Importance of Natural Resources

Using NPIC’s Ecological Pesticide Incident Reporting Portal


Hi welcome, and thanks for
joining today’s webinar from the National Pesticide Information
Center. NPIC is formed through a cooperative agreement between the
US EPA and Oregon State University. I’m Amy Holman I’m the project
coordinator here at NPIC, and before we get
started today I’d like to cover just a couple of
quick logistical items. I’d like to invite you to please use
the chat box to ask any questions during the webinar and to
please address those questions to the host which is Sean Ross. It’ll be a little bit more challenging if
they’re addressed to the speaker today, so please do address
those to the host. After the brief presentation
today, we’ll address questions that we’ve seen in the chat box and
then we’ll ask for any additional questions still using
that same chat function. A recorded version of this
webinar will be available soon on the NPIC website and
on our youtube channel. So for our presentation today,
I’d like to introduce Alicia Leytem. Alicia has a master’s in soil science
from Oregon State University, and is a senior pesticide
specialist here at NPIC. Some of her past experience includes
outdoor science education for kids, and work for the USDA’s National
Clonal Germplasm Repository. Today Alicia will be discussing
NPIC’s online portal for reporting ecological pesticide incidents.
Welcome Alicia. Thanks Amy. Okay guys, thank you all
for joining today, so let’s get started. I’m going to just briefly go over what the
topics are that we’ll be covering today. If I can get this to work,
there we go, okay. So I’m gonna start out by introducing
NPIC in case you’re unfamiliar with us, and what we do here, then
we’ll go into what a pesticide is because that term actually may be a
little bit broader than you’re familiar with. And then we’ll introduce the eco-portal itself
kind of a who what when where and why? Including the required and
optional data that you need to enter if you’re going to put a case or
submit a report into the portal. And then we’ll go through
an example incident where I’ll actually go through step by
step, we’ll enter an incident together. And then like Amy said we’ll have some
options for questions at the end. I think I might take a little pause
after I’ve gone into kinda of what the eco-portal is before
we start our incident example. So if you have questions at that
point we can address them then kind of halfway through and
then we’ll continue from there. So let me start out with what is NPIC? So
the National Pesticide Information Center, we are here to provide science-based
information about pesticides in order to promote
informed decision-making. Like Amy said we’re funded
through a cooperative agreement between the US EPA and
Oregon State University. And NPIC has actually been housed
here at OSU for the past 20 years. So when you call NPIC the
phone is answered right away by a pesticide specialist. And that way
you don’t have to go through any sort of manipulated phone jargon to get to
who’s going to answer your questions. And and those specialists are
highly trained and educated. So most of our pesticide
specialists have master’s degrees, and come from diverse backgrounds
including chemistry, microbiology, soil science, mammal biology, environmental
toxicology, and even food science. So when we get hired we
also go through extensive training on pesticides, as
well as risk communication. And because we have such a
wide variety of specialists here with such a variety of backgrounds it
creates kind of climate where we have this constant opportunity for teaching,
learning, and sharing information. The basis of our job is to communicate
science to the general public and other people who contact us, so we’re
translating that technical jargon around pesticides and risk
into everyday language. So we do this primarily through
personalized conversations using the individual in
this one-on-one situation to kind of guide the resources
and information we provide. So we have a 1-800 number,
we’re only open four hours a day currently 8 a.m. to noon pacific
time Monday through Friday. And during that time we answer
varied number of questions and calls that we receive we do have
several Spanish speakers on staff so we’re able to have that
bilingual one-on-one conversation. And for anybody who speaks a different
language, we do use language line which allows us to accept
calls in over 240 languages. So who is our audience?
