Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Approval Pending Final Review Outcome
After many years of intensive research and field testing, Marrone Bio-Innovations has gained United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval for the use of Zequanox, a bacteria-based molluscicide, in open waters to combat infestations of invasive zebra and quagga mussels in lakes, rivers, and other open bodies of water.
Zequanox, the only selective and aquatic ecosystem compatible molluscicide in existence, was first approved by the EPA in 2012 for invasive mussel control in enclosed hydro-systems and infrastructure for energy producers and manufacturing companies. Final EPA approval allows Marrone Bio-Innovations, pending Michigan Department of Environmental Quality authorization, to offer Zequanox to lake managers in Michigan as a potentially effective solution to control existing populations of invasive mussels. Zequanox is formulated from a strain of the bacteria know as Pseudomonas fluorescens. The naturally occurring bacteria has been utilized by the agricultural community for decades to help prevent fruit crops from freezing.
Invasive mussel populations are now prevalent in major waterways throughout the United States, including the Great Lakes Region as well as the Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Colorado rivers. Lake Huron and Lake Michigan are known to host astronomical populations of quagga mussels which are capable of surviving and reproducing in depths of up to 100 meters. The rapidly reproducing mussels have had a significant economic and environmental impact on recreational water use throughout the Great Lakes region. Colonies of invasive zebra and quagga mussels are known to negatively impact native mussel populations and disrupt aquatic food chains. Invasive zebra and quagga mussels first appeared in Michigan waters in the late 1980’s and have since caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to water related infrastructure.
A successful test of Zequanox involving an early stage infestation of zebra mussels was conducted earlier this fall by Marrone Bio-Innovations and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Christmas Lake near Shorewood, Minnesota. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is expected to finish its review of Zequanox during the spring of 2015, pending the completion of a pilot study in Lake Erie by Marrone Bio-Innovations as well as the results of a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study “Evaluating the Safety and Efficacy of Pseudomonas fluorescens Strain CL145A to Control Dreissenid Mussels”.
For more information regarding the product, visit the company’s product dedicated web page at http://www.marronebioinnovations.com/products/brand/zequanox/ .
To view the USGS study information go to http://cida.usgs.gov/glri/projects/invasive_species/zm_control.html