The Department of Pesticide Regulation plans to unveil new mitigation measures next month for a list of controversial neonicotinoids in an effort to better protect bee populations. The department had hoped to release the proposals in the spring. Due to delays from sheltering in place, it now plans to finalize the rulemaking later this year, following a 30-day comment period after the draft rules are released, according to staff in a meeting Friday.
U.S. EPA released its preliminary decision on those pesticides in January. Yet the agency has extended the comment period several times since then, and it is unclear when the final decision will be delivered. EPA took a broader approach than DPR in its reevaluation and is looking at label changes, an action beyond DPR’s authority.
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In 2014 the Legislature put DPR on a tightened timeline, requiring a risk determination in July 2018, which triggered a two-year deadline for adopting new regulations. DPR also has a moratorium on any expansion on the use of neonics.