Widespread use of the pesticide DDT pushed iconic species like the bald eagle, peregrine falcon and California condor to the brink of extinction before concerned citizens and conservation activists campaigned to have the chemical banned in 1972. Today, hundreds of other chemicals are poisoning endangered and threatened fish, reptiles, birds and amphibians as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to allow their use.
The Endangered Species Act requires that the EPA consult with wildlife officials at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service to determine potential impacts on listed species before registering a chemical for use. Yet the EPA has for decades registered deadly chemicals without conducting these mandatory agency-to-agency consultations. This has resulted in endangered and threatened fish, frogs and other species suffering developmental deformities, infertility, illness and death.
Please ask EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to uphold the agency's requirements under the Endangered Species Act and undertake agency-to-agency consultations prior to approving chemicals for use in endangered and threatened species habitat.
The EPA is required by the Endangered Species Act to formally consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service regarding pesticides it registers that may jeopardize listed species or harm their critical habitat. These consultations are intended to ensure that the EPA avoids authorizing pesticide uses that harm imperiled species. After consultation, the federal wildlife agency issues a biological opinion that may specify reasonable and prudent restrictions on pesticide use and alternatives to avoid harm to species. Yet for decades the EPA has consistently and unlawfully failed to properly evaluate whether pesticides it registers are harmful to endangered species.
Please uphold the EPA's responsibilities under the Endangered Species Act and initiate formal consultations with federal wildlife agencies regarding the impacts of pesticides known to be harmful to hundreds of federally threatened and endangered species.