Called by Cary Giguere, SFIREG POM Chair, VT

Kirk Cook, SFIREG EQI Chair, WA

Note Taker Amy Bamber, Executive Secretary, AAPCO – SFIREG
Attendees ATTACHMENT 1
Description Results of survey of States. Discussion of program change from Designed for the Environment to “Safer Choice”. Does this affect State acceptance of these products?


DiscussioN Clark and Rodgers described the survey on DfE that was sent out to the states. Three main challenge areas came out of the survey:

1.     State Registrations – the states need the ability to quickly verify that a label has USEPA DfE approval.   Without that, there may be delays in state registration of products with the logo.

2.     Distributor Labels – the states are concerned that there will be a challenge with distributor labels utilizing the logo if the distributor label language is not consistent with the master label.

3.     Enforcement – the states believe that finding unapproved DfE logos on products is federal misbranding, and want congruence from OECA.

The survey did not include consideration of the term ‘Safer Choice’.

Monell recounted that four years ago a DfE pilot workgroup was formed to allay state concerns. During that period of time, five active ingredients have passed EPA’s screen, but none have been registered in the states. EPA believes that federal certification of less toxic pesticides supports consumer’s wishes and would like to see DfE succeed but recognizes that according to the survey there are still 40% of the states who responded who would not register the products. Therefore it appears to be a failed effort. Mclain said that the website now has approved products and alternate brand names listed. If states begin approving the labels then they may have more interest from registrants.   She asked to see the raw survey results, and would like to understand the rationale of states who will not register the products. For instance, are there statutory or political reasons?

Schoen-Nessa offered that there is a lack of trust.   The states do not want another 25b enforcement and registration situation.   Schoen-Nessa asked if there was a limitation on % a.i. for these products? Mclain said no, if you use that a.i., the product goes through screening. DfE also looks at inert ingredients individually.   EPA wants the program to drive green chemistry, and use a human health review (literature and modeling) and environmental endpoints in their screening. Besides inerts, they look at surfactants, preservatives, etc.

Gray asked for a commitment from EPA that Safer Choice will never be used for pesticides. All EPA staff agreed that was the case.

Action Items
Description A follow up discussion on hanging issues related to antimicrobial products.
Discussion Gray brought up some of the hanging issues with Antimicrobials, including hard surface disinfectants used in HVAC systems; the public health implications of 25(b) products used for mold and the lack of EPA Region and OECA response when cases are turned in by the states; and concerns with mislabeling on distributor labels. Rowe agreed that there is a lot of misuse with these products and emphasized that it is a public health issue. Mclain asked for focused questions. Giguere responded with concerns about devices and their claims (hvac) and the public health issues. Kachadoorian added that frequently this is an environmental justice issue as well, as applicators may not have English as a first language, or the applications may be needed in minority and/or low-income situations and the applications aren’t made properly.
Action Items
Description Discussion of the regulatory questions about the advancement toward unmanned aerial vehicles being used in aerial applications of pesticides. Who is the applicator? Is it an aerial application under current labels? Which buffers apply? Does this affect certification?


Discussion Moore presented from his slides. Primary concerns include rule changes related to drone usage, efficacy in pesticide applications, and safety for ag pilots, as drones are low level hazards, and could be deadly.

Questions from the committee were taken after the presentation. Kachedoorian related that they are getting a lot of calls about licensing, and whether drones used for pesticide application can be properly managed for wind, bees, workers in fields, etc. There is a bill in the Oregon legislature to ban aerial applications altogether, and as citizens have heighted emotions towards aerial applications, drones may push them over the edge. There are public relations issues, and serious safety issues.   Moore responded that the drones could be equipped with cameras with live feed to an operator to address workers in fields. Kachedoorian followed up with another issue regarding the ability to apply the labeled rate from a drone. Moore agreed that because of the small payload, carrying water is an issue.   He said that the unmanned aerial vehicles (uav-preferred term) are a neat technology and they have a lot of possible uses, but the technology has to get better. We should expect to see this area grow, i.e. half wing shut off, electrostatic applications to pull products to the canopy, etc.

Peckham asked if it was difficult to manage droplet size and concentrations with a uav? Moore told the group that U.C. Davis has been doing research in California vineyards and they presented to the NAAA at their annual meeting. The efficacy has not been great, mostly due to canopy penetration. They have a long way to go yet. Giguere turned the conversation to the question of applicators. This isn’t a traditional application method or applicator, and states are wondering how to license. Moore believes that these are aerial applications and operators should be licensed appropriately. Helfgott added that for label interpretation questions, the states should work with Zinn, as she is leading the label consistency workgroup, which includes a lot of folks from EPA.

Action Items



Discussion Messina described the training, which included 24 attendees from 9 regions; 20 Project Offiers both new and experienced, and EPA headquarters staff from OECA, OPP and Groundwater. There were 11 sessions covering contracts, fostering successful relationships, lots of emotional intelligence training and they had positive feedback from the participants. EPA enjoyed having the state perspective represented by Fleeson and Dave Scott, IN. It was also a great opportunity for EPA to canvas the regions, find internal consistency issues, and reevaluate the answers to some common questions. It helped to resolve some outstanding questions and consistencies. Helfgott followed up saying that EPA saw the inconsistencies present, and took their time in developing the training to specifically address those issues.   They really wanted to emphasize customer service and building and maintaining constructive relationships.   It was very effective. Fleeson found that it was a great opportunity.   She and Scott were only there on the first day of training, but there was a lot of open dialogue, lots of constructive two-way conversations. It was a good chance to remind the project officers of the breadth of the state programs, which are well beyond the grant’s scope. She also pointed out that learning about the project officer’s responsibilities, especially fiduciary responsibilities, was beneficial.   As co-regulators it was a good place to have discussions, pose questions, and remember the limitations of each position’s role. Fleeson offered that it may be good to have similar state training, as it increases communication. The approach must be positive. Helfgott continued that he saw state training as an opportunity to clarify the basis for priorities, and get everyone on the same page as to why things are done the way they are. EPA follow up includes capturing the training in an electronic format for ongoing training for new folks, and pursuing the state training. Giguere praised the folks involved for putting together the training, and added that an original concept was to have a shorter version for project officers and states to review.
Action Items A couple of state volunteers are needed to help develop a state training, which will likely be held on the shoulder of a 2016 PREP course.
Description Update on the state’s actions and noted progress in pollinator protection by industry. Laboratory insights for sample analysis related to bees and neonics.


