SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) — The Oregon Department of Agriculture filed administrative rules with the secretary of state this week that significantly limits insecticide chlorpyrifos’ uses immediately and phases out nearly all use by Dec. 31, 2023.

The nearly 3-year phase-out provides research time into alternative products and evaluates newly Environmental Protection Agency-approved insecticides. Use of chlorpyrifos has been linked to harmful effects on the human body.

ODA funded two projects this year through the Specialty Crop Block Grant program to develop safe and more sustainable alternatives to chlorpyrifos and would consider additional future projects in the next granting cycle that is open through Jan. 29, 2021.

ODA wrote the rules with the help of a diverse workgroup that included leaders and experts from a broad cross-section of interests, including agriculture, environmental justice groups, toxicologists, and farmworker health-and-safety organizations.

ODA extended the public comment period two times to accommodate those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and Oregon’s wildfires in September 2020.

ODA’s goals in adopting these rules are limiting risk by reducing exposure for workers and bystanders and retaining lower-risk critical uses crucial to protecting Oregon crops when using chlorpyrifos.

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