The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today gave Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler three months
to justify why chlorpyrifos should stay on the market.
In 2017, Scott Pruitt, the EPA administrator at the time, declined to ban chlorpyrifos from use on food crops. Last August, the 9th District Court of Appeals ruled that Pruitt’s decision was in violation of federal law and directed the EPA to ban chlorpyrifos within 60 days. Wheeler fought the decision and didn’t obey the court’s order. In September, the Justice Department filed a petition on behalf of the EPA, calling on the court to overturn its ruling and leave chlorpyrifos legal. Last Friday’s order by the Ninth Circuit gives Wheeler and EPA until mid-July to respond to the objections initially raised by a coalition of farmworker and environmental groups.
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