Endangered Species Litigation
Among other things, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) helps ensure that actions taken or permitted by the federal government will not jeopardize the continued existence of a listed species. The ESA requires federal agencies to determine whether their actions might harm a listed species (procedural obligations) and to ensure the action taken or permitted will not jeopardize the continued existence of a listed species (substantive obligations). The ESA also includes provisions that allow the public to bring suit in court against a federal agency when they believe a listed species is not being adequately protected (called citizen suit provisions). Such suits may be focused on a federal agency’s procedural or substantive obligations under the ESA.
EPA has been subject to several such citizen suits and as a result has conducted scientific assessments and made effects determinations for pesticide products containing any of 54 pesticide active ingredients to 26 species of listed salmon and steelhead and pesticide products containing any of 18 pesticide active ingredients on certain plant and salmonid species in California. In order to assist the public in understanding certain other measures the courts have put in place, EPA developed an interactive map that depicts certain court ordered buffer areas, or no use areas, around certain water bodies used by listed salmon and steelhead. Other assessments are underway and other suits are currently pending final decisions by the courts.
Consistent with EPA’s desire to conduct the business of the public in an open and transparent manner, the Agency makes available on this site information on each lawsuit, orders issued by the courts, assessments and effects determinations made consistent with the outcome of litigation, and other relevant information. As future actions are taken by the courts and as EPA completes additional assessments and effects determinations, or takes other actions consistent with the outcome of litigation, that information will be posted to this site as well. EPA's primary priority-setting approach continues to be its registration and registration review programs.
Information on Litigation Cases
- EPA Reinstates No-Spray Buffer Zones in California, Oregon and Washington to Protect Salmon as a Result of Final Settlement Agreement for Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides v. EPA
- San Francisco Bay Area Endangered Species Litigation - Center for Biological Diversity v. EPA
- Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) v. EPA - EPA Signs Settlement Agreement Regarding Endangered Species (2003)
- Center for Biological Diversity and the Save Our Springs Alliance (SOSA) v. EPA (Case No: 1:04-Cv-00126-Ckk, 2004)
- Washington Toxics Coalition (WTC) v. EPA (Case No: C01-132C)
- Effects Determinations Related to Litigation
- Federal Government Agrees to, and Court Issues Stipulated Injunction Regarding Threatened Species