Environmental Review Completed for Pesticide Imidacloprid

The Washington Department of Ecology has completed the final environmental assessment of a proposal to use the pesticide imidacloprid to control burrowing shrimp.

Shellfish growers from Willapa Grays Harbor Oyster Growers Association (WGHOGA) have requested a permit to use the pesticide imidacloprid to control burrowing shrimp on commercial shellfish beds in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor. Ecology’s findings have been adopted in a formal report, called a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. No preferred alternative was identified.

After considering public input and conducting a thorough environmental assessment, the Washington Department of Ecology has completed the final environmental review on a proposal to use the pesticide imidacloprid to control burrowing shrimp.

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Supplemental environmental review findings:

  • Significant impacts to sediment quality and benthic invertebrates.
  • Adverse impacts to juvenile worms and crustaceans in the areas treated with imidacloprid and the nearby areas covered by incoming tides.
  • Concern about non-lethal impacts to invertebrates in the water column and sediment.
  • New information shows a risk of impacts from imidacloprid even at low concentrations.
  • Likely indirect impacts to fish and birds if food sources are disrupted.
  • Little known direct risk to fish, birds, marine mammals, and human health.
  • Increased uncertainty about long-term, non-lethal, and cumulative impacts.
  • Continued knowledge gaps about imidacloprid.

 

Ecology will use these findings to inform the agency’s decision on the pending permit application. The agency anticipates announcing a decision in about a month.

 

The report compiles what Ecology learned by reviewing the best available science on this proposal and the public input received during a 45-day public comment period. Ecology received 8,287 comments on the draft of this report.

 

See the final report and learn more on their website at www.ecology.wa.gov/burrowingshrimp

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