Pesticide funding shortfall may lead to staffing cuts — EPA

By Marc Heller | 05/20/2024 01:13 PM EDT

The agency said it’s unlikely to further reduce pesticide-review backlogs and meet other program goals without more money from Congress.

EPA headquarters.

EPA headquarters. Francis Chung/POLITICO | Francis Chung/E&E News

EPA said a shortfall in annual appropriations means the Office of Pesticide Programs may have to trim 30 full-time equivalent positions or reduce outside contracting, while facing delays reviewing applications for pesticide registrations.

In an annual report to Congress on the agency’s user-fee system, EPA said the $132 million appropriated for pesticide programs is about $34 million short of an annual target set out in the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, and $6 million less than lawmakers appropriated in fiscal 2023.

Annual appropriations from Congress cover about two-thirds of pesticide program costs, with the rest coming from fees charged to pesticide registrants.


“With lower than anticipated resources in FY 2023 and FY 2024, EPA is unlikely to improve its ability to routinely meet the review timeframes envisioned by pesticide stakeholders and Congress with the passage of PRIA 5, since those timeframes were predicated on much higher resource levels,” the agency said in a news release, referring to the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act, which sets out registration fees paid by pesticide companies.