Atrazine has been used for the last 50 years and is the most studied herbicide in history. It is among the most reliable herbicides available and plays a critical role in combating herbicide resistant weeds. Used in more than 60 countries, atrazine has been the subject of almost 7,000 research studies.
Banning atrazine will affect farmers, consumers, and individuals concerned with sustainable agricultural practices. Banning the herbicide could cost farmers $30-60 per acre.
The herbicide is responsible for reducing up to 85 million tons of soil erosion each year. This is through enabling conservation tillage and no-till farming. These practices that lower soil runoff and the carbon footprint depend on weed control. Restricting atrazine would discourage sustainable tilling methods.
The EPA has chosen to base ecological risk assessment on studies its own Scientific Advisory Panel deemed “flawed” in 2012. The EPA’s current LOC (level of concern) for atrazine is 10 parts per billion (ppb). However, scientific studies have shown atrazine to be safe for aquatic life at 25 ppb or greater. Now, the EPA is recommending aquatic life LOC be set at 3.4 ppb on a 60-day average. This assessment is unreasonable and not based on reliable science.
The draft report has been posted, and the public comment period has now closed. Farmers and consumers from across the country submitted comments to the EPA. Now, the industry will wait to find out what is determined once the agency has considered the comments.