Intervening In Pesticide Case

Intervening In Pesticide Case

Intervening In Pesticide Case. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.

Ag chemical companies are trying to intervene in a lawsuit filed against the Environmental Protection Agency that could set a precedent for how farmers apply pesticides.   Environmental groups alleged EPA violated the Endangered Species Act by not consulting federal officials about the potential effect pesticides could have on hundreds of species.  The court gave the parties approval to work out a settlement, but   CropLife America is opposing the action.  CEO Jay Vroom says they made a motion to intervene on March 18.

VROOM: We have filed to seek to be admitted as interveners in this new lawsuit from the environmental extremists community that was filed back in January. If it is really sort of the ultimate expansion of a series of lawsuits challenging simply the procedural question of whether or not the consultation process was properly followed between the endangered species agencies of the federal government and U.S. EPA that has principal authority for registering pesticide products.

Vroom says in their motion they argue that EPA would not represent their best interests in a settlement.  He says they want to preserve pesticide registrations and licenses and the right to sell the products.

VROOM: One like this that is largely policy driven and attempting to sort of rewrite or expand the law the United States has an incredibly profound and rippling effect kind of potential. Additional extreme restrictions on the products used, one of the favorite settlement tactics is the imposition of field buffers and usually the extreme activist organizations seek 500 feet grant application buffers around the perimeters of fields and often times 1000 feet buffers for aerial application.

And while many of these types of lawsuits have been regional in nature, Vroom says this one is more far reaching.

VROOM: This one is virtually nationwide. They only left out Alaska so it covers the other 49 states and 380 active pesticide ingredients which represents more than half of all the pesticide active ingredients that our industry currently have registered for sale and use in the United States.

A coalition of farm and commodity groups is also planning to mount a challenge in the case.  In recent weeks members of Congress have also questioned EPA about the willingness to settle rather than challenge lawsuits.

That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.

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