Text: S.1624 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (07/25/2017)

[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[S. 1624 Introduced in Senate (IS)]


  1st Session
                                S. 1624

  To prohibit the use of chlorpyrifos on food, and for other purposes.



                             July 25, 2017

 Mr. Udall (for himself, Mr. Blumenthal, Mr. Booker, Mr. Durbin, Mrs. 
   Gillibrand, Mr. Markey, Ms. Harris, Mr. Cardin, and Mr. Merkley) 
introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the 
           Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry


                                 A BILL

  To prohibit the use of chlorpyrifos on food, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Protect Children, Farmers, and 
Farmworkers from Nerve Agent Pesticides Act of 2017''.


    Congress finds as follows:
            (1) In 1996, Congress unanimously passed the Food Quality 
        Protection Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-170; 110 Stat. 1489) 
        (referred to in this section as ``FQPA''), a comprehensive 
        overhaul of Federal pesticide and food safety policy. That Act 
        amended the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act 
        (7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.) (referred to in this section as 
        ``FIFRA'') and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 
        U.S.C. 301 et seq.), the laws that govern how the Environmental 
        Protection Agency (referred to in this section as the ``EPA'') 
        registers pesticides and pesticide labels for use in the United 
        States and establishes tolerances or acceptable levels for 
        pesticide residues on food.
            (2) The FQPA directs the EPA to ensure with ``reasonable 
        certainty'' that ``no harm'' will result from food, drinking 
        water, and other exposures to a pesticide. If EPA cannot make 
        this safety finding, it must prohibit residues and use of the 
        pesticide on food. The FQPA mandates that EPA must consider 
        children's special sensitivity and exposure to pesticide 
        chemicals and must make an explicit determination that the 
        pesticide can be used with a ``reasonable certainty of no 
        harm'' to children. In determining acceptable levels of 
        pesticide residue, EPA must account for the potential health 
        harm from pre-and postnatal exposures. The economic benefits of 
        pesticides cannot be used to override this health-based 
        standard for children from food and other exposures.
            (3) Chlorpyrifos is a widely used pesticide first 
        registered by EPA in 1965. Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate 
        pesticide, a class of pesticides developed as nerve agents in 
        World War II and adapted for use as insecticides after the war. 
        Chlorpyrifos and other organophosphate pesticides affect the 
        nervous system through inhibition of cholinesterase, an enzyme 
        required for proper nerve functioning. Acute poisonings occur 
        when nerve impulses pulsate through the body, causing symptoms 
        like nausea, vomiting, convulsions, respiratory paralysis, and, 
        in extreme cases, death. Based on dozens of peer-reviewed 
        scientific articles, EPA determined that exposure during 
        pregnancy to even low levels of chlorpyrifos that caused only 
        minimal cholinesterase inhibition (10 percent or less) in the 
        mothers could lead to measurable long-lasting and possibly 
        permanent neurobehavioral and functional deficits in prenatally 
        exposed children.
            (4) People, including pregnant women, are exposed to 
        chlorpyrifos through residues on food, contaminated drinking 
        water, and toxic spray drift from nearby pesticide 
        applications. Chlorpyrifos is used on an extensive variety of 
        crops, including fruit and nut trees, vegetables, wheat, 
        alfalfa, and corn. Between 2006 and 2012, chlorpyrifos was 
        applied to more than 50 percent of the Nation's apple and 
        broccoli crops, 45 percent of onion crops, 46 percent of walnut 
        crops, and 41 percent of cauliflower crops.
            (5) Chlorpyrifos is acutely toxic and associated with 
        neurodevelopmental harms in children. Prenatal exposure to 
        chlorpyrifos is associated with elevated risks of reduced IQ, 
        loss of working memory, delays in motor development, attention-
        deficit disorders, and structural changes in the brain.
            (6) There is no nationwide chlorpyrifos use reporting. The 
        United States Geological Survey estimates annual pesticide use 
        on agricultural land in the United States, and estimates that 
        chlorpyrifos use on crops in 2014 ranged from 5,000,000 to 
        7,000,000 pounds of chlorpyrifos.
            (7) In its 2016 report, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, 
        and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel recognized ``the 
        growing body of literature with laboratory animals (rats and 
        mice) indicating that gestational and/or early postnatal 
        exposure to chlorpyrifos may cause persistent effects into 
        adulthood along with epidemiology studies which have evaluated 
        prenatal chlorpyrifos exposure in mother-infant pairs and 
        reported associations with neurodevelopment outcomes in infants 
        and children.''.
