Consultations ordered for seven pesticides in ESA case

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On Nov. 4, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California approved a settlement agreement between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Center for Biological Diversity (the Center) that will result in the completion of Endangered Species Act (ESA) section 7 consultations for the effects of seven pesticides on the California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii).

The seven pesticides are: glyphosate, malathion, simazine, pendimethalin, permethrin, methomyl and myclobutanil.

The terms of the settlement specify that the Service will deliver to EPA draft biological opinions for two of the seven pesticides no later than Nov. 4, 2014, and deliver to EPA final biological opinions for all seven pesticides no later than Nov. 4, 2015.

The California red-legged frog was listed as a threatened species under the ESA in 1996, and its critical habitat designation was updated in 2010.

The purpose of the consultation process is to assist federal agencies in meeting their duty to ensure that any action they authorize, fund or carry out is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any species listed as endangered or threatened or to result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitat.

As part of carrying out the consultation process for pesticide products, the Service, along with EPA, NOAA-Fisheries and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is committed to providing product registrants, product users and other interested parties with the opportunity for involvement in the process. The Service will provide notifications regarding how that involvement will be sought as the consultations unfold.

On Oct. 20, 2006, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a stipulated injunction to resolve a case brought against the EPA by the Center.

The court's injunction included use restrictions, such as buffer areas around certain habitats of the California red-legged frog. The pesticide use restrictions in the stipulated injunction are still in effect.

For additional information, visit our website at: http://www.fws.gov/endangered/what-we-do/CRLF-settlement.html and http://www.fws.gov/endangered/what-we-do/pesticide-consultation.html.

The Endangered Species Act provides a critical safety net for America's native fish, wildlife and plants. This landmark conservation law has prevented the extinction of hundreds of imperiled species across the nation and promoted the recovery of many others.


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