Current status

​​Buffers Imposed by the U.S. District Court Order

Reinstated Streamside No-Spray Buffer Zones – New Information available from EPA as of 8/27/2014

“EPA reinstates no-spray buffer zones in California, Oregon and Washington to Protect salmon as a result of final settlement agreement for northwest center for alternatives to pesticides v. EPA”.

As of August 15, 2014, EPA reinstated streamside no-spray buffer zones to protect endangered or threatened Pacific salmon and steelhead in California, Oregon and Washington. This action is directed by a stipulated injunction (agreed to by the parties) that settles litigation brought against EPA by the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides and others in U.S. District Court in Washington State.  On August 15, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington entered the stipulated injunction, reinstating the streamside no-spray buffer zones that were originally established in prior litigation; Washington Toxics Coalition (WTC) v. EPA.  The reinstated buffers are part of the final court order; however, they will not be included as labeling requirements under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

No Spray buffer zones will be imposed for the following pesticides in waters that support salmon:

  • carbaryl
  • chlorpyrifos
  • diazinon
  • malathion
  • methomyl

The no-spray buffer zones, 20-yards (60 feet) for ground pesticide applications and 100-yards (300 feet) for aerial pesticide applications, are effective from August 15, 2014.  The no-spray buffer zone restrictions will remain in place until EPA implements any necessary protections for Pacific salmon and steelhead based on reinstated consultations with the National Marine Fisheries Services.  

To view the no-spray buffer zones go to EPA’s Salmon MapperThe interactive map will be updated no later than September 30, 2014, to include the current list of chemicals subject to the restrictions, enhanced spatial resolution, and the most recent geospatial data depicting stream reaches where the buffer zones apply.

Under the settlement agreement, there are three use exemptions carried over from the WTC case:

Public health vector control administered by public entities,

National Marine Fisheries Services authorized programs

Use of carbaryl under a Washington state-issued 24(c) registration for oyster beds in the estuarine mudflats of Willipa Bay and Grays Harbor.

In addition to the five pesticides being addressed by the stipulated injunction, buffers remain in effect for seven active ingredients that were included in the original WTC case, pending final biological opinions from the National Marine Fisheries Services.  These active ingredients are:

  • 1, 3-D
  • Bromoxynil
  • Diflubenzuron
  • Fenbutatin-oxide
  • Prometryn
  • Propargite
  • Racemic metholachlor

For more information on specific buffer zones and background on the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides v. EPA visit

www.epa.gov/oppfead1/endanger/litstatus/ncap-v-epa.html

Complains, concerns or questions regarding the Court ordered buffers should be directed to espp@epa.gov​

July 16, 2014

EPA requested comments be submitted by July 7, 2014, on a proposed stipulated injunction. This would reinstitute sreamside no-spray buffer zones for five insecticides to protect endangered or threatened Pacific salmon and steelhead in California, Oregon, and Washington. The insecticides include the following: carbaryl, chlorprifos, diasinon, malathion, and methomyl. Buffers would remain in place until EPA implemented any necessary protections for Pacific salmon and steelhead based on reinitiated consultations with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).

The stipulated injunctions would settle litigation brought against EPA by the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP). Like the original buffer zones, the limitations in this proposed stipulated injunction would be part of a court order, but would not be enforceable as labeling requirements under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

The no-spray buffers extend 300 feet from salmon supporting waters for aerial applications of the five pesticides and 60 feet for ground applications. These same buffers are currently in place for the following pesticides:

  • 1,3-D (Telone)
  • Bromoxynil (Bronate)
  • Diflubenzuron (Dimilin)
  • Fenbutatin-oxide (Vendex/Promite)
  • Prometryn (Caparol/Vegetable Pro)
  • Propargite (Comite/Omite)
  • Racemic metholachlor ** (Me-Too-Lachlor, Parallel, Stalwart)

The buffers for the seven pesticides listed above will remain in place until the completion of EPA's current Endangered Species Act (ESA) consultations with NMFS.

History of buffer zones

January 30, 2001—WTC v. EPA

The Washington Toxics Coalition (WTC) and a number of other public interest groups filed suit against the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) alleging EPA had failed to assess the potential of certain pesticides to harm federally listed endangered and threatened species, and to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on whether those pesticides posed jeopardy to 26 federally listed endangered and threatened Pacific salmon and steelhead. 

