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	 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency	15-p-oo46
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	 \ Office of Inspector General
At a Glance
Why We Did This Review
We conducted this review of the
National Pesticide Information
Center (NPIC) to determine how
effective NPIC is at reporting
pesticide enforcement and
compliance incidents to the
appropriate State Lead Agencies
(SLAs). NPIC is funded by a
cooperative agreement currently
between Oregon State University
and the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA). We
initiated this review based on
issues raised by SLAs at a 2013
public meeting on various
pesticide issues.
According to the EPA, NPIC
provides objective, science-
based information about
pesticides to enable people to
make informed decisions about
pesticides and their use.
This report addresses the
following EPA goal or
cross-agency strategy:
 Ensuring the safety of
chemicals and preventing
pollution.
Send all inquiries to our public
affairs office at (202) 566-2391
or visit www.epa.gov/oig.
The full report is at:
www.epa.aov/oia/reports/2015/
20150107-15-P-0046.pdf.
EPA Needs to Improve Outreach and
Communication About the National Pesticide
Information Center's Role and Services
What We Found
Improved communication
to state agencies
regarding NPIC's role
and services will improve
NPIC's value and ability
to provide reliable
information to the public
and states.
NPIC's role is not well understood by some SLAs,
which has led to confusion and dissatisfaction with
NPIC services. NPIC is designed to respond to
public inquiries about pesticides through a toll-free
telephone service, an extensive website and
through outreach and training; to provide objective,
science-based information about pesticides and
pesticide-related topics to enable the public to
make informed decisions about pesticides and their use. NPIC's responsibilities
do not include reporting to SLAs specific pesticide enforcement and compliance
incidents that may violate pesticide laws. We believe this confusion stems from
a lack of outreach and communication to SLAs regarding NPIC's role. The
cooperative agreement with the EPA does not require NPIC to engage in
proactive outreach or communication regarding its role and services with SLAs.
Additionally, some SLAs expressed concern that NPIC staff are not contacting
SLAs to make sure that state contact information on the NPIC website is
up-to-date and accurate. Improved NPIC communication of its role and services
and more contact with SLAs will improve understanding of NPIC's value and
enhance its ability to provide reliable information.
Recommendations
We recommend that the EPA send notices annually to inform all SLAs of
NPIC's role and services and clearly state that NPIC is not a pesticide
compliance or enforcement program. We also recommend that the agency
amend its cooperative agreement to require the grantee to consult annually with
each SLA to verify contact information on the NPIC website, as well as to
communicate NPIC roles and services to SLAs. The EPA agreed with our
recommendations and has proposed acceptable corrective actions. All
recommendations are resolved.

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