Board of Pesticides Control Update
The Board of Pesticides Control wants to keep you informed on issues that may affect you. We welcome your input and feedback. Please send your comments to email@example.com.
July 21, 2023 at 9:00 AM in Room 101 of the Deering Building located at 90 Blossom Lane in Augusta. This will be a hybrid meeting. For more information, visit the Board Meetings Page.
The following program has been approved for pesticide recertification credits. More recertification opportunities may be found on the BPC Credit Calendar.
- June 22, 2023 – Blueberry Hill Farm Field Day – Rain or Shine 9 AM to 3 PM Location: Blueberry Hill Farm, 1643 Rt. 1, Jonesboro, ME. Approved for 3 pesticide credits. To register and for more information
Always check to ensure all products distributed or used are currently registered in the State of Maine. For a list of the current Maine registrations.
The amendment for LD 1770 “An Act to Improve Pesticides Sales and Use Data Collection and Accessibility by the State” has been published. It strikes out the majority of the bill and requires the Board to make rules requiring electronic recordkeeping as defined in 22 M.R.S.A. 1471-G. The bill has passed the house but will need to pass the senate before it will be on the governor’s desk.
A copy of the amendment is available through the Maine legislature’s website.
EPA Posts Draft Endangered Species Act Biological Opinion for Enlist Herbicide Products for Public Comment
Background on Enlist Products
In January 2022, EPA completed a comprehensive ecological risk assessment for 2,4-D choline salt (2,4-D), an active ingredient in both Enlist products, and glyphosate dimethylammonium salt (glyphosate), an active ingredient in Enlist Duo. EPA also completed a, biological evaluation, (BE) for both Enlist products’ potential effects on listed species and their critical habitats, as well as an evaluation of mitigations that are already included on Enlist One and Enlist Duo labels to address listed species concerns. This evaluation was completed as part of EPA’s efforts to meet its obligations under the ESA. EPA determined in its BE that the use of Enlist One and Enlist Duo are “likely to adversely affect” (LAA) some listed species, but predicted that such use will not lead to jeopardy to listed species or to the adverse modification of critical habitats.
An LAA determination means that EPA reasonably expects that at least one individual of any listed species may be exposed to a chemical at a sufficient level to have an adverse effect. This is the case even if a listed species is almost recovered to a point where it may no longer need to be listed. The likely “take,” which includes unintentional harm or death, of even one individual of a species, is enough to trigger such a determination. As a result, there are often a high number of LAA determinations. An LAA determination, however, does not necessarily mean that a pesticide is putting a species in jeopardy.
EPA initiated consultation with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, (FWS) upon completion of the BE for Enlist products. During consultation with FWS, EPA provided additional analyses to support the BiOp. The conclusions of the 2022 BE identified 112 listed species and 38 critical habitats as LAA. During consultation, EPA considered additional lines of evidence (e.g., life-history, species distribution, likelihood and magnitude of plant effects, and impacts of required runoff mitigations) resulting in a revised determination that only 22 species and five designated critical habitats remained designated as LAA.
Draft Biological Opinion
The draft BiOp released is the result of EPA’s consultation with FWS. The document contains preliminary findings from FWS that the use of Enlist products, as specified in the approved product labels, are not likely to jeopardize any listed species or adversely modify their critical habitats.
After the 60-day public comment period, EPA will provide FWS with the comments for its consideration before it finalizes the BiOp. The issuance of the final BiOp is the last step in EPA’s formal consultation process with FWS. Once FWS issues its final BiOp, EPA will work with the registrants to implement it.
The draft BiOp is available for public comment. Click here to submit a public comment to the docket
In recent weeks the BPC has received numerous calls regarding drift and off-target deposition of pesticides. Most of the calls stemmed from the observed use of motorized backpack mist blowers while conducting tick and mosquito control applications. It is a violation of State pesticide law to apply pesticides to a site without authorization either as a direct application or through drift. Applicators need to be aware of the boundaries of their application site, identify and buffer sensitive areas and have the proper tools and knowledge to keep the pesticide on the target.
The BPC has also received several calls raising concern about rain occurring shortly after a pesticide application has occurred. Please be aware of pesticide label language with regards to making pesticide applications when rain is in the forecast to prevent run-off into waterways and potential harm of aquatic organisms.
The Ag Container Recycling Council is a not-for-profit trade association that works to facilitate the collection and recycling of one-way rigid HDPE plastic agricultural crop protection, animal health, specialty pest control, micronutrient, biologicals, fertilizer and/or adjuvant product containers. The ACRC is fully funded by its member companies and affiliates that formulate, produce, package, and distribute crop protection and other pesticide products.
During the winter of 2022/2023 ACRC announced that the ACRC-supported recycling facilities in Maine would no longer be supported due to the significant number of containers received at the facilities that had not been properly cleaned. This has resulted in a significant void in the availability of licensed Maine applicators to properly dispose of empty pesticide containers.
Fortunately, ACRC has been working with major pesticide distributors to create a new alternative to recycle containers. Going forward within the next few weeks, ACRC will provide storage containers and large plastic bags to pesticide distributors. Properly prepared and adequately cleaned and triple-rinsed empty containers will be received by Nutrien Ag Solutions in Mapleton, Helena Agri-Enterprises in Presque Isle and Carolina Eastern-Vail, Inc. in Houlton. Further, growers with large quantities of empty containers that have been adequately prepared for disposal can contact Ag Plastic Solutions at (717) 446-9917 and possibly arrange for an onsite pickup.
In addition to rinsing, containers submitted for recycling must be clean (with no visible residue), dry and without covers. The labeling (the multi-page booklet) must be removed, but the labels fully adhered to the containers need not be removed. Containers must be free of covers, rendered incapable of containing liquids and DRY. Use of distributor provided large plastic bags is strongly recommended to prevent accumulation of rainwater. For more information, contact your local pesticide distributor. More information is available on the ACRC website.
Browntail Moth Update #8: June 12, 2023 from MFS
The first week of June was very rainy and cold, however, there is a silver lining; the rain likely helped support the epizootics (disease outbreaks) of fungus and viruses. Responding to a public report, we have confirmed high mortality of browntail caterpillars on Eagle Island, ME off the coast of Harpswell. The likely culprit is a naturally occurring fungus called Entomophaga aulicae and it can be highly contagious to caterpillars in high densities. When a caterpillar encounters the fungus, the fungus enters and multiplies inside of the caterpillar, eventually causing its death. When they die, these caterpillars house large quantities of the fungus and fungal spores, allowing disease to spread to healthy caterpillars. Although this fungus can regulate some populations of browntail caterpillars, in order for an epizootic to happen, rainy weather and the pathogen need to co-occur. Therefore, we should caution that pockets of disease like this may be quite isolated. If you are seeing diseased caterpillars anywhere in the state, we’d love to know! Please send us your reports of diseased caterpillars. We will continue to monitor for disease-causing agents at our developmental monitoring sites and elsewhere in the coming weeks.