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On January 11th, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) listed the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). According the USFWS1, the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee has experienced an 87% decline since the late 1990’s, which led to the listing. The USFWS has identified disease, pesticides, climate change, habitat loss, and small colony dynamics as threats which may contribute to the bees decline and listing as an endangered species. The USFWS is not currently listing critical habitat for the species due to a lack of information on the biological needs of the species.Josiah FullSizeRender

While this listing doesn’t currently carry some of the broad land use restrictions other USFWS species listings have in recent years, it does have the potential to impact certain agricultural industries in the near future. In the final listing for this species in the Federal Register2, the USFWS indicated that a certain class of pesticides called neonicotinoids could play a role in the decline of the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee based on research on impacts to other species of bumble bees. Additionally, the USFWS also stated that they are actively collaborating with the EPA in reviewing nine pesticides with biological opinions slated for December 2017, 2018 and 2022. How this species listing impacts those biological opinions and how they impact EPA determinations under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) will be telling in the coming months and years.

This listing becomes effective February 10th, 2017.


Josiah Frey is an Environmental Scientist at Smith Management Group. Josiah can be reached at josiahf@smithmanage.com


  1. https://www.fws.gov/midwest/news/861.html

2. https://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/insects/rpbb/pdf/PIFR_RPBBFinalListingRule11Jan2017.pdf

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Kentucky General Assembly Update; January 5, 2017

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Important Change to Kentucky eForms Submission Process




A local company engaged in manufacturing imported a small amount of a chemical substance defined under TSCA. Faced with a potential EPA enforcement action with penalties assessed for noncompliance under TSCA of up to $32,500 per day per violation, the company called SMG for help.


SMG analyzed the company’s current TSCA procedures and assisted the company in developing a proactive, cost-effective compliance procedure. SMG also facilitated a training program to educate employees about TSCA.

SMG worked with the company to develop mechanisms that assured adherence with the policies that were being implemented for compliance. Procedures to promptly correct any potential violations and prevent future violations were also put into place.


SMG was able to show that the company complied with the relevant TSCA regulations and was improving their TSCA policies and procedures to assure that future issues were less likely to occur. The company was not subjected to the proposed penalties and now has mechanisms in place to maintain TSCA compliance.