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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Office of Pest Management Policy Home Page
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The USDA Office of Pest Management Policy (OPMP) was established in September 1997, with the mandate to: 

  • Integrate the Department's strategic planning and activities related to pest management
  • Coordinate the Department's role in the pesticide regulatory process and related interagency affairs, primarily with the Environmental Protection Agency
  • Strengthen the Department's support for agriculture by promoting the development of new pest management approaches that meet the needs of an evolving and sustainable U.S. agricultural system

Currently the OPMP is actively working with EPA on pesticide registration review issues resulting from implementation of the 1996 Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA); responding to national needs related to alien and invasive pest species; working with the EPA Office of Water on the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES); providing leadership in the adoption of the National Road Map for Integrated Pest Management (IPM); and representing USDA interests during meetings of the Montreal Protocol. Within these current activities, we will:

  • Communicate across agencies to promote the development of IPM strategies that reduce the economic, environmental, and public health risks from pests as well as the tactics used to control them in agricultural and natural resource environments 
    • Provide input on requests for applications (RFAs) for funding from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and other federal agencies providing grant support for IPM programs in research, education, and outreach 
    • Work actively with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) as they update and revise support programs related to IPM practices and guidelines 
    • Communicate regularly with federal and state research scientists regarding IPM needs and assist with technology transfer where feasible
  • Maintain active communication with food, feed, and fiber crop commodity associations, grower groups and other stakeholders in order to keep abreast of current and upcoming pest management issues of importance to those groups 
    • Maintain an up-to-date listing of stakeholder groups having pest management interests 
    • Communicate regularly with stakeholder groups regarding research, implementation, and regulatory issues affecting pest management in their area 
    • Stay abreast of stakeholder groups' pest management issues of interest and concern 
    • Provide support to organic growers and handlers in development and implementation of sustainable pest management strategies in organic production and handling systemsincluding guidance in seeking approval of pesticides that meet organic criteria and addressing emerging pest management issues 
    • Work with pest management professionals, food processors and handlers, the grain storage and handling industry as well as exporters and importers to support and facilitate the application of advanced integrated pest management techniques while maintaining registrations of pesticides for use in the food processing, storage, and distribution system
  • Coordinate with and provide liaison support to the four U.S. Regional IPM Centers and to the IPM Pest Information Platform for Extension and Education (ipmPIPE) 
    • Provide a member of OPMP to serve on advisory and steering committees of the Regional IPM Centers 
    • Assist with promotion and provide a member of OPMP to serve on the advisory board of the ipmPIPE
  • Lead the development of the National Plant Disease Recovery System (NPDRS) as dictated by Homeland Security Presidential Directive #9 (HSPD-9) 
    • Work cooperatively with the American Phytopathological Society (APS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in developing priority lists of emerging diseases
    • Develop a systematic approach to prepare for unexpected, high-consequence pests that may threaten U.S. Agriculture
    • Provide funding and advisory input to working groups involved in development of recovery plans
  • Provide the EPA and other regulatory agencies with the most accurate data available to help assure that pesticide regulatory decisions are based on modern, realistic agricultural practices 
    • Cooperate with and provide advice to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) in their efforts to collect pesticide use data and IPM practice adoption data 
    • Coordinate with the Regional IPM Centers in collection and interpretation of local level IPM practice information
  • Review and respond to proposed risk mitigation strategies developed by EPA as part of the pesticide registration review process 
    • Meet regularly with the Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division (PRD) and Registration Division (RD) of EPA to gain insight into issues of interest and concern to agriculture related to pesticide registration 
    • Provide input to EPA regarding pesticide use and usage information early in the registration review process
  • Review and respond to EPA regulations and Policy papers - i.e. Allocation rule, data compensation rule, container recycling rule etc 
    • Serve as the Departmental portal for responding to EPA regarding regulations and policy 
    • Communicate with stakeholder groups regarding changes to and new EPA regulations and policies
  • Promote communication and coordination among Federal Departments with IPM programs to help assure efficient interdepartmental activities and reduce duplicative programming efforts through the Federal IPM Coordinating Committee (FIPMCC) and Core Group (CG) 
    • Coordinate and provide leadership for the FIPMCC and CG 
    • Meet regularly with membership to insure communication lines are active across Departments and Agencies 
    • Utilize the FIPMCC and CG as a platform for discussion of emerging issue impacts such as climate change, biofuel production, endangered species, trade, and other pest management and pesticide issues
  • Provide input on a regular basis to the EPA Office of Water (OW) to represent pest management interests as the development of NPDES permitting plans take shape 
    • Meet with and provide input on agricultural interests to the EPA OW in the development process for NPDES permits 
    • Communicate with stakeholder groups and relay their concerns to EPA OW regarding NPDES permits
  • In related activities, OPMP also interacts with the Office of the Secretary and other decision makers in USDA, other Federal agencies, and Congress on the development, coordination, and implementation of biotechnology policy. This includes, among other things: 
    • Providing both technical and policy information on biotechnology to the Office of the Secretary 
    • Representing USDA at national and international scientific and policy fora and advances public understanding and support of Department policies and programs 
    • Representing USDA when requested in domestic and international negotiations involving biotechnology policy 
    • Working with representatives from other Government agencies on domestic and international biotechnology policy-related matters 
    • Chairing USDA's Biotechnology Coordinating Group for the Office of the Secretary

Last Modified: 3/7/2017
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