NACWA Asks EPA to Evaluate Down-the-Drain Impacts of Pet Flea Pesticide

(April 10, 2020) – In recent comments, NACWA asked EPA to consider aquatic impacts of pet flea shampoos and treatments that contain methoprene, a chemical that is used in pet flea treatments.   

The Association’s April 6 comments on EPA’s Preliminary Registration Review Work Plan for methoprene explained that publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) cannot control domestic use of pesticides, but many pesticides pass through the treatment process and are discharged into the environment. EPA’s risk analysis and product labeling instructions are therefore a vital part of ensuring appropriate use and disposal of pesticide. 

In the methoprene work plan, EPA did not specify that it would conduct a “down the drain” analysis, as it usually does for other pesticides used indoors and on pets. NACWA requested that EPA do this evaluation for methoprene, since pet flea control chemicals can be washed off pets and transferred to hands and clothing, which are then washed. NACWA also suggested potential mitigation measures, such as improved labeling of products containing methoprene. 

NACWA supported the comments of the Bay Area Clean Water Agencies (BACWA), which has been advocating for improved consideration of pesticide impacts to POTWs. NACWA will continue to work with BACWA to address this issue. NACWA members with questions or information about pesticide impacts should contact Cynthia Finley, NACWA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs.