Thursday, January 28, 2010
Lawsuit to Protect Endangered Species from Pesticides
Lawsuit Initiated to Protect Hundreds of Endangered Species From Pesticide Impacts
“It’s time for the Environmental Protection Agency to finally reform pesticide use to protect both wildlife and people,” said Jeff Miller, a conservation advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Many endangered species most affected by toxic pesticides are already struggling to cope with habitat loss and rapid climate changes. For too long this agency’s oversight has been abysmal, allowing the pesticide industry to unleash a virtual plague of toxic chemicals into our environment.”
More than a billion pounds of pesticides are used each year in the United States, and the Environmental Protection Agency has registered more than 18,000 different pesticides for use. Extensive scientific studies have shown that pesticide contamination is widespread and pervasive in groundwater, drinking water, and aquatic habitat for fish and wildlife throughout the country. Through pesticide drift and runoff, pesticides often travel far from the areas where they’re applied and into sensitive wildlife habitats. Some contaminated waterways are regularly subjected to toxic pulses of combinations of pesticides deadly to fish. Pesticides have played a major role in the collapse of many native fish populations and are a leading cause of the loss of native amphibians.
Today’s notice letter references 887 endangered and threatened species that may be hurt by pesticides Some examples include the Florida panther, coho salmon, California condor, Everglade snail kite, northern Aplomado falcon, mountain yellow-legged frog, California tiger salamander, arroyo toad, Indiana bat, and green sturgeon. Thousands of non-target animals such as mountain lions, bobcats, hawks, and owls are killed or harmed each year by poisoned baits approved by the EPA, as are endangered species such as the San Joaquin kit fox, Utah prairie dog, giant kangaroo rat, and black-footed ferret. Application of pesticides such as carbofuran to crops can result in as many as 17 bird kills for every five acres treated.
“Millions of pounds of toxic and poisonous chemicals, including known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors, find their way into our waterways each year, causing significant and unnecessary threats to endangered wildlife and to human health,” said Miller. “The Environmental Protection Agency needs to analyze the effects of pesticides across the board on hundreds of imperiled species.”
Numerous pesticides act as endocrine disruptors, chemicals that alter the structure or function of the body’s endocrine system, which uses hormones to regulate growth, metabolism, and tissue function. Endocrine disruptors interfere with natural hormone functions, damaging reproductive function and offspring, and cause developmental, neurological, and immune problems in wildlife and humans. Pesticides have caused sexual deformities such as intersex fish (with male and female reproductive parts) that cannot reproduce, and the herbicide atrazine chemically castrates male frogs at extremely low concentrations.
In 2004 the Center published Silent Spring Revisited: Pesticide Use and Endangered Species, detailing the Environmental Protection Agency’s dismal record in protecting endangered species from pesticides. The Center’s Pesticides Reduction Campaign has so far forced the Environmental Protection Agency to begin evaluating the harmful effects of scores of pesticides on a dozen endangered species in California.
The EPA is required by the Endangered Species Act to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service over registration, re-registration, and approved uses of pesticides that may endanger listed species or adversely affect their designated critical habitat. Formal consultations are designed to ensure that the agency avoids authorizing pesticide uses that jeopardize endangered species. For decades the agency has consistently failed to evaluate or adequately regulate pesticides it registers that are harmful to the species.
A series of lawsuits by the Center and other conservation groups have forced consultations with the Fish and Wildlife Service on the impacts of scores of pesticides on some endangered species, primarily in California, and interim restrictions on use of these pesticides in and adjacent to endangered species habitats. In 2006 the EPA agreed to interim restrictions on applying 66 pesticides throughout California and began analyzing their effects on the California red-legged frog. In 2010 the agency proposed a settlement agreement to formally evaluate the harmful effects of 75 pesticides that may affect 11 imperiled San Francisco Bay Area species.
At the completion of consultation, the federal wildlife agency issues a biological opinion that determines if the agency action is likely to jeopardize listed species. The opinion may specify reasonable and prudent alternatives that will avoid jeopardy and may also suggest modifications to avoid adverse effects. The EPA has failed to implement previous biological opinions on pesticides to meet “no jeopardy” obligations.
