Federal Judge Backs Rules That Limit Pesticide Use Near Salmon Habitat

"A federal judge [Monday] upheld new rules designed to protect West Coast salmon and steelhead from three widely used farm pesticides."

"Pesticide manufacturers sought to overturn a 2008 decision by the National Marine Fisheries Service that limited where three organophosphate pesticides -- chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion -- could be sprayed in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and California.

Among other restrictions, NMFS' opinion requires the Environmental Protection Agency to prohibit ground application of chemicals within 500 feet of salmon habitat and aerial application within 1,000 feet.

The manufacturers, including Dow AgroSciences, said the buffers are too large and inflexible, and questioned the scientific basis for concluding that the pesticides' harm to fish. "

Scott Learn reports for the Portland Oregonian October 31, 2011.

Source: Portland Oregonian, 11/01/2011