The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved for five years the use of two products with the weedkiller dicamba on cotton and soybeans that are resistant to it.
It also extended the use of a third product.
The agency’s prior approval of dicamba was vacated in court over its impacts on other crops that it can harm.
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said the decision will provide “certainty to growers as they make future purchasing decisions.” He said the new approval circumvents issues with the prior approval by increasing the size of buffer zones between dicamba-sprayed crops and other crops and also increasing the buffer size for endangered species.
A study by researchers from the National Cancer Institute from earlier this year also linked dicamba use to liver and bile duct cancer.
However, the EPA continued to find that dicamba was not likely to be carcinogenic, saying that it identified “several deficiencies” in the study.
Wheeler told reporters on Tuesday that states would be allowed to both further restrict the use of dicamba and also further expand it.
He added that expansion wouldn’t be “automatic” and that the states would have to file the “appropriate requests” with the agency.