Discussion Kachadoorian shared her presentation, and there was particular interest in the exploratory data collection done by Oregon related to differing application methods and pesticide concentrations found in plant parts through time.

After the presentation Kachadoorian said that Oregon has been working with registrants, and due to the strong public sentiment against most pesticide applications, some registrants have sought to maintain agriculturally important uses and have restricted ornamental uses of neonicotenoids. Kachadoorian addressed the concern that sugar mannose in linden trees may have contributed to the bill kills by stating that their data show insecticides to be the causal agent in the bee deaths. An issue that requires resolution is the rate of application in urban environments. Many of the labels utilize a per acre rate. In an urban environment, where an acre may consist mostly of parking areas and buildings, this type of rate currently allows a very high concentration of product on a few islands of landscaping. Peckham stated that Minnesota has struggled with this rate issue in the past as well, and they have a fact sheet available concerning interpretation of the per acre rate in urban environments. It is available to other states to use. Kean questioned if the bees were honey bees or bumble bees. Kachadoorian responded that the bloom time of linden trees correlates with bumble bee emergence, but that there was some honey bee death as well. Schoen-Nessa commented that Washington’s staff strongly agree with the ban in Oregon, and believe it would be appropriate to adopt it in Washington. They are thankful for not having the same level of incidents, although they have had some and there are citizen concerns. Oregon’s work on the issue has been done very well.

Action Items
Description Registration Division has been receiving products with comparative efficacy claims and reviews the situation for the benefit of the states in consideration of state registration and enforcement programs.

1. Types of claims that have been proposed

2. Challenges of reviewing these claims—how do we determine what is false and misleading?

3. Data requirements for supporting the claims

4. Implications on review time

5. Legal perspective on including these types of claims on labels

6. State input on these types of claims

Discussion Davis explained that historically EPA has assumed that they couldn’t accept comparative efficacy claims on labels.   This has been challenged recently and after a legal review it turns out that there is a loophole in the regulation. There cannot be comparative safety claims, but efficacy is not specifically addressed.   At this time EPA does not have criteria to assess efficacy claims, and can see many issues with acceptance of them.   But they may not have the ability to deny the claims. Davis explained that a submission is a snapshot in time, so if a registrant can show data that represents one product is more efficacious than another, it is entirely possible and likely that another registrant could show the opposite is true at a different snapshot in time. Davis asked how would the states make a determination in this situation. Clark said that if there is a PPLS stamped label, they accept it. Gray added that this could put state registration programs in a difficult position, particularly if the marketing of products is strong and there is pressure to accept the label.  Davis emphasized that EPA is feeling very cautious, and believes there is the potential for this to snowball into a large issue. Efficacy guidelines are in place and an important part of the registration process, but do not address comparative claims.  Hicks remarked that the variables are substantial. For instance, a product may well be more efficacious on one pest, but not another. With so many pests, use sites, application times, etc., this is an extremely difficult claim to support. Registrants in the audience commented that they would expect specific required testing to make the claims, to support fair comparisons.   Davis added that this is an enforcement concern as well.
Action Items Havinga and Davis will follow up after consulting with Office of General Counsel. SFIREG does consider this a state concern moving forward.
Discussion Jeff Comstock (VT), Pat Jones (NC) and Havinga are working on a survey template to capture current inspection times. Initially a few states submitted their current time allocations, but it was determined that the wide variety of time requirements for states and tribes required a full survey.

Havinga explained that the current time factors came out of an AAPCO survey done in 1999. They are assumed to be out of date. Container containment inspections are not included at this time either. Travel, enforcement and laboratory time are considerations. EPA is looking for a broad based survey from SFIREG and TPPC.

Comstock, via telephone, highlighted two things about the survey. One is that the inspection list identifies containment inspections, but not producer establishment inspections. The proposal is that container inspections are done under federal credentials, so SFIREG is specifically looking for feedback on that. The other thing to note is that travel time for large states can be captured in this survey.  Otherwise it is hoped to be a fairly self-explanatory format. Still aren’t sure how to deal with long term, protracted follow up inspections and case development.

Schoen-Nessa questioned why WPS was not separately captured in the survey. She explained that an ag use inspection combined with a WPS inspection takes much more time than just an ag use. Havinga agreed that they should have broken it out.   Clark agreed that WPS needs to be broken out, and that referrals from the region could be included as well.   Gray questioned if the assumption was that states did all inspection types separately, or if it was possible to accurately capture multiple inspection types in the survey. He added that some states do both container and containment inspections under state authority, and that it may be better to have both in the survey. In the current grant guidance there is language that makes it clear that the current time allocations are negotiable, but states have gotten mixed messages from regions….are these times negotiable, or could they be? In the current excel sheet they are not editable.   Helfgott responded that is good to know, we can fix that.

Action Items Survey results will be presented at Full SFIREG in June 2015 by Comstock, Jones and Havinga.
Description  ATTACHMENT 6
Discussion Grable went through the presentation, which shows the BLT tool allowing TES label restriction searches by address, which is more refined than the county restrictions of the previous Bulletins Live! System. WC members thanked Grable for the update and increased refinement, and strongly support inclusion of GPS and township, range, section search capabilities in the future.
Action Items
Description One of the proposed critical elements of state plans is a mechanism to measure the effectiveness of a state plan in improving communication/cooperation among stakeholders and decreasing pesticide exposure to bees. Discussion on how best to determine those measures. The working committees hope to provide EPA with a document outlining what states believe are critical elements involved in the measuring of pollinator protection plan success.
Introduction by Gray

Guidance has been developed from SFIREG to states for voluntary development of MP3-critical and successful elements of a state plan

The scope of MP3s are managed pollinators not under contract for pollinator services but SFIREG is urging states to create a scope that fits their needs. It can address other species of pollinators, commercial beekeepers, hobbyists; states may develop a plan that applies to non ag, or ag, or both; develop a plan that includes managed pollinators under contract, urban beekeeping issues, etc.   May include other things like forage, varroa mite control, pollinator health issues, etc. Can make it broad for bee health or limited to pesticides.

