Pesticide Law and Policy, 11 July 2016
On July 5, 2016, a three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a brief opinion denying a petition for review of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) order in which EPA declined to ‘immediately adopt interim prohibitions on the use of toxic drift-prone pesticides … near homes, schools, parks, and daycare centers or wherever children congregate.
Petitioners Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA), United Farm Workers, and Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PANNA, et al.) filed an administrative petition in 2009 asking EPA to conduct pesticide-specific drift assessments and to impose interim buffer zones to protect children from pesticide drift. The Circuit Court agreed with EPA’s contention that the petitioners do not have jurisdiction to review the re-registration and tolerance determinations previously made by EPA pursuant to the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA), because such challenges are now time barred.
EPA agreed with the petitioners that it should consider potential risks from spray drift as part of the registration review under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The petitioners argued that EPA had thereby acknowledged legal error when it previously re-registered food-use pesticides, but EPA has vigorously contested that premise. In 2014, EPA issued a proposal describing the methodology for assessing risk from pesticide drift that EPA will use prospectively in making registration review decisions.
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