The FIFRA Endangered Species Task Force (FESTF), a limited liability company, was originally formed in 1994 by a number of agrochemical companies to address initial endangered species location data requirements imposed upon the companies by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in connection with the registration of a wide range of pesticide products under the U.S. Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The Task Force is now comprised of 17 members representing all segments of the pesticide industry. Since the time of FESTF’s formation, EPA’s endangered species requirements for pesticide registration and review have grown both more complex and more commonplace, and today FESTF’s aggregated data represent an essential resource for industry compliance with these requirements. EPA has approved of the Task Force’s plans to meet the Agency’s data requirements in Pesticide Registration (PR) Notice 2000-2 and in many interactions with FESTF and its members in the years since.
FESTF data are used by EPA and other federal agencies to identify endangered species that may be affected by outdoor uses of a wide range of pesticide products. EPA reviews all pesticides to ensure that these products will meet FIFRA’s data requirements and meet EPA’s obligations under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) to protect endangered species and critical habitat. Whenever a product’s properties or proposed outdoor uses may have potential impacts on endangered species or habitat, EPA requires detailed endangered species proximity data as part of its wider evaluation of the pesticide’s effects on the environment. These data requirements are frequently applied directly by EPA through its Registration Review process, or whenever a new product registration or amendment action triggers endangered species concerns. In any case, EPA must determine that every pesticide registration decision avoids adverse effects on the environment, including endangered species and habitat.