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ACTION TIMELINE

April 2, 2002 – The Center filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency to protect the threatened California red-legged frog from toxic pesticides. The agency’s pesticide-registration program allowed widespread use of 250 harmful pesticides that could affect critical habitat for the red-legged frog.

January 26, 2004 – The Center and Save Our Springs Alliance filed a lawsuit to protect the endangered Barton Springs salamander in Austin, Texas from pesticides. The lawsuit sought to compel the EPA to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the impacts of six pesticides that contaminate Barton Springs.

June 15, 2004 – The Center helped organize a major challenge to a Bush-administration attempt to weaken the Endangered Species Act and remove science from pesticide analyses. Sixty-six members of the House of Representatives demanded that the administration withdraw proposed regulations that would seriously undermine the Endangered Species Act and hurt endangered wildlife, farm-worker safety and human health.

July 27, 2004 – The Center released a comprehensive report detailing the failure of the EPA to regulate pesticides harmful to over 375 endangered species and to human health.

September 23, 2004 – The Center and a coalition of conservation and fishing groups filed suit challenging a Bush-administration move to weaken regulation of harmful pesticides and make it easier for agribusiness and other industries to use highly toxic pesticides.

August 2005 – As a result of our 2004 lawsuit, the EPA agreed to consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the impacts of atrazine and five additional pesticides on Texas’s imperiled Barton Springs salamander.

September 20, 2005 – The Center won an important victory in our 2002 lawsuit to protect Mark Twain’s celebrated jumping frog from pesticides. A federal court found that the EPA violated the Endangered Species Act by registering pesticides for use without considering how these pesticides might impact the continued existence of the California red-legged frog; it ordered the agency to initiate formal consultations under the Endangered Species Act.

March 2, 2006 – The Center published a comprehensive report highlighting the risk toxic pesticides pose to more than 30 endangered species in the San Francisco Bay Area. The report detailed how endangered species, bay water quality, and human health are jeopardized by the EPA’s failure to adequately regulate the more than 8 million pounds of pesticides used in the region each year.

July 20, 2006 – The Center helped organize a broad coalition of conservation, public-health, labor, and American Indian groups and scientists to oppose proposed legislation to change the nation’s toxic pollution laws. A bill that attempted to prevent states from regulating toxic chemicals and would have jeopardized public health and undermined states’ rights was ultimately defeated.
August 24, 2006 – In response to our 2004 lawsuit, a federal judge overturned Bush-administration pesticide rules that made it easier for pesticide makers to ignore the effects of their products on endangered species and restored prior standards that provide greater protection to protected wildlife and plants.

October 19, 2006 – The Center won a settlement agreement for our 2002 lawsuit to protect the threatened California red-legged frog from 66 of the most toxic and persistent pesticides authorized for use in California. The EPA agreed to prohibit use of these pesticides in and adjacent to core frog habitats throughout California until formal consultations with the Fish and Wildlife Service are completed.

May 30, 2007 – The Center filed a lawsuit against the EPA for violating the Endangered Species Act by registering and allowing the use of scores of toxic pesticides in habitats for 11 San Francisco Bay Area endangered species without determining whether the chemicals jeopardize the species’ existence.

July 1, 2009 – The Center settled our 2007 lawsuit regarding pesticide impacts on San Francisco Bay Area endangered species with a victory. The EPA agreed to formally evaluate the harmful effects of 74 pesticides on 11 endangered and threatened species in the Bay Area over the next five years, and to impose interim restrictions on use of these pesticides in and adjacent to endangered species habitats.

July 13, 2009 – The Center opposed an attempt by Dow Chemical to introduce a new pesticide, sulfuryl fluoride, which doubles as an extraordinarily potent greenhouse gas.

July 17, 2009 – In response to an appeal by the Center and WildEarth Guardians, the Bureau of Land Management withdrew a plan to allow herbicide spraying across 1.5 million acres of public land in New Mexico.

