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Soundings Archive

CBD Sues EPA Over Pesticides and Polar Bears
On December 3, 2009, the Center for Biological Diversity filed suit in federal court against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The suit, which is filed in the U.S. district court in Seattle, Washington, alleges that EPA failed to consider impacts to the polar bear and its Arctic habitat from toxic contamination caused by pesticide use in the United States. According to CBD:

    "Pesticides approved by EPA for use in the United States are known to be transported long-distance via various atmospheric, oceanic, and biotic pathways to the Arctic. Such pesticides are biomagnified with each step higher in the food web, reaching some of their greatest concentrations in polar bears, the apex predators of the Arctic.

    Pesticides and related contaminants have been linked to suppressed immune function, endocrine disruption, shrinkage of reproductive organs, hermaphroditism, and increased cub mortality in polar bears. Human subsistence hunters in the Arctic, who share the top spot on the food web with the polar bear, also face increased risks from exposure to these contaminants."
CBD claims that EPA violated the U.S. Endangered Species Act with regard EPA's regulation of several pesticides, including atrazine, alachlor, chlorothanil, chlorpyrifos, DCPA, diazinon, dicofol, disolfoton, endosulfan, fenitrothion, metolachlor, methly-parathion, terbufos, and trifluran.

Among other relief, CBD asks the court to declare that EPA violated the ESA with regard to pesticides listed in the complaint, and
    "Issue injunctive relief compelling the EPA to review its programs and authorities and to consult with the FWS to determine how best to utilize its programs and authorities to promote the conservation of threatened polar bears in compliance with ESA Section 7(a)(1)...."
  • Click here to read CBD's complaint

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