11:07 PM

Appellate Court Reminds Federal Agency to Follow the Law


WASHINGTON (June 30, 2017) – The D.C. Circuit Court today affirmed that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must consider harm to imperiled species when it approves pesticides for use in the United States. The ruling came in a challenge brought by Defenders of Wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Center for Food Safety to EPA’s registration of cyantraniliprole, a new pesticide with deadly impacts on butterflies and other pollinators.

“Pesticides kill. That’s what they do. That’s why it’s vital that EPA consider the impacts of new pesticides on our most vulnerable species,” said Jason Rylander, senior staff attorney at Defenders of Wildlife. “This decision means that EPA will need to integrate protecting endangered species into its pesticide approvals. That’s a win for wildlife.”

“Today’s opinion just makes common sense: EPA must look at potential harm to endangered species before it gives the green light to new pesticides,” said Amanda Goodin, attorney for Earthjustice, who argued the case in the appellate court.

The three-judge panel found that EPA failed to follow the law during its pesticide review and registration process and ordered EPA to look at harm to native species. Use of cyantraniliprole will continue during the agency review.

“The ball’s in EPA’s court now; EPA must address the harms dangerous pesticides pose to protected wildlife,” said Stephanie Parent, a senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. “EPA can no longer ignore commonsense measures to prevent pesticides from pushing the Mitchell's satyr butterfly and other wildlife to the brink of extinction.”

You can find a pdf of the opinion in the reporter resources section of our newsroom.


Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With over 1.8 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit Newsroom.Defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.