alexandra Dapolito Dunn
Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention

When you think about how the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention supports EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment, the first thing that might come to mind is our work to review the safety of pesticides and other chemicals. Another important aspect of our work is finding ways to stop pollution before it starts—pollution prevention—and encouraging the development of environmentally friendly products and technologies through green chemistry.

One way we do this is through the Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. For 24 years, these awards have recognized innovation by American businesses and researchers that redesign chemical products and processes to reduce or eliminate the use and manufacture of hazardous substances. These innovations help keep businesses globally competitive, prevent pollution at its source, and protect human health and the environment.

This year’s awards have special meaning because it’s also the 30th anniversary of the Pollution Prevention Act, which focuses industry, government, and public attention on reducing the amount of pollution through cost-effective changes in production, operation, and raw materials use. Green chemistry and pollution prevention work hand-in-hand to stop pollution at its source, resulting in less waste, economic growth, and protection of public health.

Our efforts to recognize, encourage, and speed the adoption of green chemistry have produced real results. Through 2019, Green Chemistry Challenge Award winning technologies have provided big opportunities for pollution prevention, including:

  • Eliminating 826 million pounds of hazardous chemicals and solvents each year—enough to fill almost 3,800 railroad tank cars or a train nearly 47 miles long.
  • Saving 21 billion gallons of water each year—the amount used by 820,000 people annually.
  • Eliminating the release of 7.8 billion pounds of carbon dioxide equivalents to air each year—equal to taking 810,000 automobiles off the road.

These results are proof that the combination of green chemistry and pollution prevention can produce powerful results for public health, the environment, and the economy.

For more information on this year’s Green Chemistry Challenge Award winners, visit: www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-announces-winners-2020-green-chemistry-challenge-awards.

Learn more about green chemistry and pollution prevention at: www.epa.gov/greenchemistry and www.epa.gov/p2.

 

About the author: Alexandra Dapolito Dunn is the Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. Prior to that she served as the Regional Administrator for EPA Region 1, and her responsibilities included overseeing the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and ten tribal nations. Read more.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

Tribal and EPA accomplishments over the Last 50 years

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By Scott Mason

Scott Mason official portraitDuring my tenure at the United States EPA, I have had the pleasure of meeting with many tribes across this beautiful country. I’ve listened carefully to the views, concerns and plans of tribal leaders, and on these visits, I’ve witnessed first-hand the majestic mountains, coastal plains and rugged mesas – to name a few of the geographical features that make up Indian country. As we mark EPA’s 50th anniversary, our commitment to protect human health and the environment in Indian country remains unyielding.

As a proud citizen and enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation, I am aware of the unique challenges that individual tribes face. Moreover, we recognize the COVID-19 crisis is disproportionately impacting tribal communities. Tribes are grappling with the difficult task of implementing environmental programs on their tribal lands, while alleviating the impacts from the pandemic. EPA, under the Trump Administration, is continuing our commitment to help tribes protect public health and the environment.

This year, as we celebrate EPA’s 50th anniversary, I am pleased to highlight the important environmental progress tribes have made over time with EPA’s assistance, especially when considering the unique issues with which they are confronted.

Since joining the EPA, I have always kept in mind that tribal governments and environmental agencies do not exist as adjuncts to the federal government. The relationship with tribes 50 years ago, at the creation of our agency, was very different. Today, tribes have greater experience building environmental programs and are more sophisticated and robust than ever before. Over the years, EPA has aimed to create a legacy of respectful, government-to-government interaction with tribes. Under the Trump Administration, we are focused on making this legacy as successful as it has ever been.

Additionally, in some areas of the country where tribal communities are economically distressed, President Trump has led efforts to vitalize these previously forgotten places. I’m proud of the work that our agency is doing in conjunction with the White House to ensure that tribes located in Opportunity Zones are able to multiply the impact of President Trump’s tax reform package and attract more economic development.

