League of United Latin American Citizens v. Regan, No. 19-71979 (9th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
In 2007, PANNA and the NRDC filed a petition asking the EPA to prohibit foods that contain any residue of the insecticide chlorpyrifos. In 2017, the EPA, pursuant to a court-set deadline, finally ruled on the 2007 Petition and denied it. In 2019, the EPA denied all objections to its decision.
The Ninth Circuit granted petitions for review of the 2017 and 2019 EPA Orders and remanded with instructions for the EPA within 60 days after the issuance of the mandate either to modify chlorpyrifos tolerances and concomitantly publish a finding that the modified tolerances are safe, including for infants and children – or to revoke all chlorpyrifos tolerances. In this case, the EPA has spent more than a decade assembling a record of chlorpyrifos's ill effects and has repeatedly determined, based on that record, that it cannot conclude, to the statutorily required standard of reasonable certainty, that the present tolerances are causing no harm. Yet, rather than ban the pesticide or reduce the tolerances to levels that the EPA can find are reasonably certain to cause no harm, the EPA has sought to evade, through one delaying tactic after another, its plain statutory duties. Therefore, the panel concluded that the EPA's delay tactic was a total abdication of its statutory duty under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). The panel also ordered the EPA to correspondingly modify or cancel related Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) registrations for food use in a timely fashion consistent with the requirements of 21 U.S.C. 346a(a)(1).