Primarily it’s the general public. I’d say about 90% of the calls that we
receive are from the general public who are getting our phone number off
of the back of pesticide product labels, or finding us on the internet or
getting the number from like a pest control operator who’s
going to provide a service and they want some further information
that they don’t feel comfortable answering. Those other 10% of the callers
are some sort of professional either pesticide manufacturers,
veterinarians, or physicians, health departments, or other
government agencies. Most of the questions we get are about
pesticide use in and around the home but we do cover any other myriad
of questions around pesticides. Environmental risks,
environmental fate, anything else. Each year we get about 11,000
inquiries. So inquiries include our phone calls but also
voicemail calls, and emails which is becoming a much more popular
way to contact us and ask questions. Sometimes you can’t have the
same sort of back-and-forth through an email so oftentimes
if it’s a very serious situation, we’ll ask that emailer to call in and have a
one-on-one conversation with a specialist. About 15% of our calls
are pesticide incidents, and what we classify as
a pesticide incident is when there’s an adverse reaction
to a pesticide exposure, an unintended exposure to a pesticide,
or misapplication of a pesticide. It does happen sometimes
that people call with questions and we’re not the best resource.
So we have a lot of training on what other resources are
out there, and what kind of questions they can
provide answers to. And we’ll try and find the best
resource for that person so that they can get the help
that they’re looking for. We also have a website,
which you’re welcome to peruse, that URL is down there on the
bottom, it has over 700 pages in English and Spanish, it’s mostly
geared towards the general public, though there are some more technical
and professional pages available. Last year we had over 6 million page
views, so it’s becoming very popular for people to come and try and
find that information on their own, on the internet, and then
sometimes if they can’t get to the exact answer they’re
looking for, then that might be a follow-up question later
on they’ll give us a call. On the website in addition to
webpages we have resources such as fact sheets, we make a lot
of videos, FAQ videos, we have a YouTube channel that we post
those on there also on our website. Along with as Amy said this
webinar will be recorded and put onto our YouTube channel, and
we also have outreach materials, infographics, FAQ comics,
brochures, that sort of thing. And then we do have a
presence on social media. We’re trying to find all the ways
to contact a variety of audiences, and all of these resources we develop
based off of the calls that we get. So we’re trying to stay
current with what are the pesticide topics that are important
to people who are contacting us, and then develop those
resources in response to that. Okay, so let’s start with
what is a pesticide? We had a recent experience where
we realized that a lot of people who go to our website are actually
confused between the difference of the terms pest and pesticide
which was shocking to us a little bit. But the official EPA definition of
a pesticide is any substance that is intended for preventing, destroying,
repelling, or mitigating any pest. So you want to take a second
think about what that might mean? What kind of products you
would include in that list? I’m going to go through
a couple examples. So the first one almost everybody thinks
about when they hear pesticide, is an insecticide, right? You
think of insects as a pest, they’re the most common
pest for most people. And yes of course
insecticides are pesticides. But they also include herbicides,
in that situation the weed, or that plant that you
don’t want is the pest. And it can also include rodenticides. Obviously rodents are
commonly thought of as pests, and those baits or other
rodenticides are considered pesticides and go through registration
and review through the EPA. In addition to that there are fungicides,
so used for molds and mildews, as well as insect repellents.
Those are registered with the EPA. And also antimicrobial products.
So disinfectants and sanitizers, they have to go through the same
risk evaluation and registration through both the federal
and the state levels before they can be
sold on the market. So when we say pesticide
it includes all of these plus a few more, but these are
kind of the most common ones that I imagine you
would be familiar with. Okay, so now let’s go into
what is the eco-portal? Now we know what a pesticide is. The eco-portal is a way to document
adverse ecological effects from a known or suspected pesticide
exposure to wildlife, plants, or bees. I should clarify this is for a non
agricultural, non-urban plant. And then this information
is provided to the EPA. And that allows the EPA to take
that information and use it in decision-making at the
federal regulation of pesticides. Since it’s an online reporting
portal, it is available 24/7. So if it’s a situation where
you are an investigator or you work for an agency where you
are already involved in these cases, this is a way to take those reports
and provide it to a federal level as a surveillance, so this is a
surveillance reporting system. It’s not going to lead to any
sort of targeted enforcement. So that’s really important to
know. So this is not a system to replace the state agencies, they
have primacy over investigations when there are pesticide
misuse cases or poisoning, and they should be
involved in those situations. But there’s a secondary place
where you can report this so that the EPA gets an overview
of what’s happening nationally. So why would you report
this if it’s not going to lead to any sort of investigatory action? Well consider yourself like let’s think
about if you were an EPA risk assessor. Okay, so you go to your
office at the EPA building you might work in a
room very similar to this and you’re given the task of assessing
a single active ingredient and looking at what the potential risks from
the uses of that product are to people and the environment and the
ecosystems where they might be used. So every year every 15 years products
go through a re-registration process where those active ingredients
have to be reassessed reviewed before they continue to
be used on the market, and then adjustments will be
made to pesticide label language to make any adjustments based on
reports that have been submitted or situations that have occurred to
reduce risk to people in the environment. So how does it have the
EPA get that information? Well one way is through the eco-portal.
