Appeals Court Orders EPA to Decide on Pesticide Ban Within 60 Days

A U.S. Appeals court told the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Thursday that it must either ban a pesticide, which has been linked to child brain damage, or declare that the pesticide is safe. reports that the pesticide, chlorpyrifos, has been in wide use for nearly a decade and a half. During that time activists have claimed that the chemical, which is used to treat crops such as oranges and soybeans, is dangerous. Under the Obama Administration, the EPA had begun the process of banning chlorpyrifos, but the Trump Administration reportedly stopped the banning process.

Now, the EPA is under a mandate to act on a ban within 60 days. In the Appeals Court opinion U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff wrote that for a decade the EPA has been compiling a record of the chemical’s potential dangers, “Yet, rather than ban the pesticide or reduce the tolerances to levels that the EPA can find are reasonably certain to cause no harm, the EPA has sought to evade, through one delaying tactic after another, its plain statutory duties.”

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