The emergency exemption process under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act is broken and needs fixing, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General said in a report issued Tuesday. The report’s focus is FIFRA's Section 18 program, under which EPA allows the use of pesticides in “emergency” situations even if they are not registered for that particular use. But the agency’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) “does not have outcome measures in place to determine how well the emergency exemption process maintains human health and environmental safeguards,” the OIG said. “The program office also does not have comprehensive internal controls to manage the emergency exemption data it collects. Finally, the OPP does not consistently communicate emergency exemption information with its stakeholders.” OPP, the report said, “currently has no measures in place to demonstrate how human health or environmental safeguards for the emergency exemption process are being maintained.” The OIG recommended development of “applicable outcome-based performance measures to demonstrate the human health and environmental effects of the EPA’s emergency exemption decisions,” but the agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention said it did not believe they were “appropriate or feasible.”

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