So NPIC, we also maintain this information. We collect incidents when
people call our hotline, and that information is provided
to the EPA so that they have kind of a pulse on what’s
going on around the country. But the eco-portal is another
way to get direct information from people who are
lucky enough to work in an environment that might
look something like this, and might have more
opportunity to contact the wildlife and the organisms
in those environments, and see what that direct effect of
pesticides are on those organisms. Right so, we’re just trying to
help provide that information from the people out in
the field to the EPA directly to help potentially change
regulatory actions in the future. Get your voice or the investigators
voices or people out in the world involved in that risk assessment
process so that those cases are known. Now the eco-portal originally
got formed in 2009, and I think it’s safe to say that every
year we only get a handful of reports. It’s not a common way right
now for people to report. But we’re hoping that by
reintroducing this and doing another launch of the eco-portal,
we can increase those numbers. Because you can imagine if you
were assessing an active ingredient, having one case or submission can
be useful, but if you start seeing a trend across the country then that
can really help inform change. So who should be using it? Environmental state agencies,
citizen scientists, and then of course professionals in
Fisheries and Wildlife, conservationists, wildlife veterinarians, foresters and
possibly natural resource management. So people who are out in nature and can
see these effects that are occurring. Okay, so when should a submission occur? Well there has to be some sort
of damage, illness, or death, that is resulted to either wildlife, non-
agricultural and non-urban plants, or bees, and have that effect occur from
either the direct application, drift or runoff of a known
or suspected pesticide. You don’t have to have it confirmed
that a pesticide was involved, it might be a suspected
pesticide situation, and if that’s the case you would just
include all of those details into your report, so that it’s understood the
information that you do have versus the information
that you don’t have. So, all of these elements are
involved in putting in the report, and then once you submit that report,
the data is maintained both at NPIC, but also has an auto
generated report that is sent directly to the EPA’s
office of pesticide programs. So because of that NPIC
doesn’t review the data, we’re not manipulating it or editing
it before it gets sent to the EPA. But every quarter, so four
times a year, and annually we put together our incident
data information for the EPA. And along with those reports we’re
also including the reports that have come in through the eco-portal and
sending that off to them as well. There’s also in our annual reports
some statistical summaries of the eco-portal reports that we’ve
received, or the submissions, and so you’re welcome to also go
see those anybody can find our annual reports on our website and
see what kind of reports have been submitted in the past what kind
of organisms have been affected out in the wild and from what
active ingredients, if known. So now I’m going to briefly
go over the kind of data that’s going to be required if you’re going
to do a submission through the eco-portal. There is some required elements,
so here’s that required information that you would need and
when it says type of incident this is talking about whether
it’s a terrestrial environment, aquatic environment, whether it
involves just plants or just bees, or both terrestrial and aquatic sorry.
