CFS et al v. EPA

19-72109 // 19-72280
August 20, 2019
Not judged
United States

Health/Food groups, Environmental NGOs
Center for Food Safety (CFS), Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), Pollinator Stewardship Council
EPA, Andrew Wheeler
Stephanie M. Parent, George A. Kimbrell, Sylvia Wu, Amy van Saun

Application for judicial review
Sulfoxaflor, Insecticide, Neonicotinoid
Review the orders of the EPA granting the unconditional registration for new uses of the active ingredient sulfoxaflor and amending the registration of existing uses to remove restrictions.
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, United States
Appellate (Appeal) Court

On July 2019, EPA approves a larger use of the bee-killing pesticide sulfoxaflor even though its earlier approval from 2013 had been vacated by the 9th circuit court of appeals on Sept. 10, 2015 (Case 13-72346). On Aug. 20, 2019, CFS and CBD file a petition for review. They claim that EPA failed in its legal duty to compile "substantial evidence" required under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). EPA should also have consulted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service to ensure that the decisions will not jeopardize any listed species or destroy any of their critical habitats. EPA also failed in its legal duty to show that the approval would not result in unreasonable adverse effects on the environment, as required under FIFRA. During that time EPA asked the court to permit the continued sale and use of sulfoxaflor and a delay of seven years during which EPA will complete their legal duty. On Jan. 12, 2021, Federal Court Rejects Bid by EPA, Pesticide Industry to Keep Bee-Killing Pesticide Sulfoxaflor on Market Despite Known Risks to Endangered Species. On Feb. 16, 2021, plaintiffs file their opening brief. The intervenor’s consolidated brief is due March 30, 2021. Petitioners’ optional reply briefs are due April 20, 2021. On Apr. 12, EPA asked the Ninth Circuit in a brief to remand its registration of sulfoxaflor, but not to vacate the registration. On July 19, 2022, the EPA releases a draft biological evaluation showing that sulfoxaflor is potentially putting 24 species of insects in jeopardy of extinction, including Karner blue butterflies and American burying beetles, and is also potentially jeopardizing the ongoing existence of 94 plant species that depend on insect pollinators.