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EPA Sued Over Pesticides, Endangered Species

Date: 24-Jan-11
Country: USA
Author: Peter Henderson

EPA Sued Over Pesticides, Endangered Species Photo: Joe Skipper
A grove of star ruby grapefruit is sprayed by a worker in a grove in Vero Beach, Florida December 1, 2010.
Photo: Joe Skipper

Environmental conservation groups sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday to force it to tighten regulation of pesticide use, arguing that the agency was not consulting wildlife officials.

The Center for Biological Diversity has successfully sued the EPA on similar grounds, focusing on individual species, but the new suit seeks a broad change in policy by the agency to meet what it says are Endangered Species Act rules.

An EPA spokesman declined to comment on ongoing litigation.

The EPA does a number of tests on pesticides but rarely discusses their effects with U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials, which the suit aims to force them to do, the Center for Biological Diversity said.

"The ecological risk assessment does not consider the cumulative or synergistic effects posed by multiple pesticides on wildlife or the environment, nor does it address delayed effects of pesticides, referred to as 'lag effects,'" the suit filed in San Francisco federal court charges.

"Since 1993, there have been only a few completed consultations with the (Fish and Wildlife) Service regarding pesticide impacts to listed species, other than those imposed by court orders," it added.

The suit is Center for Biological Diversity vs. Environmental Protection Agency in U.S. District Court, California Northern District, case No. 11-00293.

(Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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