The Center for Biological Diversity, EPA and Intervenors [Crop Life of America and American Farm Bureau Federation (on behalf of NCC and others)] filed a joint status report on July 29 on settlement negotiations in the Endangered Species Act mega-lawsuit. The report updated the court on settlement talks (no substantive agreements have been reached) and asked for a 60-day continuation of the stay of the litigation and the postponement of the Aug. 12 status conference until Oct. 14. The court now has granted both requests.
In January, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Pesticide Action Network (Plaintiffs) filed a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief against EPA, alleging that EPA had failed to consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service regarding the effects of registered pesticides on endangered species throughout the United States. The plaintiffs asked the court to require EPA to initiate and complete the consultation process, and to compel EPA to restrict pesticide uses that may result in their entering endangered species’ occupied or critical habitat until the consultation process is complete (see April 1, 2011 Cotton’s Week).
There are more than 300 pesticides named in the suit, many of which are commonly used in cotton production (including Orthene, Finish, Karate Z, Bidrin, Cotoran, Imidacloprid, Lannate, Dual II Magnum, Diamond, Gramoxone, Caparol and Dropp — to name a few). The complaint alleges that 216 endangered species are affected. This action could potentially disrupt every type of agriculture – from row crops to specialty crops – nationwide.