For years, American Indian nations have taken on a greater role in environmental protection on their own lands, including through our process for delegating regulatory authority to tribes, called Treatment in a Similar Manner as a State (TAS). This delegation process provides tribes essentially the same authority in Indian country that states have within their respective borders. I’m especially proud that since January 2017 there has been a 100% increase in regulatory program delegation approvals when compared to the previous four-year period.

EPA salutes the progress tribal nations have made and recognizes the importance of our continued commitment to improving access to safe drinking water and other environmental protections in Indian country, which are all the more important amid the current pandemic.

These accomplishments are just a few of the EPA-Tribal milestones realized in the last 50 years. We owe these achievements to the dedicated work of EPA and tribal professionals across the country as these tangible results demonstrate the success of the EPA-Tribal partnerships. Together, we are building a cleaner and healthier environment for Indian country.

 

About the author: Scott Mason is Director of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s American Indian Environmental Office (AIEO). AIEO lead efforts across the Agency to protect human health and the environment in Indian country. Before coming to EPA, Scott was a vice president and the executive director of federal programs at The University of Oklahoma (OU), where he led state and federal relations for all three of the university’s campuses. Prior to joining OU, Scott served on the staff of Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, as well as on her gubernatorial transition team. Scott is a proud citizen and enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation and is 5th generation western Oklahoman.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

Join EPA in Observing National Pesticide Safety Education Month

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Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Assistant Administrator of U.S. EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution PreventionBy Alexandra Dapolito Dunn
Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention

February is National Pesticide Safety Education Month, a good reminder about the importance of safely and appropriately using pesticides like insect repellents, weed killers, and many household cleaning products.

Since pesticides are meant to keep pests away, we need to be careful when using them in and around our homes. EPA assesses the risks and benefits of all pesticides before we allow them to be sold or distributed in the United States, and EPA requires instructions on each pesticide label for how to use the pesticide safely.

One of the most important steps you can take to ensure pesticide safety at home is to only use pesticides when necessary. Pesticides are designed to address different problems, so one important approach is to consider integrated pest management.  Under “IPM”, your pesticide choices are informed by an effective and environmentally-sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices, using pesticides only as needed.

If you do choose to use a pesticide, reading the pesticide label and following instructions is key. Even if you use the same pesticide often, be sure to read the label each time. If you do choose to use a pesticide, reading the pesticide label and following instructions is key. Even if you use the same pesticide often, be sure to read the label each time. This is important because EPA routinely re-evaluates pesticides to ensure they are safe and the instructions for safe use may have changed.

Here are a few other tips for using pesticides safely in and around your home:

  • Use the amount specified on the label. Using more will not be more effective and may harm you, your loved ones and the environment.
  • Keep pesticides away from food and dishes.
  • Don’t let children and pets enter sprayed areas while they are still wet.
  • Store pesticides out of the reach of children and pets, preferably locked up.
  • Store pesticides in their original containers with proper labels.
  • Wash hands with soap and water after using a pesticide.
  • Wash clothes that have been in contact with pesticides immediately and separately from other items.

Tell us how you keep yourself safe when using a pesticide by sharing a photo or tip on our Twitter account @EPAChemSafety .

 

About the author: Alexandra Dapolito Dunn is the Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. Prior to that she served as the Regional Administrator for EPA Region 1, and her responsibilities included overseeing the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and ten tribal nations. Read more.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

Healthier Schools through Integrated Pest Management

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Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Assistant Administrator of EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention

By Alexandra Dapolito Dunn
Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention

Summer is drawing to a close, and already in some parts of the United States our children, teachers, and administrators are back to school. In the United States, more than 53 million children and 6 million adults spend a good part of their day in more than 120,000 public and private schools.

Without proper care, schools can harbor a lot of pests! Pests find homes in many places in and around schools. Cafeterias, classrooms, lockers, dumpsters, school grounds – all can attract pests, and often they can gain easy access through doors and windows. Rodents, cockroaches, and dust mites are often present in buildings and can cause or inflame allergic reactions and asthma attacks.

