EPA is establishing a new transparent process that will allow the public to review and comment on risk assessments and proposed registration decisions for pesticides. This expanded process will apply to all new pesticide active ingredients and first food uses, first outdoor uses, and first residential uses.

“This new process will give the public greater opportunity to participate and understand decisions about new pesticides,” said Steve Owens, EPA assistant administrator for the office of prevention, pesticides and toxic substances. “The Obama Administration’s emphasis on providing unparalleled transparency at EPA will increase credibility and strengthen the reputation of our pesticide registration program while improving the public dialogue surrounding controversial pesticide registration decisions.”

Starting October 1, 2009, for certain registration actions, EPA’s risk assessment and proposed decision will be added to the public docket and made available for a 30-day public comment period. Following the comment period, EPA will publish its decision and a response-to-comment document. By focusing public access on new pesticide ingredients and first food, outdoor, and residential uses, the public will have the opportunity to comment on all major new exposure patterns for pesticide registration

Stakeholders now will get information sooner on reduced-risk pesticides being registered that can replace some of the older and often more toxic pesticides. The user community and the public will benefit from a broader understanding of the risk assessment and risk management processes associated with pesticide registration.