EPA sued over poisonKANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Two conservation groups have sued the Environmental Protection Agency for its decision to register pesticides that curtail prairie dogs, the main source of food for the endangered black-footed ferret.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Two conservation groups have sued the Environmental Protection Agency for its decision to register pesticides that curtail prairie dogs, the main source of food for the endangered black-footed ferret.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. last week, by Defenders of Wildlife and Audubon of Kansas, says the chemicals threaten other species, and that in issuing registrations for their use, the EPA is violating the federal Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and other federal laws.
The lawsuit claims the EPA failed to heed warnings from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that registrations of the chemicals chlorophacinone and diphacinone “be disapproved or rescinded because of known and potential impacts to wildlife.”
It seeks an injunction against the registration in 10 states of Rozol, which contains chlorophacinone, and the local use of Kaput-D, which contains diphacinone. The chemicals cause internal bleeding.
EPA spokesman Dale Kemery said the agency planned to release a federal register notice next week related to the lawsuit.
“We are treating this request as a petition to suspend this use of Rozol,” he said in an e-mail Tuesday. “The docket will include the risk assessments as well as letters from other parties expressing similar concerns.”
Kemery said the EPA issued a similar notice about Kaput-D earlier this month.
“Once we receive and evaluate public comment on these notices, we will determine the future course of action,” he said.
The lawsuit, filed Sept. 23, takes issue with EPA’s decision in May to approve the use of Rozol to target black-tailed prairie dogs in Kansas, Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.
“According to FWS, use of these rodenticides in these states could damage ferret recovery efforts and impact other federally-protected species,” according to the lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, the Fish and Wildlife Service requested that the EPA consult with it over use of both Rozol and Kaput-D “because the range of the black-tailed prairie dog overlaps with the black-footed ferret, one of the most critically endangered mammals in the United States.”
In a letter dated Sept. 8, Bryan Arroyo, the assistant director for the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Division of Fisheries and Habitat Conservation, told the EPA that his agency recommended the EPA withdraw its registration for Rozol and withhold registration for Kaput “until EPA completes a formal consultation with the Service on the use of these rodenticides to control black-tailed prairie dogs.”
Valerie Fellows, a Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman, said Tuesday that consultation has not occurred.