A handful of states have filed paperwork to sue the Environmental Protections Agency for a recent decision not to ban a harmful chemical in order to please corporation Dow Chemical.
The lawsuit is in response to a March decision made by the EPA and its leader Scott Pruitt to allow the continued use of pesticide chlorpyrifos in agricultural capacity, despite earlier rulings from the Obama administration that it should be outright banned.
From Mother Jones:
“According to the Associated Press, the lawsuit is spearheaded by New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman; Massachusetts, Maryland, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia have also joined the effort. In the filing, Schneiderman chastised the administration’s endangerment of children.
“Job No. 1 for the EPA should be protecting Americans’ wellbeing, especially that of our children. Yet the administration is jeopardizing our kids’ health, allowing the use of a toxic pesticide for which it can’t even identify a safe level,” Schneiderman said.”
In 2016, the Obama administration recommended that pesticide chlorpyrifos be banned from agricultural use outright, a decision with which the EPA then concurred. This was after extensive data found that chlorpyrifos, also known as Cobalt, Hatchet, and Warhock in brand names, had the potential to damage the human brain, in particular the developing brains of children.
Unfortunately, when EPA head Scott Pruitt took over the agency under Trump’s Administration, one of the first things the agency did was reverse their previous ruling on chlorpyrifos.
Said Pruitt, “By reversing the previous administration’s steps to ban one of the most widely used pesticides in the world, we are returning to using sound science in decision-making – rather than predetermined results.”
Still, the decision made by Pruitt was regarded not as a “return to sound science” but a feckless nod to Dow Chemical.
After all, Dow was one of Trump’s campaign donors, handing him a million dollars to bolster his candidacy. The company’s CEO also attended an election rally of Trump’s and was then named the head of the American Manufacturing Council by Trump.
That makes it clear that there is a close kinship between the Republican administration and the chemical company who stands to benefit from this deadly pesticide being left to run rampant.
While Pruitt has had his fair share of times suing the agency as a private citizen, this will be the first time he sees a lawsuit from the inside looking out.
Fortunately, the efforts by these states might side against the corporation in the interest of protecting our most vulnerable.