Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, June 30, 2017

Contact:  Brett Hartl, (202) 817-8121,

Court: EPA Must Consider Harm to Endangered Species When Approving New Pesticides

WASHINGTON— A federal court ruled today that the Environmental Protection Agency must consider harm to protected plants and animals before approving new pesticides.

The ruling came in response to a challenge by conservation groups of the agency's registration of cyantraniliprole, a novel and untested insecticide with deadly impacts on endangered butterflies and other native pollinators.

“This ruling makes clear that the EPA can't ignore the well-known harms pesticides pose to endangered species,” said Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity, a plaintiff in the case. “This is an important victory offering common-sense protection from pesticides to some our most threatened pollinators.”

The three-judge panel found that the EPA failed to follow the law during its pesticide review and registration process and ordered the agency to assess harm to native species and report back to the court every six months on its progress. Use of cyantraniliprole will continue during the agency review.

For four years the EPA has worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service to assess pesticides' harms to endangered species and to develop reasonable, on-the-ground conservation measures to protect species.

Earlier this year Dow Chemical, which contributed $1 million to the Trump inauguration, requested that the agencies abandon their work and simply ignore the requirements of the Endangered Species Act to protect wildlife harmed by pesticides.

“There are no more excuses. The EPA has to address the dangers these highly toxic pesticides pose to endangered wildlife,” said Hartl. “Regardless of what Dow, or any other pesticide maker, wants, the EPA can no longer sidestep its responsibility to prevent pesticides from pushing Mitchell's satyr butterflies, Hines emerald dragonflies, California red-legged frogs and other wildlife to extinction.”

The opinion, Center for Biological Diversity et al v. EPA, is available here.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.3 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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