Title: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE'S PROGRAMS ON BIOREMEDIATION OF PESTICIDES
Submitted to: Bioremediation of Pesticides Workshop Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: December 19, 1993
Publication Date: N/A
Research is conducted by two agencies: the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), and the Cooperative State Research Service (CSRS). ARS, the in- house research arm of USDA, conducts research on broad agricultural problems of national scope, and on problems that address needs of federal regulatory agencies. CSRS allocates federal funds to land grant institutions and administers grant programs. Research on bioremediation is not a specific program category in USDA, but research in this area would fall in the high priority environmental issues category, which includes off-site control of chemicals in water. The President's Initiative on Water Quality is a special grant program in CSRS that has sponsored research related to bioremediation. About 20 percent of the studies funded during the past two years were related to microbial and chemical fate of pesticides in soil and other media, and development of waste disposal technology. The research has typically emphasized pollution prevention rather than remediation, but the principles developed may have application to bioremediation. Topics of these studies have included pesticide degradation in sub-soil and ground water, rhizosphere-microflora interactions, on-farm rinsate disposal, remediation of chloroaromatic compounds, remediation of pesticide containers and rinsates, and composting of pesticide contaminated soil. ARS research has included genetic engineering of pesticide-degrading microorganisms, and development of a binary system for degrading atrazine with ozone followed by microbial degradation. Research related to bioremediation is expected to continue to receive a high priority.