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Pesticide News Story: EPA Signs Settlement Agreement Regarding Endangered Species

For Release: April 11, 2006

EPA has signed a Settlement Agreement that resolves a lawsuit brought against the EPA by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The Settlement Agreement establishes a series of deadlines for the Agency to make “effects determinations” for the pesticide atrazine to determine its potential effect on any of 21 named endangered or threatened species, or their designated critical habitat. The Agency will make “effects determinations” to determine whether its action: (1) has no effect on any of the named species; (2) may affect but is not likely to adversely affect any of the named species; or (3) may affect and is likely to adversely affect any of the named species. Pursuant to the Settlement Agreement, if the Agency determines that its action “may affect and is likely to adversely affect” one or more of the 21 named species or their designated critical habitat, the Agency will initiate consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service. In addition, during the pendency of the schedule for effects determinations outlined in the Settlement Agreement, the plaintiff agrees not to seek any injunction or other use restriction for atrazine. In the event EPA makes a ‘‘may affect and is likely to adversely affect’’ determination for atrazine on any of the listed species named in the lawsuit, the plaintiff reserves the right to seek use restrictions for atrazine by filing a new complaint with the Court. EPA requested public comment on the proposed Settlement Agreement and considered the comments received prior to signing this agreement. EPA has posted a copy of the Settlement Agreement (PDF, 86 KB, 15 pgs.) and a fact sheet at www.epa.gov/espp.


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