Issue Date: July 10, 2017
U.S. EPA ordered to assess pesticide’s effects on endangered species
In a win for environmental groups, a federal court found that U.S. EPA violated the law in 2014 when it approved the pesticide cyantraniliprole for use on citrus and blueberries. EPA claims the chemical poses a lower risk to mammals, birds, and fish than other alternatives used to combat citrus greening and an invasive fruit fly. In a June 30 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that EPA failed to determine the effects of the insecticide on threatened native species and to consult with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service about such impacts. The court directed EPA to conduct the assessment and report to the court on its progress every six months. In the meantime, cyantraniliprole can remain on the market and continue being used. Environmental groups say the ruling is an important victory that will protect threatened butterflies and other imperiled pollinators. EPA found in 2013 that cyantraniliprole is “highly toxic or very highly toxic” to terrestrial invertebrates, including butterflies and beetles.
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