The Environmental Protection Agency will have to complete assessments of the impacts of a fungicide on endangered species following an order from a federal appeals court.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit granted EPA’s request for a voluntary remand to examine inpyrfluxam’s effects and begin Endangered Species Act consultation with federal wildlife agencies by June 22, 2023.
“EPA has represented to the court that it is on track to have a draft effects determination by fall 2022 and a final effects determination by spring 2023,” the 9th Circuit said in a brief order issued Monday.
The Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Food Safety originally sought to have the registration vacated, but withdrew that request at oral argument on July 7. Valent U.S.A., the registrant for the fungicide, did not object to the remand.
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Inpyrfluxam is approved for use on apples, peanuts, corn, soybeans, and sugar beets, among other crops.
The Center for Biological Diversity said it was pleased EPA had been given a firm deadline. The group says there is “compelling research showing the pesticide to be ‘very highly toxic’ to fish, including endangered salmon and steelhead, and showing that it poses substantial risks to large birds, including whooping cranes. It is also extremely persistent, remaining in the environment for years after use.”
EPA said the registration “contains several measures to mitigate ecological risks” of the fungicide.
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