So there’s five options there. You’ll need to know the state
and the county where it occurred, when the observance was
made, details on the events, whether it was a use, or misuse situation,
or if you don’t know, identifying that, how the application occurred aerial
or ground application or unknown, the type of organisms
that were impacted, and then the number and
magnitude of organisms. So in this situation if you have one
dead boar obviously that would be one, if you found a family of
animals that could be many, if you found an area of
trees that were injured, then you could say less than
one acre or more than 200, or thousands if there is insects
that sort of magnitude information. And then there’s some optional
data, so if the observed effects lasted for a period of
time you could put in the start and the end date of that time,
what the weather conditions were, and then some information
on the pesticide products. I’m going to go over briefly
how to look at a pesticide label where you would find that information
if you’re unfamiliar with pesticides. What kind of application details
you have so like the application rate, exactly how it was applied, some
more additional organism details, the habitat, it was found
in the route of exposure, the response to the exposure and
then how far the observed organisms damage was from the treatment
site, it could be in the same area, or it could have been down the road, or
downstream where the effect was seen. And then you have an option to
also upload additional information. So any test results, etc. Okay, so here’s a quick overview
of a pesticide product label. This is obviously a made-up
label, but I just want to point out some of the elements on
here that are important if you’re going be reporting
pesticide product information. So one of the first things is
an EPA registration number. And you can find this on the label,
it will always say EPA REG NO with a list of numbers and dashes, this
is essentially a social security number for pesticides, and it’s very
specific to that formulation. So like a social security number
that’s tied to an individual person, names can be used in multiple
states for very different products. So you can think of like John Smith,
there could be many John Smith’s, but one individual person has
one unique social security number. This product has one unique EPA
registration number for that formulation. If you have that number you
don’t really need any of this other information, because we
can auto populate that from the national or the federal database
of pesticide products. But if you don’t have that
information, then the other things that can be useful are the product name,
so in this case Destroy WP Insecticide, the active ingredients, which
will always be listed as active ingredients and I’ll have
those chemical names listed there in this case resmethrin and imidacloprid. And then the concentration of
those ingredients in the product, where the product is meant to be used,
and then the formulation of the product. Formulations can be a little tricky, this one
says WP which means wettable powder, But if you’re not familiar you
can always call NPIC and ask what the formulation of a product is,
and we can help figure that out for you. Okay, so that’s pesticide product
details some quick examples of potential reports that may
be submitted, so situations like raptors who are eating
poisoned rodents, rodenticides, and then experiencing a
secondary poisoning situation. Possibly your forester
working out in the forest you come across an illegal grow
operation with piles of pesticides, products lying there and
also some dead animals like a dead raccoon or something
nearby you could report that. Maybe in a clear-cut situation there was
a recent spray after clear-cutting an area, and then an ill deer is found in that
location that sort of information or a spill into a natural waterway, and after
spills if there’s any ecological effects. Fish kills or shellfish die off
anything like that could be reported. So I’m going to step next
into an example incident that we’re going to walk through
each step in the eco-portal and how you would enter it and
see the idea of what it looks like. But I’ll take one second if anybody
has questions right now on anything I’ve talked about already, then
I’d be happy to answer those. So feel free to type them into
the chat, directed to the host and I’ll give you one second to do so. Okay, looks like right now.
There’s no questions, So I will just continue on. Alright, so, here’s our example
and this example is based off of an actual report that was received.
I obviously changed details about it, but I’m going to walk through
this. So in this example, we’re going to assume that we work for the
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, and we received a report that
there was a dead bald eagle found near a local fishing pond
in somebody’s home yard. So one of our conservation
officers went out to the scene, and there was no obvious injuries
to the eagle, it doesn’t look like it was hit or shot or anything like
that and so poisoning is suspected. The carcass was then collected and
shipped off to the National Forensics Lab. And through their lab studies
and tests they found that the bird had died due to
ingestion of chlorophacinone. So then we got the local law
enforcement also involved, the Pesticide Regulatory Agency
and they found that there had been a recent application of Rozol for prairie
dog control in the nearby rangeland. So Rozol is a rodenticide that’s used inside
prairie dog holes and then covered up. And so we’re not sure how that bird
may have come in contact with it, but the law enforcement
did determine that the pesticide applicator had followed
all of the label directions, and the application was
made according to that label. So we are able to get some product
information from that applicator to apply to our report that
we’re going to go through now. So if you go to the NPIC eco-portal
the website is on the top there, This is the front page you’re going to
