"A Legal Victory for the (Very) Little Guys"

"A new court settlement will put the Environmental Protection Agency on track to regulate pesticides more tightly."

"Call it a win for the little species, though all kinds of endangered animals and plants stand to benefit.

A sweeping legal settlement approved this week has put the Environmental Protection Agency on a binding path to do something it has barely done before, by its own acknowledgment: Adequately consider the effects on imperiled species when it evaluates pesticides and take steps to protect them.

“When you think about what a pesticide is, it’s supposed to kill pests,” said Michal Freedhoff, assistant administrator for the agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “It is difficult to design a process where it kills only the things it is supposed to kill.”

In the same area as crop-damaging insects, there may be threatened bumblebees and butterflies; among unwanted weeds, endangered plants. At the same time, pesticides help farmers produce enough food to meet the demands of a growing population. And they need a wide variety of pesticides to defend their crops, they say, as insects and weeds gain resistance to various chemicals."

Catrin Einhorn reports for the New York Times September 14, 2023.

Source: NYTimes, 09/15/2023