Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion seeks to de­lay find­ings on pes­ti­cides

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - BUSINESS - By Michael Biesecker

WASHINGTON » Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s ad­min­is­tra­tion is seek­ing a two-year de­lay of an up­com­ing dead­line to de­ter­mine whether a fam­ily of widely used pes­ti­cides is harm­ful to en­dan­gered species.

The re­quest filed be­fore a fed­eral judge last week comes af­ter Dow Chem­i­cal Co. and two other pes­ti­cide mak­ers asked the gov­ern­ment to set aside re­search by fed­eral sci­en­tists that shows organophos­phates are harm­ful to about 1,800 crit­i­cally threat­ened or en­dan­gered species.

Un­der a 2014 le­gal agree­ment, the Na­tional Marine Fish­eries Ser­vice is re­quired to is­sue find­ings on the use of the three pes­ti­cides un­der re­view — chlor­pyri­fos, di­azi­non and malathion — by the end of this year. The En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency, which is also in­volved in the case, is re­spon­si­ble for de­ter­min­ing whether pes­ti­cides sold in the United States are safe for peo­ple and wildlife.

The As­so­ci­ated Press first re­ported in April that lawyers rep­re­sent­ing Dow and the other com­pa­nies sent letters to three of Trump’s Cabi­net sec­re­taries claim­ing the gov­ern­ment’s stud­ies were fun­da­men­tally flawed. Dow wrote a $1 mil­lion check

to help un­der­write Trump’s in­au­gu­ral fes­tiv­i­ties, and com­pany CEO Andrew Liveris led a now-dis­banded White House man­u­fac­tur­ing work­ing group.

It is the lat­est ex­am­ple of the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion seek­ing to block or de­lay en­vi­ron­men­tal rules at the be­hest of the in­dus­try.

EPA Ad­min­is­tra­tor Scott Pruitt in March re­versed an Obama-era ef­fort to bar spray­ing chlor­pyri­fos on fruits and veg­eta­bles af­ter peer-re­viewed stud­ies found that even tiny lev­els of ex­po­sure could hin­der the de­vel­op­ment of chil­dren’s brains.

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