Trump administration could be sued over pesticide threat to orca and salmon

Commercial fishermen and environmental groups could file lawsuits against the Trump administration, if it fails to follow a recommendation by one of its own agencies to protect salmon, sturgeon, orca and other endangered species in the Pacific north-west.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) recently issued a long-awaited opinion on three organophosphate pesticides – chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion.

It did so after a long court fight. Environmental groups sought publication of the opinion while the Trump administration, supported by pesticide manufacturers, pushed for a two-year delay.

The 3,700-page federal report was issued on 29 December. The scientists warned that the widely used pesticides pose a threat, through run-off into rivers and oceans, to dozens of endangered and threatened species.

They also made detailed recommendations to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for new restrictions on how and where the pesticides can be sprayed.

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