“The groups criticized the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday for limiting its independent scientific advisers from speaking directly to the press.
“The new policy undermines EPA’s efforts to increase transparency. It also contradicts the EPA’s new scientific integrity policy as well as the Science Advisory Board’s handbook,” the groups said in a letter sent to EPA head Gina McCarthy. “In addition, the new policy only reinforces any perception that the agency prioritizes message control over the ability of scientists who advise the agency to share their expertise with the public.”
GR: Really nothing new here; just a reminder that our public servants always feel more comfortable when we don’t know what they are doing.
“Legal settlement requires agency to analyze effects of 5 common pesticides Staff Report FRISCO — Under legal pressure from conservation advocates, the EPA last week agreed to take a hard look at how five commonly used pesticides affect endangered animals across the U.S.”
“One of the pesticides is carbaryl, commonly used in massive quantities in Colorado to try and protect trees from bark beetles. The other pesticides to be reviewed are chlorpyrifos, diazinon, malathion and methomyl. All have all been found to be toxic to wildlife and may pose a health risk to humans.
“The center previously sued the EPA for failing to consult over the impacts of these and other pesticides on endangered California red-legged frogs; it obtained an injunction in 2006 imposing restrictions on pesticide use until the consultation was completed. To date those consultations have not been completed.
“In 2013 the center again sued, seeking completion of consultation. In today’s settlement the Fish and Wildlife Service resolved that litigation by agreeing to complete consultation and produce the required “biological opinions” in less than five years. As part of the agreement the agency will consider the pesticides’ impacts not only on red-legged frogs but on all endangered species across the country. The analysis is likely to lead to permanent restrictions on some of the most harmful uses of these highly toxic pesticides.”
GR: Pity the EPA must be forced to perform such analyses. Since we taxpayers must spend money to sue to force the EPA to do its job, perhaps the EPA should reimburse us by taking salary cuts across upper management.
So far the EPA has refused to ban use of neonicotinoid insecticides — despite mounting evidence that they kill bees and other wildlife, despite a ban in the European Union, despite a lawsuit filed by activists and beekeepers.
But if the EPA is somehow still unclear on the dangers posed by neonics, it need only talk to the official who oversees federal wildlife refuges in the Pacific Northwest and Pacific Ocean..
Pressure mounts for EPA to ban neonicotinoid insecticides.