Regulations on Pesticide Use Set to Bypass Wildlife Experts (1/29/04)
(Beyond Pesticides, January 29, 2004) New regulations proposed by the Bush administration today cut wildlife agencies out of the loop on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decisions regarding pesticide use, a move that threatens all wildlife – but especially 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. The EPA has admitted that it already has a terrible track record as it is of protecting species from the harmful effects of pesticides.
"The President's policy benefits the chemical industry at the expense of the environment," said Defenders of Wildlife President Rodger Schlickeisen. "It is another example Americans paying the price as the President bows to the wishes of industry.
Last week a federal district court mandated EPA impose buffers next to salmon streams for 38 pesticides that may harm Pacific salmon and steelhead. To give EPA more authority is illogical after such a blatant demonstration of its inability to protect species on the brink.
"These rules, if enacted, are a huge step backwards for our regions salmon recovery efforts, we cannot sit back and watch years of work unravel at the whim of the current administration," said Aimee Code the Water Quality Coordinator at NCAP.
Source: Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides