Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, sought information from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy about the EPA’s recent draft risk assessment that recommended increasing restrictions on the commonly used herbicide atrazine.
“In its most risk recent assessment, the EPA reportedly recommended significantly reducing atrazine levels compared to what is currently deemed as acceptable,” Johnson wrote in the letter. “The EPA must conduct transparent and objective scientific studies when reviewing herbicides and pesticides. Farmers in Wisconsin and across the country deserve to know what factors the EPA considers when deciding whether to restrict farmers’ access to vital agricultural tools.
“In addition, Wisconsin agriculture groups have expressed concerns about the costs associated with the EPA’s recommendations on atrazine. According to [one stakeholder], ‘[s]tudies suggest farming without atrazine could cost corn farmers up to $30-59 per acre in yield loss and added tillage, while negatively impacting water and nutrient management, which are key concerns of our state’s pork producers.’”