None of us wants children and school staff exposed to chemicals, but we don’t like the idea of them being exposed to pests either! Using a smart, sensible, and sustainable approach can reduce pests and pesticide risks and create a healthier environment for our children. We call this approach Integrated Pest Management, or IPM. IPM is better for the environment and saves schools money in pesticide treatment and energy costs by improving insulation as a result of sealing cracks and adding door sweeps.

IPM programs take advantage of all appropriate pest management strategies, including using pesticides when necessary. IPM isn’t a single pest control method. As the name suggests, it combines multiple control approaches based on obtaining site information through inspection, monitoring, and reporting. Schools design IPM programs based on the pest prevention goals and site-specific eradication needs.

Do you know if your school uses IPM? Find out more about IPM in schools and talk to your school officials about the benefits of using IPM. Here are some resources you can use to educate yourself and share with your school administrators:

Hope you and your family have a healthy and safe school year!

 

About the author: Alexandra Dapolito Dunn is the Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. Prior to that she served as the Regional Administrator for EPA Region 1, and her responsibilities included overseeing the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and ten tribal nations. Read more.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

Tips for Greener, Healthier Lawns and Gardens

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Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Assistant Administrator of EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention
By Alexandra Dapolito Dunn
Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention

Many Americans spend countless hours each year tending to their lawns and gardens.

Nothing frustrates a gardener more than the destructive capabilities of unwanted pests. They come in many forms, like weeds, insects, animals, molds and fungi ̶ just to name a few.

As you think about the best way to deal with pests in your garden or lawn, you may want to consider integrated pest management (IPM). IPM is a holistic, environmentally friendly, commonsense approach that focuses on pest prevention and only uses pesticides when necessary. IPM strategies allow you to manage pest damage using methods with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.

Try these helpful tips when managing your green spaces:

Green Scaping - The Easy Way to a Greener, Healthier Yard

  • Outcompete weeds. A healthy lawn can compete with most weeds.
    1. Develop healthy soil
    2. Choose a grass that thrives in your climate
    3. Mow high, often and with sharp blades
    4. Water deeply, but not often
  • Choose pest-resistant plants. Many garden centers offer informa¬tion about pest-resistant plant variet¬ies. After the plants are established, they’ll save you time and money on pest control. And, some plants have their own pest resistant properties. For example, lavender is thought to help repel some mosquitoes, moths and other insects.
  • Choose plants that grow well in your region based on the amount of sun, type of soil, and water available in your yard.
  • Know your pests. Only about 5-15 % of the bugs in your yard are pests. “Good bugs,” like ladybugs and praying mantises, help control pests.

If you do choose to use a pesticide, ensure that you use it with care to get the most benefit. Reduce any risks by first always reading and following label instructions. Use only the amount instructed on the label and avoid overuse. When you have a small problem area, treat just that area, not the entire yard.

Share your photos of healthy lawns and gardens with us on Twitter @EPAChemSafety!

About the author: Alexandra Dapolito Dunn is the Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. Prior to that she served as the Regional Administrator for EPA Region 1, and her responsibilities included overseeing the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and ten tribal nations. Read more.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

EPA Celebrates National Pollinators Week

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Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Assistant Administrator of EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention
By Alexandra Dapolito Dunn
Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention

Each year, we celebrate National Pollinator Week in an effort to spread awareness and educate each other about the importance of pollinators like bees, butterflies, birds, and bats. About one-third of the food we eat, like almonds, berries, and many other fruits and vegetables, depend on pollinators. And I’m pleased to say that at EPA we’re working to protect them from harmful pesticide exposure.

EPA’s regulations for pesticides ensure that public health and the environment are protected. And the public can do its part by reading and closely following the label directions to ensure that they are being used safely and appropriately. At EPA, our goal is for growers to have products that protect their flowers and crops from pests while ensuring pollinators and their habitat, which are essential for gardens and farms to thrive, aren’t exposed to harmful levels of pesticides.

EPA has been working with experts around the globe since 2006 to develop a cutting-edge pollinator risk assessment process. Through our regular reviews of pesticides, we’ve also updated data requirements to better assess potential risks to pollinators.

