Court of Appeals refuses to issue a decision on pest-control use

May 6, 2004

Washington Farm Bureau

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday refused to issue a stay blocking a lower court order imposing no-spray buffers along salmon-bearing waterways in Washington, Oregon and northern California.

However, the Circuit Court said a coalition of pesticide users and manufacturers could refile their motion if the District Court in Seattle does not act on a similar motion within 21 days.

The Circuit Court also granted CropLife America's motion for an expedited hearing on an appeal of the District Court's order.

Heather Hanson, executive director of Washington Friends of Farms and Forests, a member of the CropLife coalition, said the court's action shows that it "recognized the significant impact of this case on farmers and others who need to control pests and agreed that our appeal should be fast-tracked." The first briefs in the appeal are now due June 1.

Background: Last summer, U.S. District Judge John Coughenour ruled the Environmental Protection Agency failed to consult with U.S. Fish and Wildlife, as required by the Endangered Species Act, before registering more than four dozen pesticides for agricultural use.

This spring, he imposed buffers of 60- to 300-feet for 36 pesticides by invalidating those EPA registrations. Washington Farm Bureau has also filed appeals with both Coughenour and the Circuit Court.



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