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Home    |   Print Edition   |   Pollinator Stewardship Council v. EPA and the Duty to Research FIFRA Applications

Pollinator Stewardship Council v. EPA and the Duty to Research FIFRA Applications

Mar 25, 2020

Alex Trabolsi

Volume 43 (2016) - Issue 2

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) prohibits the sale or distribution of any pesticide without prior registration and approval by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA may deny applications for pesticide registration when “necessary to prevent unreasonable adverse effects on the environment.” On September 10, 2015, the Ninth Circuit found EPA did not adequately research the effects of the chemical sulfoxaflor on bee populations in Pollinator Stewardship Council v. EPA. The court determined that EPA failed to follow its internal standard for data collection. Thus, the court vacated EPA’s registration, and remanded it to the agency for further review. In Part I, this In Brief analyzes the standard for data collection affirmed in Pollinator Stewardship. Then, Part II explores the potential application and limitations of the Ninth Circuit’s decision for future cases and agency decisions, both generally and for bees in particular. Pollinator Stewardship is a narrow victory that affirms EPA’s duty to comply with its own data collection standards for pesticide regulation, but it remains unclear if this outcome will be translated to pesticides affecting other species.