see there’s a lot of information here kind of what I’ve already talked about but
one thing I want to point out is there is an overview page here
where it can list all of the optional and required data that will come
up as you’re going through the portal, and that can be a nice thing to kind
of step through first before you enter some sort of submission just so
that you have an idea of and you can double check that you have all the
required data before you start your report. Okay, so we have that data we’re going to start our report here once you click a little pop-up box comes up to let you know that this isn’t going to
lead to an investigation, We’re aware of that,
so we’ll just click OK. Alright, so now we get to choose
what kind of event this was, what type of incident and as I
said before here’s our options, we found the bird in a terrestrial setting
so we’re going to click terrestrial, then we get to put our state,
and we’re going to put Nebraska. You can see on the right side of the
box here these a required elements so it won’t let you move forward at all
until you put in these required elements. What the county was
this is in Frontier County, and then we have to put in the date
of the observed adverse effects. So this happened in July,
July 17th, let’s say. Okay. Now we’ve reached some points
where there’s some optional data. You can put in whether the
adverse effects have an end date, And what the weather conditions
were I’m not including either of those because I don’t
have that information, But I am going to type into this
box the details of the event. And so, a lot of these boxes
when you hover over them, there will be a pop-up screen
that comes up and lets you know what exactly you
should be putting in there. So I’m going to have those pop-up
here too so you can see them. And then here is my entry. So a
Nebraska conservation officer NCO Marissa Pent, and
this is a made-up name, recovered the carcass of a
bald eagle, NCO Pent suspected the cause of death may
have been poisoning, the eagle is transferred to
the National Forensics Lab who determined the cause of death
to be poisoning by chlorophacinone. So here’s a situation where if you
put personal identifiable information into these boxes into this text
box, that information is not protected by NPIC, we do not go
in and remove that information all of this information in its
entirety will be sent to the EPA. So if you do not want to include
personal identifiable information, then you can just keep it out of
that box there’re no reason to have to put names in there, but I wanted
to show you that if you do put names, it will be included in the final report. Okay, so now I will hit next and this
is the pesticide product information, we have gone through the
pesticide registration number. We do have that number
because in this story, we’ve been in contact with the
applicator, and so we’re going to enter that number into this box
here, and then it’s going to ask us whether it was a ground or
air application, these pellets are placed directly into
the burrows in the ground. And was it a use or a misuse because
there is an investigation involved here, we know, this is a registered use,
but you have the opportunity to put if there was a misuse
or misapplication was it an intentional misapplication?
Was it unintentional? If you’re not sure whether it
was intentional or unintentional, you will just click misuse here.
Or if it was a spill or an undetermined sort of application we don’t know
how that application occurred. So we’re going to click register.
This is a legal application. And now we get to put in our
evidence that it was legal. So this is just what information
do you have to know whether it was a misuse
or use application? So I’m just adding in here essentially
that Rozol was applied properly by a licensed applicator following
the label application guidelines We’re not sure though, how exactly the
eagle came into contact with the poison. And we’re not sure either what
the carcass cleanup schedule was after the application. So with
this specific prairie dog product, the label has very specific
directions on applying the product, covering up the holes, and then
four days after the application, the applicator has to return to the site
and collect all of the dead carcasses off the surface bury them a
certain depth in the ground, and do that every two days for
the next two weeks because of the potential risk for secondary
poisoning is so high to wildlife. So I’m not sure whether they
were following that procedure, so I just added that in there. The use site it was applied
in a rangeland setting. The formulation so here’s all those
different possible formulations, this is a bait so it’s a granular product,
so I’m going to click granular there. And then what was the
application method well this was applied by hand, into the hole.
And the application rate according to the product label is 53 grams per active
burrow. Now all of those are optional, information points you don’t have
to enter them if you don’t know. We’ll go onto the next page. So now it’s asking about the
organism that was impacted. So this is a bird we had a bald eagle. You could choose, if there’s
insects, amphibians, reptiles. And now here’s where it’s going to
ask about the number of organisms. So specific numbers or if
we just know the magnitude we can enter the magnitude, we know
that this was just a single bird incident. So we’re just going to enter one
in there. And now you can see all this optional information
that populated very quickly. Species I want to point out,
this is actually asking for the common name of the species,
not the species name. So the most specific common
name you can think of. What the response was in this situation
the bird died, so we’ll select mortality, The habitat in which the
organism was found. So this isn’t always the
same application site, it was not found in the rangeland that
is where the application occurred. The bird was actually found in a yard. So
I’m just going to put a home yard in there. And then the age of the affected organism.
