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Grower petition open for comments

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Group says current ESA consultation process takes

too long


By MITCH LIES


Capital Press


The federal Environmental Protection Agency this week opened for public comment a grower petition asking for more transparency in endangered species consultation.


In the petition, Growers for ESA (Endangered Species Act) Transparency are asking for comment periods of not less than 90 days and a commitment from EPA to evaluate and summarize all comments as part of consultations with other federal agencies over Endangered Species Act actions.


The grower group also is requesting timely notification of draft biological opinions.


"The current ESA consultation process for EPA's registration of pesticides ... takes too long, is not based on the best scientific and commercial data available, excludes input from affected stakeholders and results in unwarranted restrictions on pesticide products," the group wrote in its petition.


GET filed its petition in September.


Comments must be received by EPA no later than Feb. 22.



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