The premise is to urge states to adopt plans to encourage communication and cooperation among beekeepers and applicators, and maybe others, to reduce pesticide impacts to bees.

Some states have adopted regulations (Iowa and California). The stickiest part is the ability of states to measure success of their plans. Some have said that perhaps effectiveness doesn’t need to be measured. Gray says we are using a novel approach, and maybe if we have communication that may be enough to reduce risk. What is the timeframe to assess success? What do we need to be able to say if it works or not?

Gray is asking for the WCs to research and come back to full SFIREG with recommendations for reasonable and viable measures of MP3, some good ideas and recommendations. Some states are looking for advice, quickly, and don’t want to wait for EPA policy document.

Also, we need to measure the baseline…can we show that MP3s have affected change compared to where we are now?

Echeverria and Goodis were asked if they had any comments or thoughts?   Goodis responded that there is a federal pollinator strategy in response to the presidential directive, but no new news.   EPA’s policy will go out for comment, and they are looking forward to a robust comment period.

There are two areas with different approaches:

1. Bees on site for contracted work. EPA is looking at additional restrictions for bee protections. Feedback from the public is related to the question ‘why are there toxic applications when bees are present? ‘

2. EPA is looking for state and tribal plans…recognizing that around the country there are a variety of issues and situations, honey or pollinator services, and we are looking for flexibility to address local concerns and issues. Critical for the flexibility, there needs to be some accountability for how well that approach is working. There has been a lot of progress, lots of dialogue on this issue, we are working cooperatively, and EPA is happy with how far things have progressed already. Being able to evaluate how well the approaches are working is very critical down the road, and we will have to answer for that. It is solvable but will take some creativity.

It has been a privilege working with Jim Gray and he will be sorely missed.

Having effective measures in place is paramount to moving forward.

Schoen-Nessa offered up WA’s process to help others as they work on this area. They went to the industry and described what they were going to bring to Washington DC, and the first call came from the potato growers, second call from wheat growers. They have the most acres and they border all the pollinated crops. The other observation is that we thought we’d start with tree fruit, apples in particular, but they have other things on their plates now. Alfalfa seed growers answered first. They are used protecting their pollinators (alfalfa leaf cutter bees) and managing pesticide exposure, and have experience to offer.

What to measure?

Rowe offered that as you engage groups, ie cherries, Extension researchers know who to talk to, so invite them to the table. Ask them how do they contact beekeepers, do they know how to contact beekeepers? Early on in the building process this can be measured: how many folks have you reached out to? May have some generic and some specialized metrics. Also measure if communication is improving. Are there more conversations occurring? An issue is beekeepers don’t like folks to know where they are, so how can we improve the state’s trustworthiness? Michigan doesn’t have an apiary law really anymore, which is a hindrance. Would like to measure the trust and reinstatement of trust in the program.   Better working relationships.   It’s a soft measure and may take a long time.

Another idea is to look at how many bee kills are reported? Lots of underreporting, contracted services don’t always report, as they don’t want to get the grower (paycheck) impacted. Maybe an anonymous reporting system would help.   Also squatters are an issue.   Gray responded that with improved communication and trust, we may get better reporting, which will look like things are getting worse. Rowe says they are set to begin the plan development, some industries have developed IPM plans, but they don’t have the communication link yet.

Wijnja says they have a lot of hobbyists in MA, so one measure is finding out how many people are aware of a state pollinator plan (MA’s plan is not developed yet).

Giguere asked if you can measure hive health by opening up a hive?

Daiker observed that a good assessment of where we are now is important, before the implementation of a plan, a baseline.

In trying to measure pesticide exposure, there are huge caveats, such as persistent residues. It is difficult to know where the residue is coming from. But if we don’t bring these things up for discussion we can’t try to utilize them, even if it is difficult.

Rowe says it would be nice if there was a formula. So many people say there is no problem, our honey production went up, for every point there is a counter point. If you know what to look for there are things to see, but having put together the inspection guidance related to insecticide and bee interactions, and knowing there are applications to the hive, we are hoping for more uniform reports. There are so many factors to hive health.

Peckham said that before anything is done, there needs to be an inspectional baseline for hive health. It is easy to blame pesticides, but in the last year MN did a lot of inspections and found mostly hive health issues. Habitat comes up from beekeepers a lot. You can’t grow endless acres of corn and soy without impacting pollinator habitat. In some areas of the country there is just no habitat.

Hicks added that when you are talking about insecticides, there are hive applications too, but not all are pesticides. Nosema treatment isn’t a pesticide, and is therefore outside of our authority.

Gray offered that for endangered species protection we tried to create measures, and found that measuring abundance isn’t satisfactory because there are too many variables. It may be better to identify a reduction in pesticide exposure; abundance may come later.

Goh suggested that with so many factors, perhaps we should explore the use of models and simulations to see which variables rise to the top in terms of impacts.

At a multi-stakeholder meeting in Orlando last fall, Daiker related that a focus was to design a study to monitor hive health, monitor exposure, monitor honey/wax, etc. It is possible that because of the migratory nature of managed pollinators, it is impossible to design a proper study. And yet we can’t do this without measuring exposure, hive health, etc.   Changes in apiary practices, participation in plans, IPM implementation, etc., are all huge subject areas to track correctly.

Cook wondered if maybe a multi state PPP, to track the route of exposure, may be a good approach for looking at exposures rather than a state by state basis.   For some pollinating bees this could be a way to identify exposures through the migratory path.

