Pruitt signs Endangered Species Act memorandum

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt recently spoke at the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Winter Policy Conference and signed a Memorandum of Agreement establishing an interagency Working Group to evaluate and improve the Endangered Species Act consultation process for pesticide registration.

“The current Endangered Species Act pesticide consultation process is broken,” said Pruitt. “The Trump Administration is taking action to improve and accelerate this process, harmonize interagency efforts and create regulatory certainty for America’s farmers and ranchers.”

“Once again, EPA has acted on the calls for regulatory reform from rural communities across the country. I’m glad to see Administrator Pruitt carrying out President Trump’s pro-growth agenda benefiting Oklahoma farmers and ranchers,” said Oklahoma Commissioner of Agriculture Jim Reese.

“It’s a breath of fresh air to have an EPA willing to listen to farmers and ranchers across the country. I applaud President Trump and Administrator Pruitt for partnering with rural America to provide the regulatory certainty that our agriculture community deserves,” said Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles.

The interagency Working Group includes the Department of the Interior and Department of Commerce and comes at a critical time as EPA has 700 pesticide registrations to complete by 2022.

In addition to the MOA, Administrator Pruitt discussed EPA’s efforts this past year to rescind the 2015 “Waters of the United States” rule, to address dicamba drift issues and other actions to help farmers and ranchers across the country. Administrator Pruitt and the Department of the Army will soon finalize a rule adding an applicability date to WOTUS. The new applicability date will be two years after recent action is published in the Federal Register, during which time both agencies will continue the process of reconsidering the 2015 Rule.