The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking comments on a proposed interim registration review decision for the herbicide paraquat that includes new safety requirements.

Among them: A prohibition on aerial application except for cotton desiccation as well as on pressurized handgun and backpack sprayer application methods, a limit on the maximum rate for alfalfa to one pound of active ingredient per acre, and a requirement that cabs be enclosed if the area treated in a 24-hour period is more than 80 acres.

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The agency will accept comments on the proposal through Dec. 22.

EPA also has released interim registration review decisions for 13 pyrethroids that include exceptions to requirements for expanded 25-foot vegetative filter strips (VFS’s) when applying the insecticides near water. Responding to concerns raised by the industry and USDA, the agency said application areas of 10 acres or less would qualify for 15-foot strips instead of proposed 25-foot strips, and western irrigated agriculture would be exempt if a sediment control basin is present.

Responding to comments on last year’s ecological risk mitigation proposal, the agency said small-scale operations “may be disproportionately impacted by an expanded 25-foot VFS requirement.”

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