Dwinell, via Daiker, suggested measuring the effort that beekeepers have to make to maintain their apiaries, i.e. do they have to split colonies more frequently?   Change queens more frequently?   Assess beekeeper practices basically.   They aren’t direct measures of exposure, but they are tangible and add value.

Gray said that the premise in ND is that if applicators can visit with beekeepers prior to applications, it should make it easier for applicators to comply with label restrictions. That should mitigate exposure.

Helfgott offered that there are a lot of things to influence pollinator health.   We want to change behavior and improve health. So what do you want to change, what behaviors need to change?

Gray responded that improved communication is a behavior. What else? Sauter suggested utilization of resources–are they using our handouts, gis data, website hits…etc.

Campbell asked if we could back up a bit. EPA is concerned with the plans and their ability to reduce pesticide exposure.   There are plans that address lots of things, but EPA is concerned with pesticide exposure. Echeverria responded yes, but they are not unaware that other factors play a part, and they don’t want to do anything contrary to success with other issues. From a regulatory perspective we want to reduce exposure to acute compounds.   Campbell replied that we are discussing communication and cooperation. One small point on a small point of a huge issue. We are setting ourselves up for failure, because this isn’t going to effect hive health. So we have to assume, or know, that measures such as spraying timing, notification, etc. can reduce exposure. If we can measure if people are incorporating these things then we are doing our job. Measure adoption of practices described in the plan. Overall hive health is not part of these plans.

Hicks said that from a tox perspective, if a bee colony is malnourished/diseased, they are more susceptible to pesticide exposure. That puts the risk in a downward trend. Daiker agreed. This isn’t a sensitive way to measure. Maybe put some surrogate apiaries in place that don’t move around, etc. Campbell replied that there is a place for research certainly, but these plans aren’t going to do it. The plans and hive health research are an apples to oranges comparison.

Daiker pointed out that participation doesn’t mean it worked. Campbell agreed, but because of so many variables, the goal of the plan is to get compliance and change behavior. Gray said then there still has to be a link to determine if the behavior change has succeeded in reducing exposure. Campbell replied that acute exposure is easier to measure but chronic is a different thing. Did those things really reduce exposure? At this point we assume those things do reduce exposure, but we don’t necessarily know. But we believe it does. Daiker suggested that we also acknowledge the other factors. For instance, he met with blueberry growers, and they asked what about those products that don’t get the label warning, but still may have effects i.e. fungicides, co-exposures, etc. This further complicates the issue, plus chronic exposures.

Rabe offered that there are different levels of assessment and issue. She can work on the cooperation area in NM, but doesn’t have the resources to do more, maybe some other states have it. So while it may not be her data, in a bigger picture, it is useful and we should look for it and gather it. It may not be that she has the responsibility to figure it all out, but pulling together the information in general is important.   Maybe local, state, regional, national information and scope can be very useful here…different scales, different levels. Some of that is going to take time to figure out, but it may become apparent through time.

Giguere thinks we are going to have a hard time separating acute and chronic.   Researchers have found that if you feed chronic level insecticides to bees, they still die. Accumulate in the hive. Whether that is proven in the field, we need to account for chronic in the summer and acute in the winter. Therefore we need to target exposure.

Rowe added that we may have lost site of our USDA partner in the task force. NASS has been collecting data and those tools can be refined to get more of what we want. We can draw information from them.

Clark asked Echeverria and Goodis what type of feedback have they gotten from the other agencies in the presidential memo? Goodis replied that the specifics of what is in the federal strategy, he can’t speak to directly. There will be a roll out, including habitat, research, better public private partinership, etc., but we will have to wait and see. Clark clarified he was thinking about a regional approach, such as when USDA makes citrus projections, perhaps they could also make pollinator projections. Goodis added that the OPP also provided comments to NASS, and did a survey for some information to help with impact analyses. One thing specific to states was a quarterly survey to see if a question could be added to ask beekeepers if they received notification by applicators. That shows communication improvement perhaps. At least there is improvement in implementation of the plan.

Schoen-Nessa wanted to draw together some of the comments. She thanked Campbell for asserting our goal and mission.   Everyone we have talked to is interested in protecting bees, so what are we measuring? Are people implementing plans? Reducing toxicity?   The scope is limited to managed pollinators not under contract at the site of application. In the places where there are the highest doses you may get some data. But what is our mission in doing these MP3s? What do we have control over? Schoen-Nessa doesn’t think we can do it without looking at all pollinators, without looking at managed pollinators under contracts. Gray responded that states are free to expand, to include wild pollinators, all managed pollinators, include contracted pollinators, etc. It depends on the state, what the agriculture is like, urban issues, etc.   That is why there is flexibility.

The challenge is that we are allowing states to determine issues and scopes, so how do we get a national picture? Schoen-Nessa responded that if we are trying to improve all bees, then our scope isn’t sufficient. Gray responded that our baseline is to focus on communication and coordination to manage exposure to bees not under contract. As long as that component is included, we can expand outside of that scope.

Kachedoorian added that Oregon’s biggest challenge is that their apiary program was defunded. Legislature is looking to put more money into it, but there is a statement that the hive location won’t be available. This makes it really challenging. The beekeepers don’t want to provide that info to the state. We may focus more on educating growers and beekeepers, some bmps, encouraging discussion, promoting coexistence, etc.   They will be measuring the number of growers who go to commodity grower meetings.

Gray signaled a break.

How to measure effectiveness?

Behavioral Ideas:


Website hits

How many printed media handed out?

How many people educated, showed up to meetings, how many meetings offered?

Measure changes in application behavior–application timing (time of day, blooming, blooming weeds considered?), compliance rates, fewer incidents of illegal pesticide use in hives

Increase in forage/habitat (beyond MP3s)

Gray asked NASS if they could ask about improved communication? Feasibility and resources? It was about 150k to do the survey themselves, so we should not lose track of NASS. Cook said that recommendations for the surveys have to be approved in DC, so the timing takes a lot longer. Should we ask SFIREG to make that request early at the national level, to get it going?

