Daily News Archive
January 4, 2005
Filed Challenging EPA’s Approval of Ozone-Depleting Chemical
(Beyond Pesticides, January 4, 2005) In response to
a new EPA rule that would allow increased production and use of a cancer-causing,
ozone-depleting chemical, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed
suit against the new rule on December 23, 2004. The rule violates
both the Clean Air Act and the Montreal Protocol, the world's most successful
"The Bush administration has given a holiday bonus to a handful of
chemical companies and agribusinesses," said David Doniger, Policy
Director for NRDC's Climate Center. "More methyl bromide means more
ozone depletion and higher risks of skin cancer, cataracts, and other
illnesses. More methyl bromide also means higher risks of prostate cancer
for pesticide applicators."
The lawsuit was filed today in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District
of Columbia Circuit Court. NRDC will also send a letter to EPA Administrator
Michael Leavitt today, asking that he "stay" key provisions
pending review by the court.
The rule in question was signed by the outgoing EPA Administrator, and
would allow a 2 million pound increase in 2005 in the use of methyl bromide,
compared to 2003. It also allows chemical companies to produce or import
17 million pounds of methyl bromide even though they already have more
than 22 million pounds stockpiled in railroad cars and tanks around the
country. This new action followed several other decisions by the Bush
administration to allow more use of the pesticide.
After a 12 year phase-out process under the treaty, known as the Montreal
Protocol, methyl bromide production and use is supposed to end at the
close of this year, with very highly restricted exemptions available only
for "critical uses." But under the new EPA regulations, methyl
bromide use will actually increase in 2005.
The Montreal Protocol, signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1987 and supported
by subsequent U.S. presidents from both political parties, is intended
to protect the ozone layer, which shields us from cancer-causing ultraviolet
radiation that increases risks of skin cancer, cataracts and immunological
disease. Methyl bromide also causes prostate cancer in agricultural workers
and others who are directly exposed, according to the National Cancer
TAKE ACTION: Write President
Bush in the White House and insist that the U.S. comply with the Montreal
Protocol and begin implementing alternatives.