Daily News Archives

Pesticide Retailers Notified of Required Notice to Protect Endangered Salmon; Bush to Weaken Endangered Species Law, Comments Due 3-30-04
(Beyond Pesticides, March 29, 2004) On March 24, 2004, EPA published in the Federal Register a notice to state agencies in California, Oregon, and Washington, and pesticide retailers in those states who sell certain pesticides in urban areas through which "salmon-supporting waters" pass. The notice informs these pesticide retailers and state agencies of notification requirements imposed by the January 22, 2004, ruling of the Court for the Western District of Washington in the case of Washington Toxics Coalition, et al. (WTC) v. EPA. (See Daily News, January 26, 2004) Meanwhile, in a separate but related issue, the deadline to tell the Bush Administration to stop its effort to weaken endangered species law is March 30, 2004. See previous Daily News, March 10, 2004, for details on the issue and how to comment, with sample letter.

In the March 24 notice, retailers are made aware that they are required to make available a point-of-sale notification developed by EPA pursuant to the Court Order whenever pesticide products containing any of seven active ingredients are sold. The notifications will be distributed to retailers on or before April 5, 2004, by defendant-intervenors in the case (numerous groups representing pesticide registrants, growers, and other pesticide users). The notice also informs states that EPA has been directed to produce and provide on or before April 5, 2004, copies of the point-of-sale notifications to state pesticide agencies, state fish agencies, and land grant university extension coordinators in the urban areas and to request that they, in turn, provide this information to Certified Applicators whose certification would permit them to apply pesticides in urban areas.

The District Court's January 22, 2004, order also imposes no-use buffer zones around salmon-supporting waters (as defined by the Court) in Washington, Oregon, and California for certain pesticides. The court's
order will remain in effect until EPA determines that these pesticides have no effect on listed Pacific salmon and steelhead, makes a determination that these pesticides are not likely to adversely affect these species, or completes consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) about the potential effects of the pesticides on Pacific salmon and steelhead.

Under the Endangered Species Act, EPA must ensure that its registration of a pesticide is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of species listed as endangered and threatened or adversely modify habitat critical to those species' survival. In addition to the obligation to ensure that its actions are not likely to jeopardize listed species, the agency must consult, as appropriate, with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) or NMFS if a pesticide's use may affect listed species or designated critical habitat of the species.

More information on EPA's Endangered Species Protection Program is available on EPA's website.
TAKE ACTION: Write to the Fish and Wildlife Serivce by tomorrow, March 30, 2004, to stop the Bush Administration from weakening wildlife protections from pesticides under the Endangered Species Act. See sample letter.