U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released results from its first round of toxicity testing for eight oil dispersants this week.
After BP’s report that it was unable to find a dispersant that is less toxic than Corexit 9500 – the dispersant that is being used in the Gulf of Mexico – the agency decided to conduct independent toxicity tests to investigate alternatives.
EPA tested Corexit 9500 A and JD-2000, Dispersit SPC 1000, Nokomis 3-F4, Nokomis 3-AA, ZI-400, SAF-RON GOLD, and Sea Brat #4.
The study examined the impact of the eight dispersants on aquatic species that are particularly sensitive to toxins. It found that, when the dispersant is unmixed with oil, none of the tested dispersants displayed biologically significant endocrine disrupting activity and that the dispersants generally have the same impact on the aquatic species.
Additional testing will study the impact of dispersants mixed with oil on aquatic life.
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In response to an April 9th, 2009 appeals court decision that found that pesticide discharges to U.S. waters are pollutants, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing a new permit requirement that would decrease the amount of pesticides discharged to U.S. federal waters.
The EPA released the proposed permit today for public comment. It was developed in collaboration with states. The permit would require all operators to prevent leaks and spills, calibrate equipment, monitor for and report adverse incidents, and reduce pesticide discharges by using the lowest effective amount of pesticide.
Additional controls, such as integrated pest management practices, are built into the permit for operators who exceed an annual treatment area threshold.
The agency’s draft permit does not cover terrestrial applications to control pests on agricultural crops or forest floors. It does cover mosquito and other flying insect pest control; aquatic weed and algae control; aquatic nuisance animal control; and forest canopy pest control.
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