Enviros Sue on New Herbicide Approval

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) — Another herbicide is in the crosshairs of environmental groups and this time before it ever finds the field.

EPA’s approval of a newly registered herbicide violates the Endangered Species Act and should be set aside, the Center for Food Safety and the Center for Biological Diversity allege in a petition filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

In May the EPA granted unconditional approval to BASF’s trifludimoxazin, the active ingredient in the herbicide Tirexor. The product is designed for weed control in corn, soybeans and other crops including tree plantations.

“Petitioners allege that EPA violated its duties under FIFRA (Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act) in approving the Registration, and that the Registration lacks support in substantial evidence,” the group said in their petition to the Ninth Circuit.

“Petitioners further allege that the EPA violated its duties under the Endangered Species Act, failing to comply with ESA’s Section 7 mandates as required to protect endangered species and their designated critical habitats.”

The groups asked the court to set aside the registration decision in whole or in part, including stopping the sale of the pesticide.

Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity, said EPA cannot “pick and choose” when to protect endangered species.

The groups said endangered species at risk from the herbicide include the monarch butterfly, Chinook salmon, rusty-patched bumblebee and other fish, insects and wild plants. They said the herbicide also poses risks to aquatic plants and organisms.

As of posting BASF did respond to DTN’s request for comment.

Todd Neeley can be reached at todd.neeley@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @DTNeeley

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