Clark added that a measure from pesticide registrants designing more products linked to specified timing of application for certain industries linked to specific groups may be appropriate. Florida has some products that specify application timing that kills the pests but lessens impact to pollinators. Looking for new formulations or a.i.s that are more protective. Daiker added that these can be included in special registrations.

Schoen-Nessa said that they don’t have an apiary program anymore, and while they still register hives, only about 10% of hives in Washington are registered.   So an increase in hive registrations would be a good measure. In ND the beekeepers actually asked for more teeth in their apiary law, which shows the beekeepers desire to see better hive registration.

Fleeson added that a measure could also be product selection on the part of the applicator, moving towards less toxic products.

Regarding pollinator health:

Healthy bees make honey and pollinate crops, so can we measure this as a way to assess success? Good forage and habitat equals good health. Could pounds of honey produced be a measure? States could derive the acres of crops that require pollinators and data on contracted pollination services. As for winter kill, it is going to have to be a trend, because of so many variables.

Cook suggested we take a close look at what we’ve come up with and pick ones with the least variables and most confidence; probably not going to get with health measures.

Pesticide use ideas:

Increased use of lower toxicity products/decreased use of high tox

Changes in application timing

Introduction of new products that have lower risk

Special registrations

Does the product have restrictions for pollinators and are you compliant–put on routine inspection checklists…

Scouting to application timing, assess if there really is a need, is scouting really occurring? Query certified crop advisors.

Rabe noted that we’ve got a lot of things up there, so who’s going to do this? We are hoping part of the plan or goal is to develop something that is doable, rather than a multipage doc for measures.   We want a one pager, and a flexible approach.

Gray agreed saying that where we don’t want to go is development of a measurement manual.   SFIREG should be able to give states a list of potential measures, and here are some ideas. SFIREG’s guidance is close to being rolled out and shortly afterwards we need to issue some advice on measures.

Gray emphasized as a last point that this is how it’s supposed to work. It starts with conversations, how to develop plans, develop trust, open up to a wider view, reach a point where it could be discussed publically. Having a seat at the table for the states early in the process, and it works well. Gray thanked the EPA, and thinks this is going to work. Thank you for the opportunity to see how this process works in a real world situation. Echeverria agreed and sincerely thanked EPA’s partners SFIREG and AAPCO for bringing local ideas up to the federal level. EPA is looking forward to continuing our partnership.

Transcript of flip charts used during the brainstorming session:

What do we Measure?

·      How many stakeholders involved in the plan development?

·      Is communication improving?

o   Trust

o   Relationship

·      How many bee kills reported?

o   Vol vs reg

o   More kills reported as trust improves?

·      Awareness

o   How many people know about MP3

·      Pollinator Health

o   Hive health (many factors)

o   Assess where we are now as baseline

·      Exposure (pesticide)

o   Residue source

·      Reduction of pesticide exposure

·      Use of models that incorporate multi-factors (sensitivity factors)

·      Changes in beekeeping operation

o   # of changes

o   Types of changes

·      Compliance with label restrictions

·      Behavior changes

o   Industry (bee)

o   Farmers

·      Use resources

o   Gis tools

o   State resources

o   Call #s

o   Website hits (how measure)

·      Focus on pesticide exposure- main goal

·      Increase incorporation of plan elements in operation

o   Action-measure degree of adoption of plan elements

·      Risk reduction factors

o   How many factors are currently being employed?

·      Plan adoption

o   Does it result in reduction of pesticide exposure?

·      Scale of success measurement

o   State, regional, sub-state

·      Focus on sub-set that is the subject of MP3

o   State flexibility, big or small as needed

·      # of beekeepers to commodity groups

·      IPM development and adoption

Changes in Behavior

·      Change in beekeeper behavior

·      Changes in practices

·      Changes in communication (trust) *

·      Adoption of BMPs

·      Changes in awareness (MP3)

·      Use of resources/websites

·      Change in product choices

·      Changes in compliance

Pesticide Exposure

·      Bee kills

·      USDA survey results

·      Collection bee data NPS

Pollinator Health

·      USDA survey

·      State of industry (better or worse)

Pesticide Use

·      Increase of lower tox products

·      Decrease in use of impactful pesticides

·      # of active research on alternatives (added protection)

How do we Measure?

Compliance rate

·      Website hits-resources

Behavioral changes

·      Adoption of plan elements

NASS hive data (USDA)

·      Pollen results


·      # bee kills caused by pesticides

·      lab data, PPP data (PDP?)

Pesticide Use

·      CAR’s and scouting

·      Crop advisor surveys

·      Surveys

·      Website hits-resources used

·      Application records

·      Compliance rates

·      Hive misuse

·      NASS-USDA-change in communication levels

·      # of label statements that mitigate risk to bees

·      special registrations to support lower toxic

·      hive reg #s

Action Items The WC Chairs will put together recommendations for effectiveness measures to be presented at the June 2015 Full SFIREG meeting.
Called by Kirk Cook, SFIREG EQI Chair, WA for EQI BREAKOUT
Note Taker Amy Bamber, Executive Secretary, AAPCO – SFIREG
Description Each member of EQI member will provide a brief update on major issues related to environmental / water quality topics faced by each state.


Discussion Jerry Sauter, ND

For surface water monitoring they find a few analytes at or above a benchmark, but they are not persistent and not high levels. Seeing a pattern of atrazine and acetechlor. Groundwater monitoring is done in another agency, it is private data, can’t be shared, and they use a small analyte list with high detection limits. Wade asked if they use autosamplers or capture storm events? Sauter replied no. USGS and the Health Department collect the samples. In 2014 there were 194 surface water samples, including 27 lake samples. They spend about $80-90,000 on the program, mostly from the EPA grant. They did a pilot lake project this year and found some low levels of chlopyrifos and atrazine.

This year there were four new species added to the Threatened and Endangered Species list for North Dakota; 2 butterflies, 1 bird and 1 bat. Cook added that USFWS is starting to move through a backlog of proposed species and there are a lot of new listings, particularly terrestrial species.

