A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s commercialization of a new insecticide, but the ruling won’t likely end the legal dispute.
Last year, the EPA approved the registration of cyantraniliprole for a wide variety of crops, offering farmers a new mode of action against pests.
However, environmental groups — the Center for Biological Diversity, the Center for Food Safety and Defenders of Wildlife — filed a lawsuit against EPA claiming it violated the Endangered Species Act by registering the chemical.
The plaintiffs claimed the pesticide is highly toxic to sensitive species and sought an injunction against its commercialization until EPA implemented steps to prevent those harms.
U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler has now dismissed that lawsuit for procedural reasons, finding that plaintiffs cannot directly challenge the agency under the Endangered Species Act, but must instead seek relief under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.
The environmental groups plan to continue fighting EPA’s approval of cyantraniliprole, either by appealing Kessler’s ruling or pursuing the FIFRA option, said Brett Hartl, endangered species policy coordinator for the Center for Biological Diversity.
The new pesticide has the potential to harm 1,300 species, he said. “It’s a large realm of ecological impact across the board.”
Capital Press was unable to reach a spokesperson for DuPont, the product’s manufacturer, for comment as of press time.