Vermont Joins Multi-State Lawsuit Against EPA Over Pesticide Chlorpyrifos

Aug 12, 2019

Vermont has joined five other states in a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's decision to allow the continued use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos.

The Vermont Attorney General's Office announced Friday it had joined the lawsuit. The other states in the suit are California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Washington.

Chlorpyrifos is a pesticide used on crops and animals to kill pests. In 2015, the Obama administration announced it planned to ban chlorpyrifos based on EPA findings.

But under the Trump administration, the EPA reversed course on that decision, prompting legal challenges.

"We sued the EPA because we don't think allowing a toxic pesticide to be on food, on fruits and vegetables — that is dangerous mostly to infants, to young children and pregnant women — makes any sense," Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan told VPR.

"We sued the EPA because we don't think allowing a toxic pesticide to be on food, on fruits and vegetables — that is dangerous mostly to infants, to young children and pregnant women — makes any sense." — TJ Donovan, Vermont Attorney General

Donovan said when the federal government makes a decision that threatens public safety, it's up to states to act. After considering the science, Donovan said, it was an easy decision to join the lawsuit.

"This stuff is dangerous to children, to infants and to pregnant women — and the EPA agreed with that a couple years ago," Donovan said.

According to Donovan, the matter goes next to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.