Energy & Environment

Groups sue EPA for not banning pesticide

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Two groups have sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its decision not to ban a pesticide linked to nervous system and brain disorders.

The Pesticide Action Network and the Natural Resource Defense Council on Wednesday asked a federal court to force the EPA to take action on chlorpyrifos, a pesticide used to kill insects on pests on crops, including some meant for human consumption. 

Most household uses of the chemical were phased out in 2001. The EPA, under former President Barack Obama, proposed banning its use, a decision that raised objections from farmers and companies such as Dow Chemical. 

{mosads}But the EPA on Thursday said it would not ban chlorpyrifos. The NRDC and Pesticide Action Network have asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to force the agency to do so. 

“President Trump and his EPA flouted court orders and EPA’s scientific findings that chlorpyrifos puts children, farmworkers, their families and many others at risk,” Patti Goldman, the Earthjustice managing attorney handling the case, said in a statement. 

“We are asking the court to protect children by ordering EPA to take action now to ban chlorpyrifos.”

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said last week that not banning the pesticide would “provide regulatory certainty to the thousands of American farms that rely on chlorpyrifos, while still protecting human health and the environment.”

The agency on Wednesday published a press release with laudatory reactions from five groups that opposed banning chlorpyrifos.

NRDC and other groups originally petitioned, and sued, the Obama administration to take action on chlorpyrifos’s use on food crops before the 2015 proposal to ban it.

“If it takes a court order for EPA to stand up to pressure from Dow’s lobbyists and do right by children and their families, then so be it,” said Kristin Schafer, policy director for Pesticide Action Network. 

Tags Barack Obama chlorpyrifos Environmental Protection Agency Pesticides

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