By Julian Hattem - 11/04/13 04:58 PM EST
Redundant elements in endangered species regulations could cost the government as much as $474 million over the next decade, according to a new report commissioned by a major pesticide trade group.
Having three agencies each conduct its own analysis of how some pesticides affect protected plants and animals is a waste of taxpayer money, the CropLife America report said.
Jay Vroom, president and chief executive of the organization, said in a statement that current law “creates a broken regulatory system for crop protection products, providing no additional benefits to wildlife, farmers or taxpayers.”
At present, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required to review all registered pesticides and make sure that they meet federal standards.
If any of those chemicals might have an effect on endangered species, the EPA needs to consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), which protect endangered plants, fish and animals.
The current system is designed to protect designated species from potentially harmful chemicals.
But to do the studies on time, both wildlife agencies would likely need a substantial boost of resources, the CropLife report found.
As of fiscal 2012, there are 744 pesticide reviews scheduled to be finalized by October 2022.
Completing the reviews on time, the report concluded, would require the National Marine Fisheries Service to increase its budget by 13 times. The Fish and Wildlife Service would need to grow its budget by 17 times.
“It is unrealistic to expect that our government will spend hundreds of millions of dollars more to expand regulatory capacity at FWS and NMFS, only to affect regulatory redundancy,” Vroom said.