Recent News

News

EPA Reopens Comment Period for Sulfonylurea Herbicides

The US EPA recently reopened the comment period for 22 sulfonylurea herbicides. The subject is proposed interim decisions based on risk assessments. You can read the document here.

Estuarine Mixing Scenarios presentation at the US EPA EMPM meeting.

Dr. Cohen presented: A Conceptual Approach to Creating Three Estuarine Mixing Scenarios for Pesticide Risk Assessment at the US EPA's Environmental Modeling Public Meeting (EMPM), October 2015. You can view the presentation here.

Dr. Cohen authors endangered species risk assessment article.

Dr. Cohen authored an article on endangered species risk assessment, "Overestimates of Aquatic Impacts by Pesticides Under the Endangered Species Act". It was published in the American Bar Association's Pesticides, Chemical Regulation, and Right-to-Know Committee Newsletter (July, 2016). The main focus is the over-predictions of pesticide impacts. He also comments on the incomplete public record, and notes that outcomes such as these conclusions of widespread pesticide impacts will ultimately cripple the ability of the EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs to function. You can read that article here.

Dr. Cohen presented a webinar on Risk Communication

Stuart Cohen presented a webinar, "How to Talk About Chemical Risks in Your Community", on January 21, 2016. This was organized by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), and provided guidance for responding to tough questions. The webinar also provided some of the basis for those responses by discussing topics such as the role of nutrients in harmful algal blooms, preregistration testing of pesticides, pesticide risk assessment, the US EPA's Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program, the environmental fate of pesticides, and epidemiology. Click here for more information.

Dr. Cohen won an award and gave a presentation at SETAC

Dr. Stuart Cohen received the Presidential Citation for Exemplary Service from the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), presented at the 36th Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah (November, 2015). He was awarded this citation for his continued work with the SETAC TSCA Reform Dialog Group and their communications with Congressional committees. Congratulations!

Dr. Cohen also gave a presentation at the SETAC meeting, "Making Science Matter for Congress: The SETAC NA TSCA Reform Dialog Group".Contact us if you would like a copy of the presentation.

Comments on the US EPA’s MS-4 Permit for Phosphorus in Massachusetts

ETS prepared comments on the US EPA proposal, "Draft NPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems in Massachusetts". The proposed permit was issued 9/30/14. The focus of the comments was phosphorus (P) losses in runoff from turf, specifically, the 50% P reduction credit for the use of P-free fertilizers on turf. The report was prepared for the Lawn & Horticultural Products Work Group (LHPWG). The LHPWG plans to submit these comments to the EPA at the end of February.

Included in the report is an analysis of phosphorus monitoring data from HUC 8 watersheds in Minnesota. Another key feature is a review of turf runoff studies of field plots. An important reference that derived a P-reduction credit in the context of the Chesapeake Bay watershed is critiqued.

A copy of our 58-page white paper is available [here].

Dr. Stuart Cohen delivered lectures on pesticide epidemiology and the U.S. EPA's new definition of "waters of the U.S." before the Maryland Turfgrass Council's Annual Conference

Click here to access a pdf of Dr. Cohen's slides for his January 6, 2015 presentation, "Will the US EPA's New Definition of Waters of the U.S. Affect Your Course?", and Click here for his slides for the presentation, "Epidemiology Studies of the Adverse Effects of Pesticides in the Context of The Proposed Montgomery County Pesticide Ban".

Dr. Stuart Cohen testified about the proposed ban on pesticide use on lawns and athletic fields in Montgomery County.

Montgomery County, Maryland, has the largest population of the state's counties (2010 census), and its population is well-educated. Maryland is one of only seven states to lack a FIFRA preemption provision (Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, the nation's pesticide law). Thus the County's City of Takoma Park enacted a similar pesticide ban (http://www.takomaparkmd.gov/safegrow). Then the county proposed its own ban, bill 52-14 (http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/Resources/Files/bill/2014/Packets/20141028_4C.pdf).

Dr. Cohen had an advance meeting with County staff and then testified before the County Council on the bill at the hearing on January 15. He supported the concepts of IPM (Integrated Pest Management), as long as pesticides are part of the IPM toolbox, and also promoted public education regarding the appropriate use of pesticides.

However, he did object to the list of lists that identify pesticides subject to the ban, as there is either little or no scientific basis for them, depending on the specific list. He also commented on some of the epidemiologic studies, as well as the pesticide epidemiology literature overall, whose results are helping to fuel the emotions underlying the proposed ban. Finally, he addressed the incorrect belief that there are turf pesticides on the market for which there are limited or no human and environmental risk data.

