In 1988 EPA established the Endangered Species Protection Program (ESPP) to meet its obligations under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). At that time, it was a voluntary program that provided geographically specific pesticide use limitations in areas of concern. The original ESPP was not an enforceable program but relied on cooperation between the FWS, EPA, states, tribes, and pesticide users. In December, 2002, EPA published for public comment its proposed approach to field implementation of the ESPP and received comments from many sources. After reviewing and considering these comments, EPA published its final approach to field implementation of the ESPP on November 2, 2005, making it an enforceable program under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

Background

Under the ESA, the federal government protects endangered and threatened plants and animals (listed species) and the habitats upon which they depend. The ESA requires federal agencies to ensure that any action they authorize, fund, or carry out, does not "adversely impact" any listed species, or "destroy or adversely modify" any critical habitat for that species.

The goal of EPA’s ESPP is to carry out its responsibilities under FIFRA in compliance with the ESA, without placing unnecessary burden on agriculture and other pesticide users. EPA is responsible for reviewing information and data to determine whether a pesticide product may be registered or reregistered for a particular use. As part of that determination, the Agency assesses whether listed endangered or threatened species or their designated critical habitat may be affected by use of the product. All pesticide products that EPA determines "may affect" a listed species or its designated critical habitat may be subject to the ESPP.

If a risk assessment determines that use limitations are necessary to ensure that legal use of a pesticide will not harm listed species or their critical habitat, EPA may either change the terms of the pesticide registration or establish geographically specific pesticide use limitations. When geographically specific use limitations are necessary, they will be reflected in Endangered Species Protection Bulletins.

ESPP Bulletins

Endangered Species Protection Bulletins identify the species of concern and the name of the pesticide active ingredient that may affect the listed species. They also provide a description of the protection measures necessary to protect the species, and contain a county-level map showing the geographic area(s) associated with the protection measures, depending on the susceptibility of the species to other factors such as vandalism.

Bulletins will be effective and enforceable as part of the product label.

If your pesticide label directs you to the Bulletins Live! website or the toll free number, you are required to follow the pesticide use limitations (if any) found in the Bulletin for your county, pesticide active ingredient and application month. Pesticide users who fail to follow label provisions for their pesticide application, whether that failure results in harm to a listed species or not, will be subject to enforcement under the misuse provisions of FIFRA.

Note: Early on in the process there may be only very few bulletins available. Some counties may not have any bulletins. However, as the process continues, it will be more likely for more counties to have bulletins. It is the responsibility of the user to comply with all provisions of the pesticide label, including the provisions of any ESPP bulletins.

You can obtain Bulletins using EPA’s Bulletins Live! system through the website www.epa.gov/espp/ or through the toll-free telephone number 800-447-3813. Additional information may also be obtained from the Pesticide Program at the Missouri Department of Agriculture.