Making Sense of the New EPA Mitigation Requirements for Pesticide Applicators


The mission of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is to take the necessary precautions to protect both human health and the environment. We have all been told numerous times that the “label” is the law, which remains true. However, the EPA has decided that in addition to the pesticide label on products, pesticide applicators will now be required to obtain what is being called “Endangered Species Protection Bulletins” (Figure 1). This will designate any additional pesticide use limitations for the protection of threatened and endangered (listed) species including their designated critical habitat based solely on the treatment site of a given geographical area.

Screenshot of EPA Bulletins webpage.
Figure 1. Endangered Species Protection Bulletins example.

So, how does one know if they are to obtain a bulletin and where do they go to get one?

First, the pesticide label (Figure 2) will clearly state if a bulletin must be obtained before using the product. As of February 2024, these active ingredients have a Bulletin associated with them in Washington: 1,3-dichloropropene, bromoxynil, cyantraniliprole, metolachlor, and prometryn.

Example of pesticide label.
Figure 2. Pesticide label example.

Now that one knows they must obtain a “Bulletin,” it can be done in one of two ways. First, go to the EPA Endangered Species Protection Bulletins website and click on “Obtain Bulletins using EPA’s Bulletins Live! Two application.”

EPA Endangered Species Protection Bulletin website.
Figure 3. EPA – Endangered Species Protection Bulletin website.

To obtain a “bulletin”, the following information will be needed: location, application month, and EPA registration number of the pesticide (Figure 4). GPS coordinates may be more relevant as opposed to the mailing address. If using GPS coordinates, remember that the coordinates are typically written out as latitude and longitude; however, when you enter them into the webpage they must be input in the order of longitude and latitude, separated by a comma. Make sure the GPS coordinates are in decimal degrees. Google Earth can convert into this format.

Necessary information highlighted obtaining a Bulletin.
Figure 4. Necessary information to obtain a Bulletin.

The EPA Pesticide Number can be found on the pesticide label (Figure 5.).

Ally XP Herbicide label showing EPA Registration Number.
Figure 5. Ally XP Herbicide label showing EPA Registration Number.

If the pesticide label is missing, damaged beyond legibility, or the print is simply too small to read, read our article for assistance.

In the upper right of the webpage map, one will see a “red box” with the words “Printable Bulletin”. This box will remain red and inaccessible only until a person zooms in or drills down on the map to select the specific area to be treated with pesticides. The “Printable Bulletin” box will then turn green and can be saved as a PDF and printed (Figure 6). In the bottom right corner, there is a small square; clicking this square will show a Google Earth image of the area you plan to treat.

EPA Pesticide Use Limitation Area (PULA) Map.
Figure 6. EPA Pesticide Use Limitation Area (PULA) Map.

There are some limitations to obtaining a bulletin. You can obtain a bulletin no earlier than 6 months before the month you intend to make the pesticide application. A person can obtain a Bulletin immediately before the pesticide application month. Please remember that the Bulletin must be dated for the month you are making the pesticide application.

Remember, that Endangered Species Protection Bulletins are being considered as an “extension” of the pesticide label and therefore are enforceable! Not obtaining and following the limitations on your Bulletin is a misuse of the pesticide and is enforceable under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Therefore, WSDA recommends that applicators print and save a copy if a “bulletin” exists even if there are restrictions or not.

In summary, please be aware that changes are coming to how all pesticide active ingredients will be used. Read the labels of pesticide products purchased carefully to look for the endangered species protection requirement statement. Obtain a Bulletin if required and follow those instructions.

Dale Whaley professional headshot.

For questions or comments, contact Dale Whaley via email at or phone at 509-745-8531.