Risk Assessment Science Seminar for Congressional Staff on TSCA Reform

ETS teamed up with the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) North America and developed a seminar for Congressional staff that were working on TSCA reform. The subject of the seminar was the science of risk assessment, and it was presented October 2 on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. It was not open to the public.

This was particularly timely, as both the House and Senate rewrites of TSCA had stalled. It was hoped that this would lay the ground work for a consensus on scientific issues that will help lead to TSCA reform in 2015.

Following are the seminar topics and speakers: Exposure Assessment Part 1: Chemical Releases to the Environment (S. Cohen); Exposure Assessment Part 2: Mobility, Persistence, and Bioaccumulation (S. Cohen); Effects Assessment: Ecotoxicology (M. Johnson); Risk Assessment (C. Menzie); Adequate Quality Data (P. Guiney); Testing (M. Johnson); Setting Initial Priorities for 10,000+ chemicals,in Commerce Followed by a Subset (S. Cohen & M. Johnson); Complexity of the Ecosystem (S. Krest).

Stuart Cohen is chair of the SETAC NA TSCA Reform Dialog group. The seminar faculty are all members of the steering committee of the TSCA Reform Dialog group

New Definition of Waters of the US under the Clean Water Act

EPA and the US Army Corps of Engineers are proposed a clarification of the definition of waters of the US under the Clean Water Act (CWA). An EPA press release on March 25th indicated it is the purpose of this proposed rule to clarify protection for streams and wetlands as well as to more efficiently determine jurisdictional waters. The press release and subsequent EPA Watershed Academy webcast on the proposed rule indicate this clarification will not expand coverage. However many believe the newly proposed definitions of such important terms as "tributary", "adjacent", "neighboring", and "significant nexus" used to describe jurisdictional waters ultimately results in an expansion of coverage relative to past practice. ETS has reviewed the proposed rule and recently wrote our own assessment of the potential implications it may have for stakeholders, with a focus on golf course designers. Contact Us for a copy of the assessment article. Contact Us for a copy of the assessment article.

Other News

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund awarded an innovative nutrient and sediment reduction grant to a team of university researchers and ETS. ETS' co-investigators are from U. MD, Penn State, and VA Tech. The three-year field-scale study is called, "Implementing BMPs to Reduce Runoff and Lawn Fertilizer Use." The project investigated and promoted the effectiveness of the project BMPs: the use of a lawn seed mixture containing a newly-commercialized nitrogen-fixing legume called microclover and the incorporation of compost during soil preparation to reduce nitrogen fertilization and nutrient runoff from lawns. The project was expected to initiate a watershed-wide paradigm shift in lawn culture away from a highly fertilized grass monoculture to a more diverse plant community that requires little, if any nitrogen fertilizer

Upcoming Meetings and Presentations

Dr. Cohen will be attending the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) Golf Industry Show and Education Conference in Orlando, FL, February 2-7, 2017.

Dr. Cohen will be attending the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry's (SETAC) 7th SETAC World Congress/SETAC North America 37th Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL, November 6-10.

Past Events and Presentations

August, 2016
Dr. Cohen attended the American Chemical Society's (ACS) 252nd National Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, August 21-25, 2016, where he organized a symposium and presented 2 papers, "Three Estuarine and Marine Mixing Scenarios for Pesticide Risk Assessment: A Proposal" and "QSARS, Computational Chemistry, and Computational Toxicology in Environmental Risk Assessment: Overview and Historical Perspective"), in addition to leading a discussion: "Quantifying Uncertainty and ID'ing Research Needs".Contact us for copies of the presentations.

August, 2014
Dr. Cohen co-organized the Bioaccumulation Risk Assessment: Problems and Possibilities symposium at the ACS National Meeting and IUPAC Int'l Congress of Pesticide Chemistry. He also co-authored two papers: "Bioaccumulation risk assessment of pentachloronitrobenzene: 1. Basis for lessons learned and 2. Lessons learned". August 10-14, 2014, San Francisco, California.

August, 2014
Dr. Cohen is co-organized a symposium titled, Bioaccumulation Risk Assessment: Problems and Possibilities, at the 248th ACS National Meeting and 13th IUPAC International Congress of Pesticide Chemistry to be held in San Francisco, California, August 10-14, 2014. He is also co-authored two papers to be presented at the meeting: "Bioaccumulation risk assessment of pentachloronitrobenzene: 1. Basis for lessons learned" and "Bioaccumulation risk assessment of pentachloronitrobenzene: 2. Lessons learned". Contact us to request copies of the abstracts; visit IUPAC or ACS meeting websites for more information about the meeting.

