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  • Writer's picturePollinator Stewardship Council

EPA Settlement Aims to Protect Endangered Species

In a historic legal agreement that unfolded in federal district court last month, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has committed to a set of far-reaching reforms designed to enhance the protection of endangered species from the harmful effects of pesticides. By the EPA's own admission, it has fallen short of its obligations under the Endangered Species Act in over 95 percent of the thousands of pesticide assessments it conducts annually. This alarming lack of compliance has devastating impacts on our most vulnerable species. This groundbreaking settlement, covering more than 300 active ingredients, represents a significant milestone in environmental conservation. 

The newly approved settlement is a pivotal step forward in addressing the adverse impact of pesticides on both wildlife and human populations. Under its terms, the EPA has pledged to develop comprehensive strategies aimed at minimizing the harm inflicted on endangered species by various classes of pesticides, including herbicides and insecticides. Simultaneously, the agreement mandates that the EPA take targeted actions to provide tangible, on-the-ground protection to the endangered species most vulnerable to pesticide-related harm.

Pesticides have long been identified as a significant threat to endangered birds, pollinators, and insects, putting their survival at risk. The significance of this settlement goes beyond its legal and regulatory implications. It reflects a growing recognition of the interconnectedness of environmental conservation, public health, and sustainable agriculture as the public demands that we create a more holistic approach to safeguarding our planet's precious biodiversity. The historic legal settlement between the EPA and environmental advocate litigants represents a turning point in the ongoing efforts to protect endangered species from the harmful effects of pesticides and sets a much-needed precedent for future environmental conservation efforts. It sends a clear message that the preservation of biodiversity and agriculture are not mutually exclusive goals but rather essential components of a sustainable future for our planet and for our food system. 

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