Letter to the Hon. Gina McCarthy, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency - Demanding EPA Use Sound Science


By: Susan Brooks, Bob Goodlatte, Stephen Fincher, Lamar Smith, Jeff Fortenberry, Todd Rokita, Steve Stivers, Bill Flores, Dave Brat, Warren Davidson, Vicky Hartzler, David Rouzer, Paul Gosar, Brian Babin, Bob Gibbs, Blake Farenthold, Henry Cuellar, Ann Wagner, Jackie Walorski, Mike Bost, Mario Diaz-Balart, Todd Young, French Hill, Steve King, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Jim Renacci, Ryan Zinke, Raúl Labrador, John Moolenaar, Adrian Smith, Bruce Westerman, Michael Coffman, Jim Sensenbrenner, Jr., Steve Pearce, Brad Ashford, Marlin Stutzman, Darin LaHood, Randy Weber, Sr., John Shimkus, Luke Messer, Ander Crenshaw, Pat Tiberi, Tim Walberg, Scott Tipton, David Schweikert, Tim Huelskamp, Mark Meadows, Trent Franks, Jeff Duncan, Kevin Yoder, Steve Chabot, Robert Aderholt, Sean Duffy, Kevin Cramer, Mac Thornberry, John Carter, Tom Graves, Jr., Richard Hudson, Jr., Sam Graves, Walter Jones, Jr., Bennie Thompson, Rodney Davis, Tom Emmer, Louie Gohmert, Adam Kinzinger, Ken Buck, Bill Johnson, Steve Scalise, Bob Latta, Gary Palmer, Glenn Grothman, Steven Palazzo, Mike Turner, Dan Benishek, Randy Neugebauer, Thomas Massie, Randy Hultgren, Gregg Harper, Mike Pompeo, Chris Collins, Kristi Noem, Pete Sessions, Larry Bucshon, Scott DesJarlais, Morgan Griffith, Lynn Jenkins, Tom Rooney, Dan Newhouse, Daniel Webster, Ted Yoho, Mike Kelly, Jr., John Ratcliffe, Brad Wenstrup, Doug Lamborn, Bradley Byrne, Martha McSally, Ted Poe, Fred Upton, Mark Walker, Rod Blum, Ralph Abraham, Filemon Vela, Jr., Frank Lucas, Billy Long, Rick Crawford, Charles Boustany, Jr.
Date: Nov. 2, 2016
Location: Lafayette, LA

Dear Madam Administrator:

The undersigned Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are writing to express our concern with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) draft ecological risk assessment on atrazine. In its present form, it would have a significant negative impact on farmers and rural communities nationwide.

Atrazine has been used for decades as an effective herbicide for tens of thousands of growers, and it is particularly important for corn, sugar cane and sorghum producers. Moreover, it is one of the most thoroughly studied herbicides used today, accounting for nearly 7,000 scientific studies. Unfortunately, EPA's draft ecological risk assessment throws its future use into doubt, an outcome that, according to many, may not be scientifically justified. This criticism appears to be borne out by the agency's approach, where it is setting standards on studies that the EPA's own Science Advisory Panel considered "flawed" in 2012.

When used properly and in accordance with label instructions, atrazine is one of the most vital herbicides available to farmers. It has been used safely for more than fifty years and is a critical tool in assuring the sustainability of many farms nationwide. Farmers are great stewards of their land, and they understand the importance of using safe products on their crops. Limiting atrazine would create a reliance on more expensive and environmentally harmful pesticides, and make conservation efforts more difficult by impeding farming methods such as no-till or strip-till.

It would be irresponsible to greatly restrict one of the safest and most trusted herbicides on the market. Various economic analysis studies show farming without atrazine could cost growers up to $59 per acre. This is especially detrimental to the small family farms that would be hurt by an unsubstantiated government decision.

With this information in mind we ask that you take into account the needs of farmers and use sound science when finalizing the ecological risk assessment for atrazine. It is imperative that EPA take the science and public comments seriously and revise the preliminary ecological risk assessment using the best available data. We look forward to your response.