            (8) Chlorpyrifos has long been of concern to EPA. 
        Residential uses of chlorpyrifos ended in 2000 after EPA found 
        unsafe exposures to children. EPA also discontinued use of 
        chlorpyrifos on tomatoes and restricted its use on apples and 
        grapes in 2000, and obtained no-spray buffers around schools, 
        homes, playfields, day cares, hospitals, and other public 
        places, ranging from 10 to 100 feet. In 2015, EPA proposed to 
        ban all chlorpyrifos food tolerances, based on unsafe drinking 
        water contamination, which would end use of chlorpyrifos on 
        food in the United States. After updating the risk assessment 
        for chlorpyrifos in November 2016 to protect against prenatal 
        exposures associated with brain impacts, EPA found that 
        expected residues from use on food crops exceeded the safety 
        standard, and additionally the majority of estimated drinking 
        water exposures from currently allowed uses of chlorpyrifos 
        also exceeded acceptable levels, reinforcing the need to revoke 
        all food tolerances for the pesticide.
            (9) Chlorpyrifos threatens the healthy development of 
        children. Children experience greater exposure to chlorpyrifos 
        and other pesticides because, relative to adults, they eat and 
        drink more proportional to their body weight. A growing body of 
        evidence shows that prenatal exposure to very low levels of 
        chlorpyrifos can lead to lasting and possibly permanent 
        neurological impairments. In November 2016, EPA released a 
        revised human health risk assessment for chlorpyrifos that 
        confirmed that there are no acceptable uses for the pesticide, 
        all food uses exceed acceptable levels, with children ages 1 to 
        2 exposed to levels of chlorpyrifos that are 140 times what the 
        EPA considers acceptable.
            (10) Chlorpyrifos threatens agricultural workers. Farm 
        workers are exposed to chlorpyrifos from mixing, handling, and 
        applying the pesticide, as well as from entering fields where 
        chlorpyrifos was recently sprayed. Chlorpyrifos is one of the 
        pesticides most often linked to acute pesticide poisonings, and 
        in many States, it is regularly identified among the 5 
        pesticides linked to the highest number of pesticide poisoning 
        incidents. This is significant given widespread under-reporting 
        of pesticide poisonings due to such factors as inadequate 
        reporting systems, fear of retaliation from employers, and 
        reluctance to seek medical treatment. According to the EPA, all 
        workers who mix and apply chlorpyrifos are exposed to unsafe 
        levels of the pesticide even with maximum personal protective 
        equipment and engineering controls. Field workers are currently 
        allowed to re-enter fields within 1 to 5 days after 
        chlorpyrifos is sprayed based on current restricted entry 
        intervals on the registered chlorpyrifos labels but unsafe 
        exposures continue on average 18 days after applications.
            (11) Chlorpyrifos threatens families in agricultural 
        communities. Rural families are exposed to unsafe levels of 
        chlorpyrifos on their food and in their drinking water. They 
        are also exposed to toxic levels of chlorpyrifos when it drifts 
        from the fields to homes, schools, and other places people 
        gather. EPA's 2016 revised human health risk assessment found 
        that chlorpyrifos drift reaches unsafe levels at 300 feet away 
        from the edge of the treated field, and the chemical 
        chlorpyrifos is found at unsafe levels in the air at schools, 
        homes, and communities in agricultural areas. The small buffers 
        put in place in 2012 leave children unprotected from this toxic 
        pesticide drift.
            (12) Chlorpyrifos threatens drinking water. EPA's 2014 and 
        2016 risk assessments have found that chlorpyrifos levels in 
        drinking water are unsafe. People living and working in 
        agricultural communities are likely to be exposed to higher 
        levels of chlorpyrifos and other organophosphate pesticides in 
        their drinking water.
            (13) In 2015, leading scientific and medical experts, along 
        with children's health advocates, came together, under 
        ``Project TENDR: Targeting Environmental Neuro-Developmental 
        Risks'' (referred to in this section as ``TENDR''), to issue a 
        call to action to reduce widespread exposures to chemicals that 
        interfere with fetal and children's brain development. Based on 
        the available and peer-reviewed scientific evidence, the TENDR 
        authors identified prime examples of neurodevelopmentally toxic 
        chemicals ``that can contribute to learning, behavioral, or 
        intellectual impairment, as well as specific neurodevelopmental 
        disorders such as ADHD or autism spectrum disorder,'' and 
        listed organophosphate pesticides, among them. In the United 
        States, based on reporting from parents, 1 in 6 children have a 
        developmental disability or other developmental delay. The 
        TENDR Consensus Statement concludes that ``to help reduce the 
        unacceptably high prevalence of neurodevelopmental disorders in 
        our children, we must eliminate or significantly reduce 
        exposures to chemicals that contribute to these conditions.''.


