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State concludes review of herbicide atrazine

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The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has completed its special registration review process for the herbicide atrazine.

After reviewing research summaries provided by scientists at MDA, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), as well as comments submitted by the public, MDA Commissioner Gene Hugoson has determined that no modifications to atrazine regulation are required in Minnesota at this time.

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MDA published a multi-agency review of atrazine earlier this year in partnership with MDH and MPCA, and as a part of the review process, accepted public comment for 60 days. While the review found that current regulations protect human health and the environment in Minnesota, it also made several recommendations for further minimizing atrazine impacts.

During the comment period, MDA received comments from individual citizens, a watershed district, environmental organizations and industry organizations. Public comments and agency responses can be viewed online at www.mda.state.mn.us/atrazine/specialregreview.aspx .

After considering public comment and current scientific data, the MDA concluded that it will continue its efforts to minimize atrazine impacts in Minnesota by implementing the review's original recommendations, which include enhancing water resource monitoring efforts, tracking federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) atrazine evaluations, and stepping up interagency efforts to inform private well owners about testing their water quality.

The review summary, recommendations, and technical assessments that were the foundation of the review can be found on MDA's website at www.mda.state.mn.us/atrazine/specialregreview.aspx .

While MDA's final determination is that no additional actions are necessary beyond those recommended in the January review summary, Commissioner Hugoson noted that elements of atrazine registration and regulation may require revision if emerging science or EPA evaluations reach new conclusions about human health and environmental impacts of atrazine use and its benefits to farmers.

Atrazine is a common herbicide used for corn production in Minnesota. It controls many types of weeds before or after corn is planted. Water monitoring data and details about atrazine best-management practices can be found on MDA's website.

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