ASA, Ag Leaders Voice Concerns to EPA Over Chlorpyrifos RulingTue, 18 May 2021 10:11:01 CDT
Last week, ASA drafted and led a coalition letter to the Environmental Protection Agency expressing concern over the potential precedent that could arise from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ April 29 decision on the petition to revoke tolerances and cancel uses of chlorpyrifos. More than 40 agricultural organizations cosigned the letter. The signers asked EPA to use whatever legal means necessary, including requesting an en banc rehearing or appealing the ruling, to avoid this damaging precedent from undermining EPA’s independent, science-based regulatory authority.
In the case, the three-judge panel ruled that EPA’s decision to reject a 2007 petition to revoke tolerances and cancel uses of chlorpyrifos was arbitrary and capricious based on the evidence available to the agency and ordered EPA to instead grant the petition. Stakeholders expressed concern that the court supplanted EPA’s expert, scientific interpretation with its own, which risks creating a disruptive precedent on how EPA might have to address - and how courts might interpret - petitions to revoke tolerances and cancel uses in the future. The signers noted that similar overreach in 2019 resulted in a three-judge panel being reversed when an en banc rehearing was granted by the Ninth Circuit Court. Stakeholders acknowledge that EPA is set to make a registration review decision on chlorpyrifos in the coming months through EPA’s normal 15-year review timing, and that making a decision through this normal-order process, as Congress intended, will help protect EPA’s ability to make independent decisions when interpreting science.
In addition to sending the letter, agricultural stakeholders have met with EPA, USDA, and relevant Capitol Hill offices to express concern with the potential precedent this ruling risks setting, as well as to reaffirm support for protecting EPA’s risk and science-based regulatory process. Read the letter here
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