A Minnesota beekeeper has won a round against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a protracted lawsuit over a class of insecticides implicated in the decline of honeybees and other wild insects.
A federal judge in California ruled this week that, in doing a regular review of the pesticides, the EPA failed to consider the potential impact of neonicotinoids on insects on the federal Endangered Species list, as required by law.
“The EPA pretty much admitted that it had failed to do that in this case, so it was pretty hard for the judge to rule in their favor,” said Steve Ellis, a Minnesota beekeeper who was a plaintiff in the suit. Ellis has been at the forefront of the fight against widespread use of neonicotinoids and is a member of Minnesota’s Governor’s Committee on Pollinator Protection.
Judge Maxine Chesney of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California held that the EPA had unlawfully issued 59 pesticide registrations between 2007 and 2012 for a wide variety of agricultural, landscaping and ornamental uses.