Environmental groups are suing to seek communications between EPA and outside groups related to anticipated changes in two major pesticide rules. In a news release, Farmworker Justice and Earthjustice said the lawsuit they filed Tuesday in federal court in Washington “demands the release of documents reflecting communications between EPA and representatives of the agricultural and chemical industries that occurred after the Trump administration took office, as well as notes from a meeting of EPA’s Office of Pesticide Program’s Federal Advisory Committee that preceded EPA’s decision to revisit crucial protections in the federal Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) and the Certification of Pesticide Applicators Rule (CPA Rule). The groups filed a Freedom of Information Act request last December, shortly after EPA announced it planned to revisit the minimum age standard and other provisions in the rules. EPA did not respond to the request. EPA is considering changes to the age requirements and to provisions in the Worker Protection Standard allowing workers to designate a representative to receive information about pesticides sprayed on the farms at which they work. Another provision “mandates that pesticide application stops if an untrained worker is likely to be hit by pesticide spray or drift,” the groups said.
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