EPA, NRDC Reach Agreement

Published online: Jan 25, 2001
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EPA and the Natural Resources Defense Council have entered two agreements to settle pending lawsuits.

NRDC and others had filed lawsuits regarding implementation of the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 and the 1988 amendments to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act concerning the reregistration of pesticides.

The first agreement resolves claims related to EPA's compliance with deadlines for tolerance reassessment and re-registration. NRDC and EPA filed a motion in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Jan. 19, 2001, asking the court to enter the agreement as a Consent Degree.

If entered by the District Court, the terms of the consent decree will create court-enforceable deadlines for EPA actions. The second agreement is a settlement agreement that resolves claims related to EPA's compliance with deadlines for implementing an endocrine disrupter screening program, but, unlike the first agreement, it would not subject EPA to potential judicial enforcement.

In the proposed consent decree, EPA is agreeing to deadlines for conducting a cumulative risk assessment for organophosphate pesticides and risk assessments or risk management decisions for 11 pesticides.

This agreement is consistent with EPA strategy regarding FQPA implementation, and does not change the pesticide re-registration or tolerance reassessment procedures or priorities.

Moreover, the focused scope of the agreement and the flexibility provided EPA in meeting the deadlines assure minimal disruption to its pesticide regulatory responsibilities.

EPA agrees to flexible target dates to complete development of a database to prioritize chemicals for screening in the endocrine disrupter-screening program, and validate screens and tests as part of the program, and start to require screening and testing of chemicals under the program.

The American Crop Protection Association and the Farm Bureau intervened in both cases.