EPA wants to issue a nation-wide general permit to comply with a court order that the Agency require Clean Water Act NPDES permits for pesticide applications to, over, or near waters of the United States. The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit granted EPA’s request for two years to develop a general permit. On March 3, 2011, EPA asked for an extension of time until October 31, 2011, to complete development and issuance of the permit. EPA gave the time needed for ESA consultation on the permit with NMFS and FWS as one reason for the extension:
Enviros Agree that ESA Consultation Requires More Time for EPA’s Pesticides-Spraying General Permit, but Ask Court for Less Time than EPA Wants
On March 3, 2011, EPA has asked the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit for an extension of time until October 31, 2011, to complete an NPDES general permit under the Clean Water Act for pesticide application to, above or near waters of the United States. EPA’s motion for more time cites the need for ESA consultation with NMFS and FWS as one reason for the extension.
The entire article is attached below. Also attached below is the court filing discussed in the article.
On January 20, 2011, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Pesticides Action Network North America sued the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States District Court in San Francisco. The plaintiffs’ complaint alleged that EPA had failed to perform its duties under the Endangered Species Act to consult with other agencies during EPA’s regulation of pesticides. The complaint asks the court to usurp a large portion of EPA’s statutory authority over pesticides. March 21, 2011, is the current deadline for EPA’s response to the plaintiffs’ complaint.
Attached below is the complete article. Also attached below is the joint motion/order.
Growers for ESA Transparency (GET) filed a petition with EPA on September 16, 2010, asking EPA to establish “clear and equitable procedures” for stakeholder comment during the ESA consultation process for EPA pesticide registrations. Their petition asks EPA “to confirm the rights guaranteed to agricultural producers, pesticide applicators, and other end users” with “the opportunity to comment on the decision that use of a pesticide ‘may affect’ or ‘may adversely affect’ listed species, as well as an opportunity to comment on all aspects of a Biological Opinion resulting from an ESA consultation.”
The complete article is attached below.
In a January 26, 2011, letter to the President’s Council on Environmental Quality, 18 members of Congress urged the Obama Administration to “ensure that NMFS, EPA, the Department of the Interior, USDA, and DOJ work together” to strengthen the modeling and to use the best scientific and commercially available information to re-evaluate existing biological opinions (BiOps) and to inform BiOps for EPA’s Endangered Species Act consultations during pesticide registrations.
The entire article is attached below.
Attached below is the Congressional letter to CEQ.
In a letter dated March 10, 2011, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson confirmed the request by EPA, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of the Interior that the National Resource Council, of the National Academy of Science, review the continuing disputes among the departments and agencies over EPA’s Endangered Species Act review of pesticides.
The entire article is attached below.
On March 2, 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that registrants could challenge in federal district court a final biological opinion that the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service had issued on the registrants’ pesticides. NMFS had issued the BiOp under the Endangered Species Act in consultation with EPA. The pesticides involved are chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion. The registrants challenging the BiOp are Dow AgroSciences LLC, Makhteshim Agan of North America, Inc., and Cheminova, Inc.
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The Fourth Circuit’s opinion is attached below.
EPA Seeks Comment On NMFS’ Draft BIOP For Salmon And Captan, Chlorothalonil, 2,4-D, Diuron, Linuron, and Triclopyr BEE
EPA is seeking comments from pesticide users, registrants, and other interested parties on draft Reasonable and Prudent Measures and Alternatives included in a draft Biological Opinion received from the National Marine Fisheries Service on March 1, 2011. This draft Biological Opinion addresses the potential effects from six pesticides on Pacific salmon and steelhead listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The six pesticides are: captan, chlorothalonil, 2,4-D, diuron, linuron, and triclopyr BEE.
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On January 20, 2011, the Center for Biological Diversity and Pesticides Action Network filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (San Francisco). EPA is the defendant. The CBD and PAN complaint is attached below. It asks for the following relief:
1. Declare that EPA is violating Section 7(a)(2) of the [Endangered Species Act] by failing to consult with the [United States Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service] concerning effects of pesticides on the endangered and threatened species and critical habitats identified herein;