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EPA Approves Hemp Pesticide Applications In Advance of 2020 Growing Season

On December 19, 2019, EPA announced that it has approved ten applications seeking to add new hemp uses to pesticide products registered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) in time for the 2020 growing season. Nine of these products are biopesticides and one is a conventional pesticide. EPA’s action represents the first registered hemp uses for pesticide products since last year’s passage of the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (commonly known as the Farm Bill), which removed industrial hemp from its earlier classification as a controlled substance under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

The active ingredients contained in the registered products include:

  • Azadirachtin

  • Neem oil

  • Extract of Reynoutria sachalinensis

  • Bacillus amyloliquifaciensstrains

  • Soybean oil

  • Garlic oil

  • Capsicum oleoresin extract

  • Potassium salts of fatty acids

In August, EPA announced receipt of the ten applications and opened a thirty-day public comment period due to “potential significant interest from the public” on the applications. EPA emphasized in that announcement that it did not view itself as statutorily required to provide a comment opportunity because hemp falls under existing terrestrial outdoor and residential outdoor use patterns previously assessed and approved by EPA for the subject products, and therefore the FIFRA section 3(c)(4) requirement to publish notice of any application that entails a “changed use pattern” was not triggered. EPA indicated that it did not anticipate notifying the public of receipt of similar applications in the future, and we expect that EPA will not subsequently publish notice of similar applications. However, EPA has published on its website a list of the ten pesticide products newly approved for use on hemp and committed to updating that list as new applications are approved on an ongoing basis.

In approving the applications, EPA emphasized that the products will now be available for use on hemp in the 2020 growing season and noted that EPA is “committed to providing much-needed certainty to farmers and ranchers across the country who rely on crop protection tools to ensure a global supply of products while driving economic growth in agricultural communities across America.”

© 2020 Beveridge & Diamond PC National Law Review, Volume IX, Number 357


About this Author

Alan J. Sachs Regulatory Attorney Beveridge & Diamond Washington, DC

Alan’s practice focuses on the wide range of regulatory issues faced by the global agriculture, food, biotechnology, and bioenergy industries.

Practicing environmental law provides him with daily opportunities to use his legal skills and training to help clients overcome often extremely technical business and regulatory challenges in order to ensure compliance with applicable environmental requirements.

He advises numerous Forbes Global 2000 companies on the legal and regulatory requirements associated with both domestic and foreign production, and the import, export, and...

Mackenzie S. Schoonmaker Environmental Litigation Attorney Beveridge & Diamond New York, NY

Mackenzie’s practice includes both litigation and regulatory matters arising under FIFRA, the Clean Water Act, and related environmental laws.

She is passionate about conserving air, water, wildlife, and land for future generations, and enjoys helping clients navigate and enforce the detailed framework of environmental law because she believes compliance is key to preventing adverse impacts to the environment.

Mackenzie is a co-chair of Beveridge & Diamond’s Industrial Hemp & Cannabis industry team. She advises clients, and regularly writes and presents, on federal and state environmental regulations impacting this thriving industry. 

Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), Mackenzie represents pesticide companies in data compensation arbitrations, focusing on defending the rights of data owners against follow-on registrants of pesticides. She has also worked extensively with task forces comprised of national and multinational companies of all sizes that operate as joint ventures or limited liability companies to generate data and other information to meet government requirements under FIFRA.

Among the wide range of issues under the Clean Water Act that Mackenzie has handled are assisting companies with responses to Clean Water Act Section 308 information requests and Clean Water Act Section 404 compensatory mitigation requirements.

Mackenzie also defends public utilities against toxic tort claims. She was part of the team that obtained a defense judgment after a three-week trial regarding claims alleging that the client supplied corrosive water to apartment buildings. The case, Cormier v. D.C. WASA, 2011 D.C. Super. Lexis 7, 84 A.3d 492 (2013), was successfully upheld on appeal.

Kathryn E. Szmuszkovicz Litigation Attorney Beveridge & Diamond Washington, DC
Managing Principal

Kathryn E. Szmuszkovicz litigates and provides strategic regulatory counsel.

Kathy litigates on behalf of individual companies, groups of companies and trade associations in federal and state courts across the country. She also provides alternative dispute resolution (ADR), compliance, strategic planning, and commercial services focused on the regulatory aspects of her clients’ businesses. Kathy’s practice focuses on clients who manufacture, sell, and use products regulated by EPA, USDA, FDA, DOI, DOC, and analogous state agencies under the environmental, health, and safety laws...