WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) included pesticide use patterns recommended by the National Pest Management Association and Pest Control Operators of California in a revised Endangered Species Act-related legal agreement the agency recently filed with a federal district court in Northern California, representing a huge victory for the professional pest management industry.
The agreement, known as a stipulated injunction, is an attempt by EPA to resolve a May 2007 lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) alleging that EPA failed to meets its requirements under ESA to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service - the primary agencies charged with implementing ESA - when registering and reevaluating pesticides. Under ESA all federal agencies must consult with the Services when an action they take or decision they make may advserely impact a threatened or endangered species and their critical habitat. The plaintiffs specifically asked the court to impose interim risk mitigation measures on the use of 74 active ingredients in much of Northern California. Concerned that the judge would rule against it and impose his own pesticide use restrictions, EPA last summer entered into a preliminary agreement with CBD that would have disallowed the use of many PCO products in the covered areas, including all of the rodenticides, pyrethroids, fipronil and imidacloprid.
NPMA and PCOC responded immediately by meeting with senior EPA officials and members of Congress, generating grassroots comments and enlisting the help of a broad cross-section of non-agricultural pesticide manufacturers, formulators, distributors and applicators. NPMA and PCOC urged EPA to revise the agreement, specifically arguing that there should be exemptions for vector control performed by non-government certified applicators, rodenticide and termiticide applications outside of structures and for better mapping to allow PCOs to comply the with the court’s order.
The pending stipulated injunction, which EPA and CBD have asked the court to ratify and could be ratified and in effect very shortly, includes much of what NPMA and PCOC requested. Moreover, EPA officials have informed NPMA and PCOC that the mapping technology has been upgraded, allowing pest management professionals to more easily comply with the court imposed requirements.
Click here to view the revised stipulated injunction.