Hotza Wijnja, MA

They have set up a monitoring study related to urban and suburban uses. For agriculture, cranberry growing is associated with surface water detections, and the growers do the monitoring themselves. Cook asked if there were specific pesticides associated with the cranberries and Wijnja said that in the past, chlorothalonil was found at low levels. Daiker asked how the monitoring was done? Wijnja stated that they sample groundwater because it is used for drinking water. They have done some surface water sampling specific to methoxy phenoxide to reevaluate it for the POC list. The other issue they have been involved with relates to TES and aquatic herbicides. They have listed freshwater mussels. They have submitted a proposal to the state Fish and Game for a study on flumioxazin, which is used to control invasive plants.   They would like to get local toxicological data with a combination of laboratory and field studies. Hicks asked if the study included sediment sampling, to which Wijnja replied no. The other concern they work with is right of way spraying on Cape Cod.   Because it is a sole source aquifer, the residents are concerned about groundwater contamination.

Lebelle Hicks, ME

Maine is using grab samples for a groundwater survey related to agricultural pesticide use. She is mostly involved with sediment sampling. In 2014 they found 11/20 samples positive for bifenthrin at low levels. They are reporting to the legislature regarding possible impacts on lobsters.   Daiker questioned if the lobsters were spatially related to the lobsters, and Hicks replied no.

Henry Wade, NC

NC is working on groundwater sampling, particularly for triazines, which they haven’t detected since 2009. They use kits for sampling. The NC DNR does the surface water sampling for the state, and Wade doesn’t believe they have an active program at this time. NC has seen drone use for application on USFWS lands.   They currently have 60 listed species, which can be a challenge.

Kean Goh, CA

See presentation. Goh explained how they update POINTS using models. CA prioritizes a.i.s using pesticide use reports. The models can be modified to fit different counties. Currently urban pesticide use is considered most important and they spend a fair amount of resources on it. Currently they are monitoring 40 sites for 50 a.i.s using permanent autosamplers, grab samples including stormwater and irrigation. They are also evaluating fipronil as it is a concern by showing up sewer treatment.  CA is also doing a store survey to determine homeowner use.

Davis Daiker, FL

They actively fund a groundwater study, which now has 16 yrs of data in central ridge, using their PPG grant. It is sampled quarterly. The impetus for the sampling is for it to be an early warning system for drinking water, but it is also used to track mitigation measure effectiveness. They recently paired up with the watershed assessment program in Florida’s DEP using an MOU. It is based on a yearly cycle of assessing five watersheds. Now in the third year, detected analytes include imidicloprid, chlopyrifos, atrazine, diuron, and others. The data look similar in different watersheds. DEP does a potable well survey through the county health departments, and report the results quarterly. Currently Dimethyl Disulfide has been a major effort, working with small acreage strawberry farms and adjacent landowners. Since there is a very evident odor associated with its use, there has been public concern. Fl is working with stakeholders to find an amicable solution.   Fl also is working on mosquito control in sensitive areas, such as the Florida Keys, where they have dengue fever and three endangered butterflies. It is a difficult situation.

Kirk Cook, WA

In Washington they have several interesting things going on, including targeted studies that provide relevant data that may be used by the Services. One example is the use of malathion and buffer zones. WA entered into a study with partners including registrants, commodity reps, conservation districts, and applicators, and as the chemical is applied they will monitor air deposition in the field, and stream edges using auto monitors. This is one of the first studies that takes the National Academy of Sciences recommendations into the field. There are significant implications for buffer zone development. They are also adding sediment to the ambient sampling program, and expect to begin invertebrate and stormwater sampling in 2016.

Action Items Goh will send out a.i. prioritization model to committee
Description EQI has completed a review of the applicability of the current POINTS system.   Several recommendations will be presented for consideration by EPA that would allow POINTS to be used more by states as a reference, and would allow EPA further analysis in support of water and environmental media protection.
Discussion 1.     Right now the grant guidance gives states a lot of flexibility on reevaluation, and this will remain the case. When new information is received it is expected that the states will reevaluate the analytes in POINTS, particularly when there is an indication of increased risk. EPA would also like to track the reevaluations, with the understanding that states utilize the term (reevaluation) broadly and EPA is okay with that.

2.     Do different states use a similar mechanism to evaluate or identify pesticides of concern? States are interested in what other states are using for trigger levels, and the rationale behind POC determinations. The committee recommends examining POINTS to see if we can be more specific in an effort to share info with other states, including rationale and contact information. Patty TenBrook, EPA Region 10 (telephone) mentioned that right now there isn’t an obvious place to put in a rationale, but you can make a POC determination based on use or vulnerability, etc. It doesn’t have to be monitoring data. There aren’t prompts for more info, but she would like to go in and see who the contact folks are. Cook added that we are focusing on numerical values and triggers, and since we can list a pesticide without using a numerical number, a contact person for follow up needed. TenBrook added that the contact information is in POINTS, but you can’t get it out.   It isn’t part of the report.

3.     Should transmitting information to EPA be a utility in POINTS? There were a lot of issues surrounding expanding POINTS to incorporate these data, so the general consensus of the workgroup is that to modify POINTS would not be cost effective and probably to the detriment of POINTS’ usability. It is better to continue to refine the other methodologies currently used to transmit data. P

4.     Security is an issue with POINTS, as currently you can look at reports without a log in. Daiker expressed concern that there is no metadata captured at all. Even in open record states, usually there is an opportunity to discuss the data with the recipients, which is much better than getting the data off the web, with no additional information.

5.     For both the states and regional offices, POINTS is difficult to query.   If we could work together to identify a few key queries to put in the system, that would be beneficial.