    Section 402 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 
342) is amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(j) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if it bears or 
contains chlorpyrifos, including any residue of chlorpyrifos, or any 
other added substance that is present on or in the food primarily as a 
result of the metabolism or other degradation of chlorpyrifos.''.


    (a) In General.--Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment 
of this Act, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency 
(referred to in this section as the ``Administrator'') shall offer to 
enter into a contract with the National Research Council to conduct a 
cumulative and aggregate risk assessment that addresses all 
populations, and the most vulnerable subpopulations, including infants, 
children, and fetuses, of exposure to organophosphate pesticides.
    (b) Contents of Review.--The review under subsection (a) shall--
            (1) assess the neurodevelopmental effects and other low-
        dose effects of exposure to organophosphate pesticides, 
        including in the most vulnerable subpopulations, including--
                    (A) during the prenatal, childhood, adolescent, and 
                early life stages; and
                    (B) agricultural workers;
            (2) assess the cumulative and aggregate risks from exposure 
        described in paragraph (1), which shall aggregate all routes of 
        exposure, including diet, pesticide drift, volatilization, 
        occupational, and take-home exposures; and
            (3) be completed and submitted to the Administrator not 
        later than October 1, 2019.
    (c) Regulatory Action.--
            (1) Applicability.--This subsection shall apply if the 
        Administrator becomes aware of any exposure to any 
        organophosphate pesticide, including exposures described in 
        paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (b), that does not meet, 
        as applicable--
                    (A) the standard under section 408(b)(2) of the 
                Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 
                346a(b)(2)); or
                    (B) any standard under the Federal Insecticide, 
                Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.).
            (2) Action.--Not later than 90 days after the date on which 
        the Administrator becomes aware of any exposure under paragraph 
        (1), the Administrator shall take any appropriate regulatory 
        action, regardless of whether the review under subsection (a) 
        is completed, including--
                    (A) revocation or modification of a tolerance under 
                section 408 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act 
                (21 U.S.C. 346a); or
                    (B) modification, cancellation, or suspension of a 
                registration under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, 
                and Rodenticide Act (7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.).
    (d) Effect.--Nothing in this section authorizes or requires the 
Administrator to delay in carrying out or completing, with respect to 
an organophosphate pesticide, any registration review under section 
3(g) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (7 
U.S.C. 136a(g)), any tolerance review under section 408 of the Federal 
Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 346a), or any registration or 
modification, cancellation, or suspension of a registration under 
section 3 or 6 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide 
Act (7 U.S.C. 136a, 136d), if--
            (1) the organophosphate pesticide does not meet applicable 
        requirements established under those provisions of law; or
            (2) the review, registration, modification, cancellation, 
        or suspension is required--
                    (A) by statute;
                    (B) by judicial order; or
                    (C) to respond to a petition.