Now that EPA is again operating, some signals are coming from the Agency as to how the pesticide work backlog will be addressed. Points of interest are:
>As to actions subject to the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (“PRIA”) for which the decisions deadline fell during the shutdown, EPA intends to renegotiate the deadline with the applicant;
>the budget extender that runs through February 15 was retroactive to December 21 so actions submitted during the shutdown that fall within PRIA are subject to the full PRIA fee and the PRIA timeframes.
>Since reopening EPA has experienced a significantly increased volume of pesticide submissions and expects high submission volumes over the next two weeks because of the uncertainty around another shutdown.
Given the strained circumstances within pesticide program, one certainty is that acknowledgements of pesticide notifications are likely to be very long in coming. Given that certain states require require EPA confirmation of notifications, this logjam is likely to cause certain product changes to take months to implement.