The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit handed farmers another win on July 18, 2017. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) challenged EPA’s decision not to restrict or eliminate the use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos, used to kill a number of pests, including insects and worms.
NRDC and PANNA had attempted to revoke pesticide tolerances and cancel the pesticide registrations for chlorpyrifos.
By pounds of active ingredient, chlorpyrifos is the most widely used insecticide in the country. Environmental groups were hoping to destroy a crop protection product used by hundreds of thousands of farmers. Chlorpyrifos is used on tree fruits, nuts, small fruits and vegetables, grain/oilseed crops, cotton, ornamental and agricultural seed production, non-residential turf, industrial sites/rights of way, greenhouse and nursery production, sod farms, plywood production, pulpwood production, wood protection, and public health.
“For some of these crops, chlorpyrifos is currently the only cost-effective choice for control of certain insect pests,” said EPA in its decision denying the environmental groups’ petition to destroy all uses of the pesticide.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt signed the Order on March 29, 2017 (Chlorpyrifos: Order Denying PANNA and NRDC’s Petition to Revoke Tolerances). He issued a 45-page decision which lays out EPA’s reasons for denying PANNA and NRDC’s petition to eliminate the use of chlorpyrifos.