October 27, 2009 – The Center filed comments opposing a lethal new poison, Kaput-D, being considered by the EPA for approval to exterminate black-tailed prairie dogs. Use of Kaput-D could also kill non-target species such as the extremely endangered black-footed ferret, whooping crane, and golden and bald eagles.

November 16, 2009 – The Center requested that Nevada add areas around Lake Mead to that state’s list of impaired waters due to pollution by endocrine-disrupting chemicals, including pesticides that pose risks to human health and endangered species such as the razorback sucker. The petition was the first step in establishing and enforcing limitations on endocrine disrupting chemicals in Lake Mead that can damage reproductive functions in wildlife and humans.

December 3, 2009 – The Center filed suit against the EPA to protect polar bears in the Arctic from pesticide contamination.

January 11, 2010 – The Center petitioned the EPA to establish water-quality criteria and regulate endocrine-disrupting chemicals under the Clean Water Act, the first step in regulating and eliminating persistent and widespread chemicals that damage reproductive functions in wildlife and humans.

January 28, 2010 – As a precursor to litigation to comprehensively reform pesticide use, the Center filed a notice of intent to sue the EPA for failing to adequately evaluate and regulate nearly 400 pesticides harmful to hundreds of endangered species. The agency had failed to consult with wildlife agencies about the impacts of these pesticides, which also threaten human health, on more than 880 protected species.

May 17, 2010 – As a result of the Center’s May 2007 lawsuit, a federal court signed an injunction imposing interim restrictions on the use of 75 pesticides in eight Bay Area counties, granting the EPA five years to formally evaluate those chemicals’ potentially harmful effects on 11 Bay Area endangered species.

November 2010The Environmental Protection Agency announced a plan to finally ban endosulfan, a highly toxic pesticide and endocrine disruptor that for decades threatened rare wildlife species and been linked to severe human health problems. The EPA stated that the pesticide would be phased out by 2016 across the United States.

December 15, 2010 – The Center filed a notice of intent to sue the Service and EPA for failing to complete consultations or adopt measures to protect the California red-legged frog from 64 registered pesticides that the EPA had determined are likely to harm the frog.

January 20, 2011 – The Center and Pesticide Action Network North America filed the most comprehensive legal action ever brought under the Endangered Species Act to protect imperiled species from pesticides, suing the U.S. EPA for its failure to consult with federal wildlife agencies regarding the impacts of hundreds of pesticides known to be harmful to 214 endangered and threatened species.

.June 16, 2011 – The Center and more than 130 other groups in 35 states — representing public health, food-security, sustainable-farming, farmworker and conservation interests — called on the Environmental Protection Agency to use all available tools to protect public health and imperiled wildlife from harmful pesticides. The letter cited significant flaws in the pesticide registration process.

October 19, 2011 – The Center followed through on our Dec. 15, 2010, notice of intent to sue, taking both the EPA and the Service to court to defend the California red-legged frog from pesticides.

April 2012 – The pesticide industry began planning a sneak attack on water quality by attaching a toxic pesticide bill to the unrelated Senate farm bill, wanting to rewrite the Clean Water Act by pushing House Resolution 872 to allow unregulated pesticide applications directly into U.S. waterways.

December 9, 2012 – The Center and a coalition of other environmental and public-health groups called on the California Department of Pesticide Regulation to end the use of super-toxic rat poisons in the state. 

January 30, 2013 – The EPA put new limitations on some of the most dangerous rat poisons to protect families, but left loopholes in place that still leave wildlife at risk. The decision allows continued use of the same poisons in large quantities, for agricultural and other purposes, that result in the poisonings of thousands of animals every year, including threatened and endangered species like the San Joaquin kit fox and northern spotted owl.

June 5, 2013 – The Center for Biological Diversity and Pesticide Action Network North America filed an amended complaint in our ongoing efforts to protect the nation’s most vulnerable wildlife from toxic pesticides by requiring the EPA to consult with federal wildlife agencies to create measures that would protect numerous endangered and threatened species from pesticides.

Photo courtesy USFWS