EPA Ordered to Act on Chlorpyrifos

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has to tell environmentalists by June 30 whether it plans to ban agricultural use of a pesticide considered harmful enough to be banned for home use in 2001.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday ordered the EPA to notify the Pesticide Action Network North America whether it will deny PANNA’s petition to ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos or cancel the pesticide’s registration for use by Sept. 15, 2015.

Chlorpyrifos, first introduced in 1965 by Dow Chemical Co., is also known as Dursban and Lorsban.

It acts on the nervous systems of insects.  Exposure to humans has been linked to neurological damage, including autoimmune and developmental disorders.  It has been banned for home use since 2001.  But it remains widely used in agriculture.

PANNA contends that exposure to organophosphate pesticide can cause headaches, agitation, inability to concentrate, weakness, nausea, diarrhea and blurred vision.

In 2007, PANNA asked the EPA to cancel the registration.  The appeals court told the EPA to give the court a status update by July 15, 2015 on whether it will deny the PANNA request.

If it intends to deny the request it must do so by Sept. 15, 2015, according to the court.  However, if it will use public comment from April to grant in whole or part the PANNA request, it must tell the court the date it intends to act and why.

Case: In re Pesticide Action Network, No. 14-72794



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