Under the Endangered Species Act, EPA must ensure that its registration of pesticides is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of species listed as endangered and threatened, or to adversely modify habitat critical to those species' survival. In addition, the agency must consult, as appropriate, with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFW) or NMFS if a pesticide's use may affect listed species or designated critical habitat for a listed species. 

July 2, 2002—Court ordered review

The court ordered EPA to review pesticides containing any of 55 active ingredients for their potential effects on these listed species and to consult with NMFS as appropriate. 

January 22, 2004—Interim buffer zones

The court issued an order granting injunctive relief. The order established interim buffer zones adjacent to identified salmon supporting waters (not all water bodies). The buffers were 60 feet for ground applications and 300 feet for aerial applications. 

EPA was responsible for making effects determinations for each of the individual pesticides in each of the various geographical regions in relationship to specific fish species. An effects determination is EPA’s conclusion regarding the potential effects a pesticide may have to a listed species. An effects determination may conclude that the pesticide’s use

  • Will have "no effect" on a listed species
  • "May affect but is not likely to adversely affect" a listed species
  • Is "likely to adversely affect" a listed species

Buffers were to remain in effect for each of the individual pesticides until EPA (1) Made a "no effect determination", or (2) determined that the use "may affect but is not likely to adversely affect" a listed species, or is "likely to adversely affect" a listed species, and then completed the required consultation process with NMFS. The consultation process is considered complete, when NMFS issues a final biological opinion. 

Resources​​

Benton County Interim Buffer Map

Map of streams subject to buffer zone requirements Document

Clackamas County Interim Buffer Map

Map of streams subject to buffer zone requirements Document

Clatsop County Interim Buffer Map

Map of streams subject to buffer zone requirements Document

Columbia County Interim Buffer Map

Map of streams subject to buffer zone requirements Document

Coos County Interim Buffer Map

Map of streams subject to buffer zone requirements Document

Court Order - Washington Toxics Coalition, et al vs. EPA

Court order of case regarding pesticides and water quality regarding endangered species Document

Crook County Interim Buffer Map

Map of streams subject to buffer zone requirements Document

Curry County Interim Buffer Map

Map of streams subject to buffer zone requirements Document

Douglas County Interim Buffer Map

Map of streams subject to buffer zone requirements Document

Gilliam County Interim Buffer Map

Map of streams subject to buffer zone requirements Document

Grant County Interim Buffer Map

Map of streams subject to buffer zone requirements Document

Hood River County Interim Buffer Map

Map of streams subject to buffer zone requirements Document

Jackson County Interim Buffer Map

Map of streams subject to buffer zone requirements Document

Jefferson County Interim Buffer Map

Map of streams subject to buffer zone requirements Document

Josephine County Interim Buffer Map

Map of streams subject to buffer zone requirements Document

Lane County Interim Buffer Map

Map of streams subject to buffer zone requirements Document

Lincoln County Interim Buffer Map

Map of streams subject to buffer zone requirements Document

Linn County Interim Buffer Map

Map of streams subject to buffer zone requirements Document

Marion County Interim Buffer Map

Map of streams subject to buffer zone requirements Document

Morrow County Interim Buffer Map

Map of streams subject to buffer zone requirements Document

Multnomah County Interim Buffer Map

Map of streams subject to buffer zone requirements Document

Polk County Interim Buffer Map

Map of streams subject to buffer zone requirements Document

Sherman County Interim Buffer Map

Map of streams subject to buffer zone requirements Document

Tillamook County Interim Buffer Map

Map of streams subject to buffer zone requirements Document

Umatilla County Interim Buffer Map

Map of streams subject to buffer zone requirements Document

Union County Interim Buffer Map

Map of streams subject to buffer zone requirements Document

Wallowa County Interim Buffer Map

Map of streams subject to buffer zone requirements Document

Wasco County Interim Buffer Map

Map of streams subject to buffer zone requirements Document

Washington County Interim Buffer Map

Map of streams subject to buffer zone requirements Document

Wheeler County Interim Buffer Map

Map of streams subject to buffer zone requirements Document

WTC buffer order

Document

Yamhill County Interim Buffer Map

Map of streams subject to buffer zone requirements Document

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​​Contact

Rose Kachadoorian
Pesticide Registration & Certification Leader
Phone: 503-986-4651
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