August 3, 2017

U.S. Court of Appeals Denies Petition to Ban the Pesticide Chlorpyrifos

Last month, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against a motion to invalidate the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision not to restrict or eliminate the use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos. In the ruling, which took place on July 18, the three-judge panel said that the EPA complied with the court’s previous orders by issuing its “final response to the petition.”

In September 2007, the Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed a petition calling for the EPA to revoke all tolerances for the pesticide chlorpyrifos and cancel all chlorpyrifos registrations. EPA denied the petition on March 29, 2017, noting that it will now focus its attention on updating and revising its human health assessment for chlorpyrifos under the standard procedures of the ongoing registration review process. The NRDC and PANNA challenged EPA’s Order in the San Francisco U.S. Court of Appeals, but ultimately the Court ruled that EPA had issued an appropriate denial. Further, the Court said that further objections by PANNA and NRDC must be made through the administrative process, not at the court.

The U.S. Appeals Court decision to support EPA is good news for agriculture because it was based on applicable regulatory procedures and sound science—something that Western Growers continually advocates for.

Chlorpyrifos is a critical part of pest management programs for farmers. It is used on more than 800,000 acres and more than 60 crops including tree nuts, vegetables, grapes, citrus, cotton and alfalfa. Collectively, these crops account for $23 billion in production value for California.

For more information, contact Hank Giclas at (949) 885-2205.