On December 11, 2019, the Center for Biological Diversity filed a petition with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service.  The first two paragraphs of this Petition read as follows (footnotes omitted):

“Pursuant to the right to petition the government as provided in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Administrative Procedure Act, and the Endangered Species Act, the Center for Biological Diversity (‘the Center’) formally petitions the Secretary of Commerce through the National Marine Fisheries Service (‘NMFS’) and the Secretary of the Interior through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (‘FWS’) (collectively the ‘Services’) to promptly initiate rulemakings to restrict the use of pesticides in designated critical habitat of wildlife and plants protected under the Endangered Species Act. This rulemaking is necessary because the facts and history overwhelmingly demonstrate that the Environmental Protection Agency (‘EPA’) is both unwilling and unable to comply with the clear statutory requirements to address the harm caused by pesticides to threatened and endangered species by consulting with the Services prior to the approval of a pesticide as well as failing to comply with the Endangered Species Act on other discretionary agency actions taken under the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (‘FIFRA’).

This petition requests that the use of pesticides be prohibited in critical habitat, unless the EPA has completed a Section 7 consultation assessing its impacts on listed species, or if a private party has entered into a Habitat Conservation Plan under Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act. Pesticides could also still be used to implement conservation activities essential to recover endangered species — such as the control of invasive species — or if the use of the pesticide was needed to protect human health or safety. In all other cases, the use of pesticides in critical habitat should be prohibited.”

Click here to read the entire Petition.