In 2013, EPA changed many pesticide labels, prohibiting application when plants are in bloom. Since pollinators spend most of their days foraging for food, they’re usually not around when plants aren’t in bloom, which makes it a better time to apply pesticides.

Building on these efforts, EPA brought together beekeepers, growers and state pesticide regulators to help inform our 2017 Policy to Mitigate the Acute Risk to Bees from Pesticide Products, and develop pollinator protection plans. The policy encourages states to develop their own pollinator protection plans and is a terrific example of our close working relationship. It also demonstrates how communication at the local level between beekeepers and farmers who apply pesticides can be a key to protecting bees. When beekeepers learn that farmers are planning to apply pesticides, they can take steps to protect their hives.

In addition, EPA recently updated our “Residual Time to 25% Bee Mortality” (RT25) Data table.
RT25 data help farmers and beekeepers know about how long a specific pesticide may remain toxic to bees and other insect pollinators following foliar application to crops.

The Washington Post has also recently reported on some of our efforts, saying that “the Trump administration’s action [to protect pollinators] was welcome news to some environmentalists,” which demonstrates how united Americans are on this important issue.

These are just a few steps that EPA has taken to protect pollinators, and we remain committed to protecting pollinators this week and every week!

Wondering what you can do to protect pollinators? Growing different kinds of flowering plants to provide bees with pollen and nectar is one way that you can help. Another step you can take is reducing pesticide use. If you do need to use a pesticide, always read the label directions; they explain how to safely use it and ultimately protect our pollinators and our environment.

Learn more about pollinator protection at https://www.epa.gov/pollinator-protection.

About the author: Alexandra Dapolito Dunn is the Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. Prior to that she served as the Regional Administrator for EPA Region 1, and her responsibilities included overseeing the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and ten tribal nations. Read more.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

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Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act: Three Years of Safer Chemicals

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Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Assistant Administrator of EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention
By Alexandra Dapolito Dunn
Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention

Today we are proud to mark the third anniversary of the Lautenberg amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the first major update to an environmental statute in 20 years. EPA is implementing the law in a way that ensures the safety of chemicals in the marketplace and protects human health and the environment. The Important TSCA milestones outlined below were achieved through the hard work and dedication of EPA staff.

We’ve taken important steps to evaluate chemicals that are already in commerce:

  • In November 2018, we issued the first draft risk evaluation for Pigment Violet 29 (PV29) under the new law. We will release draft risk evaluations for the remaining chemicals currently under review in the coming months.
  • Earlier this year we banned sales to consumers of methylene chloride in paint removers and strengthened the regulation of asbestos to close a dangerous loophole and protect consumers.
  • We just finished collecting public comments on the next substances we’re considering for risk evaluation – both high-priority chemicals to review promptly and low-priority chemicals.

We’re pushing for increased transparency:

  • For the first time in 40 years, we identified a comprehensive list of chemicals that are actively being manufactured, processed and imported. The result of tremendous effort by stakeholders and manufacturers, this information will help us focus EPA’s risk evaluation efforts on chemicals that are still on the market.
  • After we released the draft PV29 risk evaluation, we worked with manufacturers to increase public accessibility to underlying studies and to refine our application of our systematic review framework. This framework is the way we select and review studies.
  • We are holding the first public meeting of EPA’s Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC) this week. The committee will review the PV29 draft risk evaluation and EPA will use its scientific advice as well as public comments to inform the final risk evaluation.
  • EPA is moving toward more real-time publication of information received regarding new chemical notices.

Finally, we’re striving to be good public stewards:

  • The TSCA fees rule allows EPA to collect fees from certain chemical manufacturers and importers for specific activities. We estimate that we will reduce taxpayer burden by an annual average of $20 million.

We’re looking forward to the years ahead of better chemical management and protection of our health and environment. We have accomplished much in the three years since Lautenberg, and we’re just getting started.

About the author: Alexandra Dapolito Dunn is the Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. Prior to that she served as the Regional Administrator for EPA Region 1, and her responsibilities included overseeing the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and ten tribal nations. Read more.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.