Is the Clock Running Out on Crucial Pesticide?
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has given the Environmental Protection Agency 90 days to justify the use of chlorpyrifos.
Last summer, a three-judge panel of the court ordered the EPA to ban all sales of the pesticide. The court decided to reconsider that ruling with a slate of 11 judges, and those judges last week gave the EPA three months to respond to the plaintiffs’ objections.
The organophosphate is used to control pests that threaten a variety of crops, including grapes, almonds, oranges, and a variety of vegetables.
The court issued the order at the request of a coalition of farmworker and environmental groups. Attorneys general for several states, including California, Washington, New York and Massachusetts, joined the case, according to news reports.
The groups sued after then-EPA chief Scott Pruitt reversed an Obama-era effort to ban chlorpyrifos.