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California Notice 2012-02: Evaluation for Impacts to California Surface Water
(February 2012)

The Department of Pesticide Regulation’s (DPR’s) Environmental Monitoring (EM) Branch is responsible for identifying the potential for pesticide products to have a negative impact on air, ground water, and surface waters in California. This notice explains the types of pesticide products that are evaluated for water impacts and how EM staff evaluations have changed.

DPR’s EM Branch is divided into three programs: Air Program, Ground Water Protection Program, and the Surface Water Protection Program (SWPP). When DPR’s Pesticide Registration Branch (PRB) receives a pesticide containing a new active ingredient it may send it to one or more of EM’s programs to be evaluated. PRB staff use the following criteria to determine when to send a new active ingredient product to EM’s SWPP to for evaluation:

All new active ingredient products labeled for use outdoors in agricultural or urban settings are sent to SWPP for evaluation except:
▲ Microbial and biochemical pesticides
▲ Pheromones
▲ Bactericides
▲ Antimicrobials
▲ Vertebrate pest control products (repellents, rodenticides, etc.)
▲ Plant growth regulators
▲ Products intended for use in bee hives
▲ Insect repellants or attractants
▲ Products intended for use on stored foods (fruit, grain, nuts, etc.)
▲ Products intended for use with a bait station or trap
▲ Products formulated as a bait or gel, unless label directions allow outside broadcast use


Additionally, PRB staff route new products containing active ingredients found in currently registered products to EM’s SWPP for evaluation if the products are intended for direct water application, intended for use on rice, or an antifouling paint or coating labeled for direct application to objects in water.

In an effort to streamline evaluations and improve consistency, DPR is changing how the EM Branch evaluates the potential for pesticide products to have a negative impact on surface waters in California. DPR will now use a two-part method consisting of Phase I: Initial Screening, and Phase II: Refined Modeling.

Initial screening is done only using chemical properties, such as water solubility and soil adsorption, and the results of aquatic toxicology data on the active ingredient in the product. From this information, the goal is to classify the pesticide as either: (1) unlikely to be a surface water quality problem, in which no further evaluation is needed, or (2) may potentially cause surface water problems and will need additional evaluation.

Pesticides that require additional evaluation will immediately be evaluated under Phase II. Phase II evaluation is based on risk characterization by accounting for the product-specific information. The objective of Phase II evaluations is to suggest one of three registration recommendations for the pesticide product: (1) support registration without conditions, (2) support conditional registration with a request for water/sediment analytical methods(s), or (3) deny registration.

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