On Dec. 29, 2016, EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) announced the availability of new final test guidelines in Series 850 Group A, pertaining to measuring the Ecological Effects of chemicals on Aquatic and Sediment-dwelling Fauna and Aquatic Microcosms. The new test guidelines include revised standards as well as several name changes to the Group A sub-categories. OCSPP’s changes to the guidelines will affect the registration of pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the setting of tolerances/tolerance exemptions for pesticide residues under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), and EPA’s decision-making process in determining potential regulation of industrial chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

OCSPP’s test guidelines serve as a compendium of accepted scientific methodologies and protocols for providing data to inform regulatory decisions regarding pesticides and chemical substances under FIFRA, FFDCA, and TSCA. The test guidelines are used by EPA, the public and companies that submit data to EPA. As guidance documents, the guidelines are not binding on EPA or any other outside parties, and EPA is allowed to depart from the test guidelines where circumstances warrant and without prior notice. Nonetheless, the procedures contained in the test guidelines are still recommended by EPA for generating the data that are the subject of the test guidelines (although EPA recognizes that departures may be appropriate in specific situations). Alternatives to the test guidelines may also be proposed by members of the regulated community, and EPA will assess them for appropriateness on a case-by-case basis.

Regulated companies, and in particular, pesticide manufacturers, should take note of EPA’s new guidelines when performing testing of chemicals under FIFRA, FFDCA, and TSCA.

You can access the Federal Register Notice here.