Now we don’t know the specific age but we knew it was a mature
adult. So that’s what we enter you’re just trying to be
as specific as possible. And then the route of exposure.
So this one can be a little tricky. There’s a possibility that the
bird consumed the bait directly, and that could have killed it,
or it may have been eating those carcasses of the prairie dogs, which would
have been a secondary poisoning situation. But since we don’t know which one
it was, rather than put unknown, we do know as an ingestion.
So we’ll select ingestion because that’s the most specific we can be
with the information that we have. And then how far away
was it well the yard was about half a mile away
from the treated area. Okay. So now we’re going to,
this is our last entry screen. We’re going to click this
view and review report now. So you can see this just gives
you an overview of the different sections you can always
go through here and edit. I want to point out one thing about the
way that the eco-portal has been updated. If you’re going through an entry
and something comes up and you have to get up and walk
away from your computer, you get a phone call, there is
no time-out on this screen, so you can leave it up for days, and it
will just hold your information on there. But if you need to go back and edit
something you’ve already entered, just step back, you’ll want to go
into this view and review report and then edit from there
because otherwise if you hit the back button on your computer,
it will pop you back out of the eco-portal back to the main page, and you’ll have
to re-enter all of that information again. So at this point you can go through
and edit things if you’d like to. And just scroll down you can
see all the information here. And then you can also add
that optional information. So let’s say we had a PDF of the
lab reports from the forensics lab we can browse bring that up,
or just enter additional information. Here in this situation
because this is a fake report, I entered some information so that
EPA knew this wasn’t an actual report. Then you can go back and review
that and just say submit report now. And you can see now it’s
been saved and sent off. So automatically sent to the
Office of Pesticide Programs, they’ll receive that report,
and if you hit ok here, It just brings you back to that
main page you can start again. One thing I also forgot to mention is in
that optional additional information if you had a situation where there was
multiple animals that have been exposed. Say one animal died so you enter that
information in the primary information, but then there is also a sick
animal found alongside it, You can enter that in that
optional additional information, with the details as much as you
have without having to enter a whole new report, so that they’ll still be
linked because it’s the same incident. Okay, so that is everything I have
to go over. Here’s the topics we’ve gone over again in case you
want to look back at what we’ve talked about if there’s anything
that you have questions about. We’re going to go into a
question moment now. I have here the contact information
for NPIC if you have questions about the eco-portal or anything else you’re
welcome to contact us anytime and ask. You can also send us an email
if you have questions about the eco-portal our email is listed there.
And then there is the website again for the eco-portal in case you want
to go in and start submitting some reports. We thank you for everything that
you do, we appreciate all the reports that people are submitting, and we
hope to see more of them in the future. So I will open this up now in
case anybody has any questions. Please remember to use the chat function
to ask any questions that you might have. Yeah, so it looks like currently
there aren’t any questions, we’ll give it a little bit of time in case
anybody has any questions come up. But if you are going to head out,
we thank you for joining us for this webinar. And feel free to contact us in the
future if you have more questions. Okay, we did get one question here. Is there a way to access submitted
data, or is it only for the EPA? That’s a good question. Yeah. As far as I know there isn’t any way
to access- oh, sorry, this is Amy, as far as I know there isn’t any way
it’s not publicly accessible data, there are summaries provided at
the end of the NPIC annual reports, if that’s the kind of statistical
information you’re looking for. It does get into the types of
animals and the types of pesticides, but as for the reports themselves, I’m not
aware of them being available publicly. Oh, certain entities may be able to
request reports just like certain entities can request NPIC data, so EPA partners,
state agencies, those kinds of individuals. And one thing I’m not sure if I said
this earlier but, if you submit a report, and then you later want to go back
and update it, there is a possibility for us to update your report but
it’s not possible really for us to pull your report and resubmit it
back to you if that makes sense. But we can add additional information if
things occur, and you want to update that. Thanks for the question. Okay, well, thank you all for
joining. Yeah we’ll stick around for a couple minutes but if
you don’t have anything else then thanks for joining us today
and have a fantastic afternoon.


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