Court Hears Arguments on Whether EPA Must Protect Endangered Species From Pesticides
A federal district court in San Francisco heard arguments Friday in the most comprehensive legal action ever brought under the Endangered Species Act to protect endangered species from the harmful chemicals in pesticides. The Center for Biological Diversity and Pesticide Action Network are challenging the EPA’s failure to assess the impacts of hundreds of pesticides on more than 200 endangered and threatened species, including Florida panthers, California condors, piping plovers and black-footed ferrets.
“We’re trying to make sure the EPA does its legal and moral duty to make sure harmful chemicals aren’t sprayed in the same places where these vulnerable wild animals are trying to survive,” said Jeff Miller, a conservation advocate with the Center.
A series of lawsuits by the Center and allies has forced the agency to consult on the impacts of scores of pesticides on endangered species, mostly in California; the current suit is the first with a nationwide scope. The presiding judge told attorneys he was initially inclined to grant the EPA’s motion to dismiss the suit, but after hearing arguments from both sides Friday, including from the Center’s Collette Adkins Giese, the judge said his ruling wouldn’t be issued anytime soon.
Read more in The Washington Post.