Environmental conservation groups filed a lawsuit Thursday accusing the Environmental Protection Agency of lax pesticide regulations that caused the poisonings of over 200 endangered and threatened species.
The Center for Biological Diversity and Pesticide Action Network North America said in the filing that the EPA has failed to consult officials with the Fish and Wildlife service regarding pesticide use.
“For decades, the EPA has turned a blind eye to the disastrous effects pesticides can have on some of America’s rarest species,” said Jeff Miller, conservation advocate for the Center for Biological Diversity, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “This lawsuit is intended to force the EPA to follow the law and ensure that harmful chemicals are not sprayed in endangered species habitats.”
The litigation claims that the pesticides pose a critical threat to 214 species around the country that need protection, including the California condor.
Plaintiffs also named the western snowy plover, northern spotted owl, San Joaquin kit fox, giant garter snake, light-footed clapper rail, California tiger salamander and several Northern California butterflies, rats, snakes, fish, rodents and insect species as vulnerable to lead poisoning and other chemicals in pesticides.
The EPA currently performs a number of tests on pesticides but rarely discusses findings with the Fish and Wildlife Association.
“The ecological risk assessment does not consider the cumulative or synergistic effects posed by multiple pesticides on wildlife or the environment, nor does it address delayed effects of pesticides, referred to as ‘lag effects,”‘ the suit filed in San Francisco federal court alleges.
“Since 1993, there have been only a few completed consultations with the (Fish and Wildlife) Service regarding pesticide impacts to listed species, other than those imposed by court orders,” it added.
18,000 pesticides are registered with the EPA for approved use in the United States.