NRDC v. E. Scott Pruitt et al. (Neonic Pesticides)

The endangered black-capped vireo, which is at risk from neonic pesticides

Alan Schmierer/Flickr

In the past 25 years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved thousands of neonicotinoid, or neonic, pesticides, a class of widely applied insecticides that are highly toxic to bees and other wildlife, including birds, butterflies, and aquatic species. A growing body of evidence reveals that neonics are a major cause of the recent bee die-offs seen around the world. Threatened and endangered species—like the just-listed rusty patched bumblebee—often face the greatest consequences from pesticide use.

In approving neonic pesticides, the EPA has not complied with the Endangered Species Act. Specifically, the agency has never consulted with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as required by the act, to evaluate the impact of these toxic pesticides on threatened and endangered species.

In response, on October 2, 2017, NRDC filed a lawsuit challenging the registrations of dozens of products containing one of three wildlife-harming neonic pesticides: acetamiprid, dinotefuran, and imidacloprid. Our lawsuit aims to force the agency to evaluate the impacts pesticides have on imperiled species and to secure the protections the species need to survive.

The EPA and the pesticide industry attempted to dismiss the lawsuit, but on September 25, 2019, a federal court denied the motion, allowing the case to move forward. The case is still pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Last Updated

September 25, 2019



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