Target: Gina McCarthy, Director, Environmental Protection Agency
Goal: Protect endangered species from a dangerous new pesticide by banning its use until an unbiased assessment of the risks is taken into account
In early 2014 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the widespread use of a toxic new pesticide called cyantraniliprole. The EPA made the move without consulting federal agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service, to determine the impact on endangered species across the United States. In response conservation groups have filed a lawsuit against the EPA for failing to abide by its own guidelines, according to a press release from the Center for Biological Diversity.
According to the EPA’s own findings the new pesticide is highly toxic to wildlife. Based on this assessment, the agency’s scientists concluded that federal wildlife biologists should have been consulted before the pesticide was put to use in agricultural and urban areas. In addition the EPA ignored water management authorities and failed to take measures to protect water quality from chemical run-off. Despite all of the warnings the agency authorized widespread use of cyantraniliprole, endangering thousands of endangered species, waterways and human health.
The Endangered Species Act requires the EPA to consult with federal wildlife biologists to determine the effects of pesticides used within areas that include habitat for endangered species. The agency’s failure to do so implies that its officials are more concerned with rushing a new product to market to appease chemical industry lobbyists than with protecting the environment.
Let EPA Director McCarthy know that you expect more from the agency. The EPA is charged with protecting the environment and its inhabitants, but the agency’s complete disregard for the dangers posed by the new pesticide demonstrate a clear lack of commitment to this mission. Urge McCarthy to protect the scores of endangered species being put at risk by this pesticide and reverse the decision to allow its widespread use until an unbiased assessment of the risks is taken into account.
Dear Director McCarthy,
I was disappointed to learn about the Environmental Protection Agency’s authorization for the widespread use of the pesticide cyantraniliprole. I am concerned that EPA officials have disregarded both scientific evidence and agency guidelines to swiftly push this dangerous chemical to market.
The agency’s own scientists have determined that the pesticide is highly toxic to wildlife, including scores of aquatic and terrestrial endangered species. The EPA did not consult with federal wildlife biologists despite these findings. Local water management officials urged your agency to take measures to protect water quality, but again these requests were ignored.
It seems apparent that the EPA is more concerned with ensuring profits for the chemical industry than with protecting the environment and wildlife. I urge you to revoke authorization for widespread use of the pesticide until federal wildlife biologists are consulted and protection plans are put into place to ensure safety for the scores of endangered threatened by cyantraniliprole.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Environmental Protection Agency via Wikimedia Commons