WASHINGTON, July 19, 2017 - EPA’s denial of a petition to ban chlorpyrifos will stand, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said Tuesday, rejecting a challenge to the agency’s March decision that allowed the insecticide to continue to be used.

Pesticide Action Network and the Natural Resources Defense Council had argued that the March decision “was inadequate because it contained ‘no new safety findings’ and no ‘final determination as to whether chlorpyrifos food tolerances must be revoked,’” the court said. “In short – and in its own words – (the groups’) motion faulted EPA for ‘fail(ing) to act on the substance of (their) petition.’”

But the court, which noted it had previously criticized EPA for its “egregious” delay in responding to the petition, said EPA had properly issued a final response and that the groups will have to continue their challenge to the use of chlorpyrifos administratively. Chlorpyrifos, manufactured by Dow, is used on dozens of crops under the trade name Lorsban. The groups allege it causes neurodevelopmental harm to people, especially children. Dow AgroSciences maintains that authorized uses of chlorpyrifos products “offer wide margins of protection for human health and safety.”