6.     Right now POINTS is water quality oriented; there is at least one provision for adding other media, but it is hidden. In light of program developments, it is a good time to consider if we want to expand the media? Other media may push a chemical from POI to POC. Wade added that NC is still having issues with persistent herbicides in compost. TenBrook and Cook agreed that adding sediment and invertebrate sampling may be useful, as well as a mechanism to cite data. Hicks noted that if other media are included, units are very important to get right.   When listing an analyte as a POC because of media other than water, it will need to be mentioned. The actual data is not included in POINTS though. Specific data sets, and therefore units, should be avoided. Rationale rather than specific data is what is appropriate in this system.

7.     Cook summed up by saying that we included this issue in this white paper because we are seeing more listings that affect pesticides. For instance in WA they have a proposed listing for a fisher, and the main rationale for its listing is a rodenticide used in forestry and marijuana cultivation. Therefore they are listing the rodenticide as a POC because of its impact on TES resulting in heightened monitoring and enforcement. Its not a water issue, but a TES issue, and Cook is expecting to see more and more of this. Helfgott found this information helpful.

Action Items Identification of queries (#5) to add. TenBrook has surveyed the regions and come up with some fixes. She would like to combine issues and prioritize. There are some easy technical fixes, as well as larger programmatic considerations.
Description Recent EPA determination of the benchmark for atrazine (vascular plants acute) has raised numerous issues by several states (i.e. which benchmark to use). How states choose to use or not use these benchmarks can result in a wide divergence in the “basis” for determination of Pesticides of Concern. The impact these benchmarks may have on states’ future POC determinations and subsequent management plan needs.
Discussion Discussion regarding the aquatic life benchmarks, and how states are using them. They are to be used as reference numbers, representing a level of concern, but are not regulatory thresholds. It is important that states utilize the documentation associated with the benchmark as well as simply looking at the numbers. Since the webpage is available to the public, there has occasionally been confusion in that regard as well.

The states thanked Corbin and EFED for continuing to provide these benchmarks as they are invaluable to the state programs.

Action Items 1.     Some sort of training or guidance should be provided to the states regarding the benchmarks and how to use them. Perhaps include it in a PREP?

2.     Should state water management documents be updated, if they haven’t already, to reflect state decision making in relation to the benchmarks?

3.     Additional language (or a q&a document link) on the webpage, specifically directed towards the public, would help in risk communication.

Bill Wooge, EPA
Hotza Wijnja, SFIREG, MA


Description This session is dedicated to EPA updates regarding the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program. EQI was provided a briefing in 2012 regarding the status of the program (Tier 1 and List 1 and List 2 chemicals) by the Office of Science, Coordination and Policy, Exposure Assessment Coordination and Policy Division, Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (“EDSP”). EQI would like to be briefed on the progress made by EPA in this area and the results of the July and December 2014 meetings of the Scientific Advisory Panel.



Discussion Wooge updated the committee on the activities of the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program. The presentation highlighted the new approach of the Integrated Bioactivity-Exposure Ranking (IBER) prioritization to address the challenge to screen all chemicals of interest. EPA is currently working on a policy document to explain the pivot to computational toxicological data and how that can help to establish priorities for targeted data collection and further assessment. The program involves a Tier 1 screening to determine potential for endocrine disruption, using 11 in vitro and in vivo methods. Tier 2 uses multigenerational studies. Out of the 67 chemicals initially screened, 52 meet Tier 1 criteria and the agency is developing an approach to determine if these chemicals will move to Tier 2. EPA expects this approach to involve weight of evidence, and they are working on consistency checks as well. The procedure should be released by the end of September 2015. Wooge presented highlights from comments and recommendations from two recent Scientific Advisory Committee meetings on the use of new models and approaches in this program. Based on the SAP reviews, the program is working on addressing limitations such as sources of uncertainty, limited exposure data sets, and sensitive populations that were not taken into account. The path forward includes the consideration of next generation exposure models, and expanding the number of chemicals with biomonitoring and reverse toxicokinetic data. (see note below for potential additional information to include) Daiker asked from whom they receive biomonitoring data.   Wooge responded that they are including inerts and a.i.s, and the biomonitoring data comes primarily from humans, with some wildlife information. They may also get some from tribal programs.
Action Items



Description The industry supported FESTF has been moving to develop methodologies to begin aggregating state/refined species and habitat data (beyond current national datasets) on a HUC 2 basis. This would be used to build a national database that would inform future decisions regarding “take” for pesticide related biological opinions. The status of this project and its interface with EPA and states will be presented and discussed with EQI.


Discussion McGaughey went through her presentation, describing the goal of the program as gathering information from various sources and aggregating it so it can be used by USEPA. This has been a 20 year effort, and they are now looking at how to lift additional information to the national level. There is an information management system that houses data and associated documents that can be used to build information sets. They are also working on defining the scale of the data delivery, trying to refine knowledge at a sub-county level.

Cook added that part of the problem always has been that different states have different levels of data. When National Marine Fisheries Service was developing bi-ops for the west coast, they had different levels of data, and they needed a consistent level of data aggregation. Therefore having the states engaged and taking a careful look at the data and looking for greater resolution so we don’t have to utilize older platforms which are not as precise…ideally they can be used to develop positions that don’t require a bi-op.

This will require collaboration with AG, Natural Heritage Program, state Fish and Game agencies, etc. With additional listings coming up, we should rely on higher quality data in these new listings and decision-making.

The idea is to get the best available info in an area, and that helps the Services and EPA.   It must be documented and verified so the agencies can feel comfortable. A regional aggregation platform may be a better solution.

