Buffers


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Are Listed Salmonids Near You?

This section is intended to provide information from U.S. EPA regarding the reinstated streamside no-spray buffer zones.

Some pesticide labels contain Sensitive Area considerations related to Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed species, suchas salmonids. For those labels, applicators may use the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife's SalmonScape tool to determine if any listed salmonid species inhabit or otherwise rely upon the waterbody near a proposed application site.

Pesticide No-Spray Buffers Imposed by U.S. District Court Order

As directed by a stipulated settlement agreement following litigation brought against EPA by the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides and others, the U.S. EPA has requested that state lead agencies notify pesticide applicators about the existence of streamside no-spray buffer zones to protect threatened and endangered Pacific salmon and steelhead in California, Oregon and Washington State. EPA was not required to add additional label statements regarding these buffers to pesticide product labels as part of the stipulated injunction. Streamside no-spray buffers zones were originally established in prior litigation, Washington Toxics Coalition (WTC) v. EPA and have been reinstated by the final court order, dated August 15, 2014. The stipulated injunction settles litigation brought against EPA by the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides and others in U.S. District Court in Washington State.

Buffer zones currently apply to pesticides containing the following nine active ingredients:

  1. carbaryl
  2. chlorpyrifos
  3. diazinon
  4. malathion
  5. methomyl
  6. 1,3-dichloropropene
  7. racemic metolachlor
  8. bromoxynil
  9. prometryn

No-spray buffer zones are 20-yards (60 feet) for ground pesticide applications and 100-yards (300 feet) for aerial pesticide application. EPA's Salmon Mapper webpage, provides an interactive map with the current list of chemicals subject to the restrictions and geospatial data depicting stream reaches where the no-spray buffer zones apply.

Streamside no-spray buffer zones will remain in-effect by court order until ESA consultations are completed and chemical specific mitigations are agreed upon by EPA and the federal services. Once chemical specific mitigations are agreed upon by EPA and the federal services, new pesticide label language will be posted, and applicators of those products will be instructed to go to EPA's Bulletins Live! Two webpage for additional location specific requirements that will be enforceable under FIFRA. There are currently no endangered species bulletins issued for pesticide products in Washington.

Complaints or questions regarding the NCAP buffers should be sent to espp@epa.gov. Feedback regarding information on this webpage can be sent to Gtuttle@agr.wa.gov.