EPA accepts ND plan for endangered species protection

BISMARCK – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has accepted North Dakota's plan for protecting endangered species from harmful exposure to pesticides.

“We set out to develop a plan that protects North Dakota listed species and is reasonable for pesticide users,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “EPA's acceptance of the North Dakota Endangered Species Protection Plan for Pesticides provides a platform for exchanging information between the North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) and EPA and provides that EPA decisions on pesticide use will be based on the latest and best-documented data.”

Goehring said he was informed of the decision in a letter from EPA's environmental fate and effects division.

“The plan has three main goals,” Goehring said. “It calls for NDDA to supply EPA with state specific information to use in risk assessments; it enables stakeholders to offer input and recommendations, and it enables NDDA to help plan and implement mitigation and management plans.”

North Dakota is home to eight endangered species, including the whooping crane, Eskimo curlew, black-footed ferret, piping plover, pallid sturgeon, least tern, gray wolf and western prairie fringed orchid.