CBD Lawsuit Challenges Service’s Failure to Prevent Toxic Pesticides from Harming Endangered Species
CBD Lawsuit Challenges Service’s Failure to Prevent Toxic Pesticides from Harming Endangered Species

On February 1, 2024, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) filed an amended complaint (Complaint) in the U.S. District Court of Arizona, alleging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) failed to timely analyze the harmful effects of six pesticides on species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and their habitats. The lawsuit stems from the Service’s failure to issue biological opinions to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in response to that agency’s request for formal ESA section 7 consultation with the Service over the EPA’s 2017 and 2021 authorizations of the pesticides chlorpyrifos, diazinon, carbaryl, methomyl, atrazine, and simazine (Pesticides). 

The Complaint notes that, according to the EPA’s own analyses, the Pesticides are likely to have adverse effects on an overwhelming number of ESA-listed species and amount of designated critical habitat. For example, the Complaint notes that chlorpyrifos was anticipated by EPA to affect up to 97% of ESA-listed species and 97% of designated critical habitat.

The Service’s delay in completing the biological opinions, according to CBD, prevents the EPA from implementing mitigation measures to ensure continued registration of the Pesticides will not jeopardize listed species or destroy or adversely modify critical habitat.

CBD seeks a court order compelling the Service to complete the biological opinions within six months of the order.

  • Derek J. Kliewer

    Derek Kliewer assists clients on a full range of environmental and land use law matters. His practice spans litigation and transactional matters involving both compliance and enforcement.

    Prior to joining Nossaman, Derek ...

Nossaman’s Endangered Species Law & Policy blog focuses on news, events, and policies affecting endangered species issues in California and throughout the United States. Topics include listing and critical habitat decisions, conservation and recovery planning, inter-agency consultation, and related developments in law, policy, and science. We also inform readers about regulatory and legislative developments, as well as key court decisions.

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