EPA sued for alleged environmental violations

February 18, 2015

Farm and environmental groups filed a motion in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals requesting a stay of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's October 2014 approval of a new Dow AgroSciences herbicide. The proposal demands that the EPA consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to ensure that the chemical does not lead to environmental and health problems.

The herbicide, Enlist Duo — a blend of glyphosate and 2,4-D — was approved for use on genetically engineered (GE) crops in six Midwestern states. The Center for Food Safety, Earthjustice, National Family Farm Coalition, the Environmental Working Group and others maintain that the EPA violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by failing to consult with the proper authorities.

The ESA requires "requires that every federal agency determine whether its actions "may affect" any such species or any designated critical habitat," according to the Center for Food and Safety.

If it is found that there may be some impact the action body discuss the effects with the FWS before proceeding. The EPA allegedly admitted that Enlist Duo would affect certain species and the environment, but then refused to disclose the information to other expert agencies.

This motion builds on a previous challenge which argued that the EPA had not performed sufficient analysis regarding the impact of 2,4-D on the environment and human health. The Environmental Working Group said that the toxic chemicals in Enlist Duo are known to be linked to Parkinson's disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and reproductive problems.

Still, the technology represents a top market opportunity, and gives farmers the ability to grow more crops without suffering from weed problems. Over the years weeds have become resistant to common herbicide strains and have begun to flourish, severely harming the agriculture industry.

Get in touch with environmental consultants if you are concerned about the implications of materials your company uses. Experts can aid in conducting assessments and remediation services as needed.