Letter to the Hon. Gina McCarthy, EPA Administrator - Ecological Risk Assessment for Atrazine


By: Tim Huelskamp, Ander Crenshaw, Marlin Stutzman, Stephen Fincher, Randy Neugebauer, Brad Ashford, Charles Boustany, Jr., Ryan Zinke, Mike Pompeo, Dan Benishek, Todd Young, Sean Duffy, Jim Sensenbrenner, Jr., Dan Newhouse, Morgan Griffith, Dave Brat, Bob Goodlatte, Brian Babin, Filemon Vela, Jr., Pete Sessions, John Carter, Henry Cuellar, Blake Farenthold, Lamar Smith, Bill Flores, John Ratcliffe, Ted Poe, Kristi Noem, Jeff Duncan, Frank Lucas, Jim Renacci, Steve Stivers, Pat Tiberi, Mike Turner, Warren Davidson, Bob Gibbs, Bill Johnson, Bob Latta, Brad Wenstrup, Steve Chabot, Chris Collins, Jeff Fortenberry, David Rouzer, Mark Walker, Steven Palazzo, Trent Kelly, Billy Long, Sam Graves, Vicky Hartzler, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Ann Wagner, Tim Walberg, Fred Upton, John Moolenaar, Garret Graves, Ralph Abraham, Steve Scalise, Thomas Massie, Larry Bucshon, Luke Messer, Susan Brooks, Todd Rokita, Jackie Walorski, Darin LaHood, Adam Kinzinger, John Shimkus, Randy Hultgren, Rodney Davis, Raúl Labrador, Steve King, Mario Diaz-Balart, Tom Rooney, Daniel Webster, Ted Yoho, Michael Coffman, Doug Lamborn, David Schweikert, Martha McSally, Bruce Westerman, French Hill, Gary Palmer, Robert Aderholt, Glenn Grothman, Randy Weber, Sr., Mac Thornberry, Louie Gohmert, Scott DesJarlais, Steve Pearce, Adrian Smith, Kevin Cramer, Mark Meadows, Richard Hudson, Jr., Walter Jones, Jr., Gregg Harper, Bennie Thompson, Tom Emmer, Kevin Yoder, Lynn Jenkins, Mike Bost, Rod Blum, Scott Tipton, Trent Franks, Paul Gosar, Rick Crawford, Bradley Byrne, Ken Buck
Date: Nov. 1, 2016
Location: Washington, DC

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.