The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) submitted administrative rules to the Secretary of State that limit the uses of the insecticide chlorpyrifos immediately and phase out nearly all uses by December 31, 2023.

The nearly 3 year phase out provides time for research into alternative products and evaluation of recently approved Environmental Protection Agency insecticides. The use of chlorpyrifos has been linked to harmful effects on the human body.

In 2020, ODA has 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 grant cycle which is open until January 29, 2021.

ODA drafted the rules with the help of a working group that included leaders and experts from a wide variety of interests, including agriculture, environmental justice groups, toxicologists, and farm worker health and safety organizations. In addition, it extended the public comment period twice to accommodate those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Oregon wildfires in September 2020.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture’s primary goals are to retain the lower risk critical uses crucial to protecting the state’s crops when chlorpyrifos is used and to limit the risk by reducing exposure of workers and bystanders.