Southern Crop

Southern Crop

Bee Loss Case Gives Environmentalists Endangered Species Win

A California federal court has backed some of environmentalists’ claims that the EPA violated the law in approving products linked to bee deaths.
A U.S. district judge granted summary judgment to environmental advocates on two out of six claims in motions brought by beekeepers and pesticide reform groups against the Environmental Protection Agency (Ellis v. Housenger, N.D. Cal., No. 3:13-cv-01266, 5/8/17). The two claims concerned the Environmental Protection Agency’s compliance with the Endangered Species Act.
The plaintiffs say the agency broke the law when it approved uses of Bayer CropScience LP’s clothianidin and Syngenta Crop Protection LLC’s thiamethoxam, two neonicotinoid insecticides that kill bugs by attacking the nervous system.
The ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California is a significant win for environmental groups, despite the judge’s favoring of the agency on most counts in the lawsuit. It is the latest illustration of how those groups have successfully used the Endangered Species Act to challenge the agency’s pesticide approvals.
The parties must propose a briefing schedule and hearing date by May 26. The parties may reach a settlement agreement.

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