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Archive for Saturday, October 3, 2009

Conservationists sue EPA over prairie dog poison

October 3, 2009

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— Two conservation groups have sued the Environmental Protection Agency for its decision to register pesticides that curtail prairie dogs, the main source of food for the endangered black-footed ferret.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., by Defenders of Wildlife and Audubon of Kansas, says the chemicals threaten other species, and that in issuing registrations for their use, the EPA is violating the federal Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and other federal laws.

The lawsuit claims the EPA failed to heed warnings from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that registrations of the chemicals chlorophacinone and diphacinone “be disapproved or rescinded because of known and potential impacts to wildlife.”

It seeks an injunction against the registration in 10 states of Rozol, which contains chlorophacinone, and the local use of Kaput-D, which contains diphacinone. The chemicals cause internal bleeding.

EPA spokesman Dale Kemery said the agency planned to release a federal register notice next week related to the lawsuit.

“We are treating this request as a petition to suspend this use of Rozol,” he said in an e-mail this week. “The docket will include the risk assessments as well as letters from other parties expressing similar concerns.”

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