February, 2014
Dr. Cohen attended the SETAC Focus Meeting, "Endocrine Disruption: Chemical Testing, Risk Assessment Approaches and Implications", February 4-6, 2014, USEPA Research Triangle Park, NC.

February, 2014
Dr. Cohen and Ms. Barnes attended the GCSAA/NGCOA Golf Industry Show, February 3-6, 2014, Orlando, FL.

November, 2013
Dr. Cohen attended the SETAC North American 34th Annual Meeting, November 17-21, Nashville, TN.

September, 2013
Dr. Cohen and Ms. Haefner attended the 246th American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition, September 8-12, Indianapolis, IN.

April-May, 2013
Ms. Barnes attended the National Ground Water Association's National and International Conference on Groundwater, April 28-May 2, 2013, in San Antonio, TX.

April, 2013
Dr. Cohen was invited to make a presentation at the American Society of Golf Course Architects Annual meeting, April 21, 2013, at Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, GA.
Contact us for a copy of the presentation.

April, 2013
Dr. Cohen attended the National Capital Regional Water Resources Symposium, April 5, 2013, at the University of the District of Columbia.

November, 2012
"Urban Stressors for Pesticide Endangered Species Assessments: Should Recent Nutrient TMDLs and Laws be Considered?"
Click here for a copy of the poster.

August, 2012
"Fate and Exposure of Urban Applied Pesticides in the Context of Human and Ecological Risk Assessments" and "Urban Stressors in Pesticide Endangered Species Assessments: Should Recent TMDLs and Laws be Considered?"
Click here for a copy of the presentation slides.

February-March, 2012
"Watershed Resource Management: Requirements and Benefits for Your Course." Click here for a copy of the presentation slides.

December, 2011
"State and Local Fertilizer Restrictions Driven by Water Quality Impacts: The Status, The Science (And Its Misuse), and the BMPs"
Click here for presentation.

November, 2011
"Modeling Ground Water Contamination by Soil Fumigants in Hawaii and California: Soil Loading and Fate Input are Critical for Validated Predictions"
Click here for abstract.

August, 2011
"DBCP and TCP in Ground Water in California and Hawaii: Comparison of Vadose Zone and Saturated Zone Modeling with Monitoring Results."
Click for presentation

May, 2011
"Ground Water Contamination by DBCP and TCP in Hawaii and California: Part 1. Unsaturated Zone, and Part 2. Saturated Zone Flow and Transport Model."
Click here for the abstracts

March, 2011
"Turfgrass Restrictions Driven by Regulatory Science: A Focus on the Chesapeake Bay and Beyond".
Click here for the presentation.

December, 2010
"Turfgrass Restrictions Driven by Regulatory Science: A Focus on the Chesapeake Bay and Beyond." Click here for the presentation.

March, 2010
"Carbon Footprints and Turf Management: Carbon Emissions and Sequestration for Golf Courses." Click here for the presentation.

February, 2010
"Global Warming and Golf: The Science, Potential Impacts, and Energy Conservation Opportunities." Contact us for a copy of the presentation.

February, 2010
"A Critical Review of Water Quality Impacts by Golf Courses: Updates and Trends." Contact us for a copy of the presentation.

August, 2009
"Urban BMPs Can Protect Water Quality: Non-Pesticides as Models for Pesticides"
Click here for a copy of the presentation

"Modeling Pesticide Risks: Start with Ground Water, Go to Turf, and Keep Going"
Click here for a copy of the presentation

April, 2009
"Protecting Listed Species in Non-Agricultural and Urban Settings"
Click here for a copy of the presentation

ETS in the News

May, 2011
Ken Ingram received the NACTA Teaching Award of Merit Certificate for 2011. Congratulations, Ken!
Click here for details.

April-December, 2010
ETS submitted 2010 comments on the Chesapeake Bay TMDL and the related MS4 program.

December, 2010
Dr. Cohen submitted comments to FIFRA's Scientific Advisory Panel regarding Climate Change and Pesticide Risk Assessments. Read his comments

May 26-28, 2008
Stuart Cohen was interviewed for a series of articles on organic golf and pesticide use. These articles were published in the Washington Times.
Click here for details.