Attorney General Becerra Rebukes EPA for Inadequate Risk Assessment of Dangerous Herbicide

Friday, July 12, 2019
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2,4-DP-p, a harmful herbicide, pollutes California’s water systems

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, with the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, today filed a comment letter criticizing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its failure to properly evaluate the risk of 2,4-DP-p. This herbicide and its commonly used relatives permeate California’s water systems and present risks to humans as well as bees, birds, mammals, and plants. Despite these risks, the EPA is attempting to finalize a risk assessment suggesting the agency will not place any new restrictions on 2,4-DP-p. Attorney General Becerra calls on the EPA to reassess this harmful herbicide and account for its full environmental and health impacts.

“Dangerous pesticides are polluting the water California families drink and use in their daily lives,” said Attorney General Becerra. “We call on the EPA to do its job and adequately regulate harmful poisons contaminating our water. The EPA is putting on its blinders and ignoring the science when it comes to ensuring our safety – our families and environment will suffer the consequences.”

2,4-DP-p is a herbicide used for controlling certain types of weeds in residential and commercial grass, on golf courses, and uncultivated public spaces such as roadsides, sidewalks, and rights-of-way. The pesticide is often applied via spraying, which can harm plants as far as 840 feet from the application site.

In the comment letter, Attorney General Becerra and the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board assert that the EPA does not address the cumulative risk of exposure to 2,4-DP-p and other pesticides that share the same risks. The comment letter stresses the EPA’s unwillingness to measure 2,4-DP-p’s concentration levels in water resulting from urban runoff, a major cause of contaminated water systems. The letter also describes how the EPA deemed 2,4-DP-p safe despite the pesticide registrant’s failure to submit many of the toxicity studies the EPA required.

A copy of the letter can be found here.

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