Daily News Archive
EPA to Stop
Consulting With Experts On Effects of Pesticides on Wildlife (2/2/04)
(Beyond Pesticides, February 2, 2004) The Bush administration
will issue regulations Friday to cut wildlife agencies out of the loop
on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decisions regarding pesticide
use, a move that threatens endangered species and their habitat. Currently,
the EPA must consult with the federal fish and wildlife agencies to
assess the effect of new pesticide use on endangered wildlife prior
to approving their use. The new regulations eliminate that requirement,
leaving endangered wildlife impact assessments up to the EPA, which
has a horrible track record of protecting species from the harmful effects
President's policy benefits the chemical industry at the expense of
the environment," said Defenders of Wildlife President Rodger Schlickeisen.
"It is another example of Americans paying the price as the President
bows to the wishes of industry."
The issuance of
the regulations comes on the heels of a sweeping court ruling that will
put in place no-spray buffers along salmon streams to protect salmon
from pesticides. The buffers will remain in place until EPA completes
its consultation with National Marine Fisheries Service on the impacts
of pesticides on salmon.
if enacted, are a huge step backwards of the regions salmon recovery
efforts. We cannot sit back and watch salmon be poisoned at the whim
of the current administration," said Aimee Code of NCAP.
The new regulations
will do the following:
- shut fish and
wildlife experts out of endangered species protection by allowing
EPA to assess the impacts of pesticides on endangered species alone
- allow outdated
science to be the basis for determining how endangered species should
be protected from pesticides
- give the chemical
industry special participation rights not shared by the public.
EPA has repeatedly
failed to protect endangered species such as salmon. For example, EPA
continues to authorize use of pesticides such as diazinon that fish
and wildlife agencies have found can harm endangered species.
and pesticides are among the greatest threats to wildlife and habitat,"
said Patti Goldman of Earthjustice. "The Bush administration's
policy weakens long-standing regulations that protect species and will
only lead to more harmful chemicals in our environment."