Reuters: U.S. Appeals Court To Reconsider Chlorpyrifos Ban

Corn photos from MI Corn College 2014. ( Aimee Cope )

This week the Trump administration has persuaded a U.S. appeals court to reconsider a decision to ban chlorpyrifos. The court will review former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s March 2017 refusal to ban the widely-used pesticide, according to Reuters.

“Pruitt’s ruling reversed a 2015 Obama administration plan to extend a 2000 ban on the pesticide that had covered most household settings. The appeals court had, in a 2-1 decision last Aug. 9, directed the EPA to ban chlorpyrifos within 60 days,” Reuters reports.

Now an 11-judge panel will reconsider this case. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) told Reuters it’s seeking a rehearing because the appeals court lacked jurisdiction to review Pruitt’s ruling and ban the pesticide.

At a state level, Hawaii was the first state to ban the product and California started applying stricter regulations for chlorpyrifos last summer. Nationally the chemical is found in products registered by about 20 different companies.

Reuters reports the EPA is pleased the case will be reheard and that federal rules allowing the pesticide’s use can continue as permitted by state laws during the appeal.

EPA reviews put popular chemicals under the magnifying glass. Every year, dozens of active ingredients in fungicides, herbicides and insecticides undergo regulatory review and are at risk of being pulled off the market. The EPA reviews each registered pesticide at least every 15 years to ensure it still meets the most up-to-date science available.

“[The process] can delay introduction of some new technology that could benefit farmers,” says Ray McAllister, senior director of regulatory policy for CropLife America in an earlier interview. “Increased scrutiny and cost for maintaining existing registrations will ultimately be passed to the farmer.”