The EPA has violated Section 2 of the Endangered Species Act, which requires that federal agencies “seek to conserve endangered species and threatened species,” and Section 7 of the Act, which requires it to engage in consultation with the federal wildlife agencies Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service to ensure that pesticide registrations are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species or result in the adverse modification of designated critical habitat. The agency has failed to enter into consultation regarding the vast majority of pesticides and to re-consult on species and pesticides previously addressed in consultations for which there is new information. It has also violated Section 9 of the Act through registration of pesticide uses that have resulted in the illegal “take” of listed species. The agency is violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act by registering pesticide uses that cause take of migratory birds.
Maps of U.S.endangered species habitat affected by pesticides and herbicides: http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/pesticides_reduction/maps/US_map.html
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 255,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.
Center for Biological Diversity
351 California Street, Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94104
Phone: (415) 436-9682 x303
Fax: (415) 436-9683
Web site: http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/
At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature — to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild plants and animals. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law, and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters, and climate that species need to survive. We want those who come after us to inherit a world where the wild is still alive.
Censored News Special Edition
- ► 2011 (70)
- Detained in Oaxaca: Human Rights Violations
- Emergency in Dakotas: Take Action Today!
- Red Nation Film Festival Winners 2010
- False Flag Attack Foiled
- Let Us Prey: A Tale of Two Clergymen
- Lawsuit to Protect Endangered Species from Pesticides
- Venezuela cancels Haiti debt; CITGO ships 120 tons...
- Haiti is Bleeding… so too is Afghanistan, Iraq & t...
- BBC VIDEO: Sex Crimes and the Vatican
- International Criminal Court: Complaint filed agai...
- Canadian Customs Wants Your Laptop
- Homeland Security Harass Haiti Relief Delegates
- Prisoner Abuse at Lewisburg Penintentiary
- Diabetes and mercury poisoning at Grassy Narrows
- Israel reveals fears of human rights activists, in...
- Kevin Annett: Eye Witnesses of Murder and Torture ...
- Ohlone People Ask San Francisco Planning Dept to F...
- Rodriguez: Huehuetlahtolli (Ancient Gudiances) re ...
- Kevin Annett: Canada's police involved in sex crimes
- Flagstaff Media Workshop: Uranium & Me
- Judge denies Crow Creek Sioux restraining order ag...
- Survivors of Canadian Residential Schools Plan Civ...
- Lehman Brightman 'Bureau of Caucasian Affairs'
- Traditional Food Safety: A message from Hank Aqqui...
- American Indian Airwaves: Indigenous Rights
- Roberto Rodriguez: Decade of Fraud, Fear, Hate and...
- Protest BIA in Sacramento: Halt eviction of Miwoks...
- ▼ January (27)
- ► 2009 (91)
- ► 2008 (285)
Censored News Blog Radio
Donate to Censored News
. Censored News is free of advertising and has no sponsors.
Censored News Homepage
About Censored News
Censored News is published by censored journalist Brenda Norrell. A journalist for 27 years, Brenda lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, writing for Navajo Times, AP, USA Today, Lakota Times and other American Indian publications. After being censored and then terminated by Indian Country Today in 2006, she began the Censored Blog to document the most censored issues. She currently serves as human rights editor for the U.N. OBSERVER & International Report at the Hague and contributor to Sri Lanka Guardian, Narco News and CounterPunch. She was cohost of the 5-month Longest Walk Talk Radio across America, with Earthcycles Producer Govinda Dalton in 2008: www.earthcycles.net/
COPYRIGHTS All material is copyrighted by the author or photographer. Please contact each contributor for reprint permission. firstname.lastname@example.org
Audios may not be sold or used for commercial purposes.
"O FRIEND! In the garden of thy heart plant naught but the rose of love, and from the nightingale of affection and desire loosen not thy hold." --Baha'u'llah, Baha'i Faith