Action Items
Called by Cary Giguere, SFIREG POM Chair, VT for POM BREAKOUT
Note Taker Charlie Clark, SFIREG POM, FL
Description Discussion of inconsistency from label review manual (LRM) and label changes being made by manufacturers—follow up from SFIREG
Discussion Per Kachadoorian, NIOSH respirator number changes on labels has been an issue in OR. The issue in Region 10 arose related to Sulfur Dioxide. Dawson is working on finding a Registration Division point of contact to work on the inconsistencies. The registrants must ensure that their labels reflect the new respirator numbers. EPA is considering sending out a PR Notice after the June Full SFIREG meeting.
Action Items Discuss at Full SFIREG.
Description ATTACHMENT 10
Discussion Zinn explained that the major reason for this project is to put the “Master Label” in a structured format. EPA wants to share progress on Smart Label Project with a wider audience, and take feedback from a larger group of states and companies before the pilot ends in September of 2015.   The structured format is borrowed from FDA and is available in the EPA database. It is 100% searchable. Doug Soper, PBI Gordon, remarked that he has only heard negative comments from the companies he has spoken to about it, primarily that it is too cumbersome.   A final consideration is that the registrants already have sophisticated data processes for labels.   As states are increasingly implementing new registration and labeling systems, will these new systems interface with Smart Labels?
Action Items Provide feedback to Zinn before the pilot ends in September 2015.
Description Status of implementation and reporting of performance measures by SLAs
Discussion The measures are now being reviewed in OMB for the Information Collection Request. Implementation and roll out is expected in October 2015. Havinga noted that the measures were especially difficult for tribes, and may be tweaked annually. OECA is developing a draft Q&A document (see attachment).
Action Items
Description Update on rollout of 5700 dashboard and recent webinars


Discussion The presentation was given showing tha thte current dashboard is focused on manufacturers, registrants, distributors, and producer stablishments. The future dashboard will include applicators. Most recent data in the dashboard is from 2013.
Action Items
Description EPA recently announced the launch of the DRT Program. POM would like a progress report on DRT and to be briefed on the key elements of the DRT program. POM also has concerns regarding field enforceability of different DRT buffer scenarios. How will a field inspector access DRT factors for spray nozzles in the field?
Discussion Main points discussed: 1. Adjuvants and nozzles should provide maximum drift reduction. 2. The other factors that field inspectors must use during their inspections under this program, including boom height, nozzle sizes, adjuvant types, buffer reductions, pressure and droplet size. 3. Incorporate new information into training sessions for field inspectors immediately.

More training and education is needed.

Action Items EPA implementation of an online toolbox
Description Update from EPA on reregistration process for fumigants. Data or information needs from states to assist in evaluation. Recent ASPCRO workshop and label language discussion.
Discussion PRD is reviewing antimicrobials, commodity fumigants, structural fumigants, and soil fumigants during this reregistration eligibility decision document period. EPA is seeking real world examples from states and companies on how many of the products are really used. Expect the last of the studies to come out by the end of 2017. Risk assessments will come out from PRD 17 months later.
Action Items Encourage states to submit real world examples of these products, issues and uses, to EPA/PRD.
Called by Cary Giguere, SFIREG POM Chair, VT
Kirk Cook, SFIREG EQI Chair, WA
Note Taker Amy Bamber, Executive Secretary, AAPCO – SFIREG
Description Review of the morning break out sessions.
PRD is engaged in a pyrethroid ecological assessment, trying to find some efficiencies, focusing on aquatic organisms, and conducting the assessement per use groupings (ag, mosquito control, structural uses, etc.) If states have input please send to Tracy Perry via Kirk Cook. PRD intends to publish draft assessments for public comment in September 2016.

RD’s reorganization was presented by Debbie McCall, EPA/OPP/RD. See attachment, and EPA’s website which will identify product managers for a.i.s.  ATTACHMENT 12

Zinn reported that she is currently heading up the label consistency committee, and that the review manual updates are wrapped up.

Action Items States should provide issues, label inconsistencies, and ecological data related to the pyrethroid ecological assessment to Kirk Cook, who will compile and send to Tracy Perry in PRD.

Review the use of 2(ee) in relation to greenhouse uses.

Discussion Regarding the OIG investigation, there has been a lot of talk about what happened and what’s going on? In December 2013 they began an audit regarding how EPA was overseeing the states and they focused on inspections. The report that was done regarding Region 8 and federal credentials was a sub-report.   The full report should come out this summer. OECA is also interested in Health and Safety training, and working on a project officer manual to compliment the training that was recently held. 25(b) enforcement issues were also brought up.
Action Items


Discussion and Action Items ·       Dfe: Marty Monell’s assessment of the program’s failure because states won’t register these products. Probably need SFIREG to develop an issue paper and it will be submitted to Zinn by Rodgers.

·       Drones: Address questions to Zinn, such as is uva same as aerial application?

·       PO training follow up: SFIREG is looking for a couple of state folks. Tim Cregor, NE and Giguere have volunteered.   We need one more, preferably a western state.

·       Comparative efficacy claims: Giguere will summarize SFIREG’s concerns, and discuss with Bo Davis (2 weeks)

·       SFIREG MP3 guidance/ Measures: Asking the two working committee chairs to draft up a document containing examples of measures that states could consider…stress that they may want to consider a combination.

·       Giguere: Stepping down after 2 terms on POM (6 yrs) and 2 terms as chair (4 yrs). Jim Gray’s shoes were incredibly hard to fill. Gray has been instrumental, and a pioneer in changing how states interact with EPA. He’s an amazing individual…and now the transition…transitions are great especially when you are moving up, but it’s the friendship that I’ll remember…thank you.

·       Gray: Giguere has done an admirable job and has broken all the records for service to SFIREG. It is my privilege to recommend Rabe as incoming chair…Bamber needs to find a form letter to get to her. Rabe is going to be great, and Giguere has been great. Peckham and Goh are stepping off and thank you for your work as well. You guys do such important work. Remember that Gray is still in cell phone coverage.

·       Cook added a few things regarding this session. There were comments that maybe next time we may want to choose 3-4 items of interest to both groups, and allow the working committees to spend a little more time on their specific items.

·       Gray added that the joint meetings are an experiment, and we can go back to separate meetings. We also can do out of DC meetings again. The most important thing is to maintain and work on the relationships with EPA, keep respect.

·       Rabe said that Giguere has done a wonderful job wearing all his hats, and keeping POM moving forward, and she has watched Giguere and Gray building bridges with EPA, and that Cook and she have some great examples to follow.

·       Kendall said thank you to Bamber for her first meeting as Executive Secretary.

The meeting adjourned at 12 noon.