"EPA Ready To Settle Bay Area Pesticide Suit"

"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday a proposed settlement of a lawsuit that could result in scrutiny of how dozens of dangerous pesticides affect threatened and endangered species living around San Francisco Bay.

If the EPA decides to settle the suit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, it would require reviewing the health effects of 74 pesticides on 11 imperiled species by June 2014.

The pesticides can endanger wildlife by direct contact or by destroying the animals' habitat or food supply.

Some of the problem pesticides, the suit said, are malathion, an insecticide suspected of harming the delta smelt and the California tiger salamander, and sodium nitrate, a hazard to the San Joaquin kit fox, the Alameda whipsnake and San Francisco garter snake.

Other species that would receive review under the proposed settlement are the salt marsh harvest mouse, California clapper rail and California freshwater shrimp. Insects are the bay checkerspot butterfly and the valley elderberry longhorn beetle. A fish is the tidewater goby."

Jane Kay reports for the San Francisco Chronicle July 2, 2009.

Thursday, July 2, 2009