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Industry Moves To Dismiss ‘Mega’ Pesticide Lawsuit

by Britt E. Erickson
February 27, 2012 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 90, Issue 9

A coalition of pesticide and chemical industry trade groups has filed a motion to dismiss the so-called mega lawsuit filed against EPA in January 2011 by the environmental advocacy groups Center for Biological Diversity and Pesticide Action Network North America. The lawsuit claims that EPA failed to consult the Fish & Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service about the effects of hundreds of pesticides on endangered species when it approved the use of the pesticides. EPA is required to conduct such consultations under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The industry groups argue that the complaint is fundamentally flawed because it does not specify which actions EPA did or did not take with respect to the required consultations. The groups also point out that the plaintiffs did not file their suit in the correct jurisdiction or within the deadline for challenging a pesticide registration under federal law. Jay J. Vroom, president and CEO of the pesticide industry group CropLife America, acknowledges that the ESA consultation process needs to be improved. But, he says, “the solution lies in stakeholder collaboration to develop a workable approach to pesticide ESA assessments rather than” via litigation.


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