EPA, USDA plan pollinator listening sessions

Sessions planned for Nov. 12 and Nov. 17 and webinars available for those who can't attend in person.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will host two public listening sessions to solicit stakeholder input to assist the Pollinator Health Task Force in development of a federal strategy to protect honey bees and other pollinators. The Task Force is asking for input on the types of activities that could be part of the strategy, including public private partnerships, research, educational opportunities, pollinator habitat improvements and pesticide risk mitigation.

On June 20, 2014, President Obama issued a directive to federal agencies to create a federal strategy to promote honey bee and other pollinator health.  The President’s directive created a Pollinator Health Task Force, co-chaired by EPA and USDA, and charged federal agencies with expanding efforts to take new steps to reverse pollinator losses and help restore populations to healthy levels. 

Feedback from the listening sessions will play an important role in the Task Force’s efforts to develop a federal strategy.

The first session will be held Wednesday, Nov. 12 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the 1st Floor Conference Center at 2777 South Crystal Drive in Arlington, Va. The second one will be Monday, Nov. 17 from 1 to 3 p.m. EST at 4700 River Road in Riverdale, MD.

For those not able to attend the sessions, there is a webinar available.  Additional information is available online: http://www2.epa.gov/pollinator-protection/public-listening-sessions-pollinator-health-task-force .

The listening sessions are being held in federal facilities, therefore, attendees must have valid identification to attend.

For those who cannot attend in person or by webinar, written comments must be submitted by November 24, 2014 online at:  www.regulations.gov.  Search by using the EPA docket number:  EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0806.

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