Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) v. EPA - EPA Signs Settlement Agreement Regarding Endangered Species 2003)
EPA has signed a Settlement Agreement that resolves a lawsuit brought against the Agency by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). On August 21, 2003, NRDC filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court for the State of Maryland against EPA alleging that EPA is in violation of the Endangered Species Act by failing to ensure that EPA’s registration of the pesticide atrazine does not affect any of 21 named endangered or threatened species or their designated critical habitat.
EPA is working with regulatory partners to meet its obligations under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) to protect endangered or threatened species from potential risks posed by pesticide use. EPA is addressing the concerns of public interest groups while keeping pest control tools available for other stakeholders.Settlement Agreement
Species Named in Lawsuit
For Further Information
By entering into the Settlement Agreement (PDF, 86 KB, 15 pgs.), the plaintiffs and EPA have agreed on an equitable solution to the litigation. The Settlement Agreement does not constitute an admission or evidence of any fact, wrongdoing, misconduct, or liability on the part of the United States , EPA, or its officials. The Settlement Agreement establishes a series of deadlines for the Agency to make “effects determinations” for atrazine to determine its potential effect on any of the 21 named endangered or threatened species or their designated critical habitat.
For each of the 21 named species, the Agency will make an “effects determination” to determine whether its action: (1) has no effect on the species, (2) may affect but is not likely to adversely affect the species, or (3) may affect and is likely to adversely affect the 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 named species or their designated critical habitat, EPA will initiate formal consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service.Species Named in Lawsuit
The endangered or threatened species specifically named in the lawsuit brought by NRDC against EPA are listed below. More information about these species is available at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Endangered Species Web site.
- Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta)
- Leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)
- Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas)
- Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii)
- Shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum)
- Dwarf wedge mussel (Alasmidonta heterodon)
- Pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus)
- Topeka shiner (Notropis tokepa (=tristis)
- Purple cat’s paw pearly mussel (Epioblasma obliquata obliquata)
- Northern riffleshell (Epioblasma torulosa rangiana)
- Barton Springs salamander (Eurycea sosorum)
- Alabama sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus suttkusi)
- Fat pocketbook pearly mussel (Potamilus capax)
- Pink mucket pearly mussel (Lampsilis abrupta)
- Shiny pigtoe pearly mussel (Fusconaia cor)
- Fine-rayed pigtoe mussel (Fusconaia cumeolus)
- Rough pigtoe mussel (Pleurobema plenum)
- Heavy pigtoe mussel (Pleurobema taitianum)
- Stirrup shell mussel (Quadrula stapes)
- Ovate clubshell (Pleurobema perovatum)
- Southern clubshell (Pleurobema decisum)
The Settlement Agreement establishes time frames in which EPA will make effects determinations for atrazine as follows:
- No later than August 31, 2006, EPA will make effects determinations for atrazine as it relates to eight of the named species.
- No later than February 28, 2007, EPA will make effects determinations for atrazine as it relates to another eight of the named species.
- No later than August 31, 2007, EPA will make effects determinations for atrazine as it relates to the final five named species.
For Further Information
The Settlement Agreement is also available electronically on EPA’s website at www.epa.gov/pesticides, under the heading “Pesticide News.”
For more information, contact Arty Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org), at 703-305-7695.