Is MSMA Still Available For Golf Courses?

By Chava McKeel | Sept. 9, 2016

In August 2006, the EPA issued a decision to make inorganic arsenicals (MSMA) ineligible for re-registration. At the time, GCSAA worked closely with the Organic Arsenical Products Task Force (OAPTF) to preserve MSMA for golf course use. This effort included an extensive grassroots outreach campaign to EPA to let the agency know of the importance of the product. This effort also included direct outreach to the agency providing officials with usage and economic data and guidance on proposed mitigation measures gathered from feedback from GCSAA members and chapters and turfgrass scientists.

In January 2009, the OAPTF signed an agreement with EPA which permitted the continued use of MSMA in certain states. This agreement has been the source of confusion regarding timelines for purchase and use and GCSAA and the OAPTF are offering the very latest on the current status of MSMA on golf courses to eliminate confusion. The status update below has been approved by the EPA to share with the GCSAA membership:

The Organic Arsenical Products Task Force (Task Force) wishes to clarify the timeline for the review by EPA of MSMA for uses on golf courses, sod farms, and highway rights of- way. Pursuant to the agreement reached between EPA and the Task Force in January 2009, EPA will defer any decision on these uses until the Agency’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) inorganic arsenic risk assessment has been completed and peer reviewed by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). This is expected to be completed in 2017. EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) will then analyze and respond to the peer review as part of the Registration Review process. Registration Review is the periodical review mandated by FIFRA for all pesticides. That review is currently scheduled for completion in 2019 but may be completed before that time.

So the sale and use of MSMA on golf courses is still currently available in states except for Florida.

The above status update does not apply to use of MSMA in Florida. The cancellation of MSMA in Florida is state specific and has no bearing on federal restrictions. MSMA products have been withdrawn in Florida. They went off label at the end of 2009. However, any existing stocks of MSMA products purchased for use in Florida by Dec. 31, 2010 can be used until exhausted.

More information on MSMA use can be found on the OAPTF website at http://www.oaptf.com/.