Notice of Preliminary Decision to Designate Clothianidin, Imidacloprid, and Thiamethoxam Neonicotinoid Insecticides as “Surface Water Pesticides of Concern” in Minnesota.

The MDA held a public comment period to seek input on the Commissioner’s preliminary decision to designate neonicotinoid insecticides clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam, as “Surface Water Pesticides of Concern”. “Surface Water Pesticide of Concern” means the detection of a pesticide in surface water at concentrations of concern relative to a water quality “Reference Value” not due to misuse or unusual or unique circumstances, but likely to be the result of normal use of a product or practice. The public comment period ended April 9th, 2020 and staff are currently reviewing the comments received.

The proposed decision is based on the following guidelines as recommended in the Pesticide Management Plan (PMP):

  • In 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lowered the Aquatic Life Benchmark (ALB) for clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam.
  • The MDA monitoring results from 2010 through 2018 show clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam detections in several state rivers and streams approached or exceeded the EPA’s updated ALBs for these pesticides.
  • The Pesticide Management Planning Committee members provided comments to the Commissioner to designate these three neonicotinoids, as “surface water pesticide of concern”. 

As a part of the proposed designation as “Surface Water Pesticide of Concern”, the MDA may reformat previously developed pollinator-focused BMPs for Neonicotinoids to have a water quality focus.


Stewardship Guidelines and BMPs for Home and Residential Use of Neonicotinoid Insecticides

The MDA adopted stewardship guidelines and best management practices (BMPs) for home and residential use of neonicotinoid insecticides. These voluntary BMPs were developed in response to special registration review on neonicotinoid insecticides. The MDA, in cooperation with University of Minnesota Extension and others, has developed these BMPs to protect pollinators and their habitat.

The MDA would like to thank you those who reviewed and provided comments on these BMPs.


Stewardship Guidelines and BMPs for Soil and Foliar-applied Neonicotinoid Insecticides

The MDA adopted stewardship guidelines and best management practices (BMPs) for soil and foliar-applied neonicotinoid insecticides. These voluntary BMPs were developed in response to a special registration review on neonicotinoid insecticides. The MDA, in cooperation with University of Minnesota Extension and others, has developed these BMPs to address the potential risk to pollinators from soil or foliar neonicotinoid insecticide applications.

The MDA would like to thank those who reviewed and provided comments on these BMPs.


Stewardship Guidelines and BMPs for Neonicotinoid Insecticide-Treated Seed

The MDA adopted Stewardship Guidelines and BMPs for Neonicotinoid Insecticide-Treated Seed. These voluntary BMPs were developed in response to a special registration review on neonicotinoid insecticides. The MDA, in cooperation with University of Minnesota Extension and others, has developed these BMPs to address the potential risk to pollinators from the seed treatment dust during planting season.

The MDA would like to thank those who reviewed and provided comments on these BMPs.


Special Registration Review

The MDA has conducted a special registration review of neonicotinoid insecticides. Neonicotinoids are widely used systemic insecticides that can be absorbed into plant tissue and moved throughout the plant. They are effective at low concentrations and can impact pests on contact or through the consumption of treated plant material.

In order to conduct this review, the MDA followed a scoping document that solicited input from the public and several interested stakeholders. Based on the review, the MDA identified several opportunities for action to minimize the impact of neonicotinoids on pollinators.

Outcomes from the neonicotinoid review:

At the direction of the Minnesota legislature and the Commissioner of Agriculture (PDF), the MDA along with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, University of Minnesota, and Board of Water and Soil Resources, determined the criteria necessary to conduct a special registration review of neonicotinoid insecticides for the State of Minnesota. The draft document was prepared to guide the special registration review of neonicotinoid insecticides, describing the process and criteria to be used when conducting the review.

In 2014, our agency (MDA) conducted a public review of the scoping document and received 444 public comments. The MDA has created two documents to encourage stakeholder review. The first is a compilation of Unique comments (PDF), the second document is composed of comments that have a common theme, Common text comments (PDF).

After posting the 444 public comments, the MDA developed a response to individual comments on the draft special registration review neonicotinoid scoping document (PDF)

Responding to public comments, the MDA modified the draft scoping document. The final was published on October 27, 2014 in the State Register. The final scoping document was used to guide the special registration review of neonicotinoid insecticides.