Washington Growers Face Restrictions

Published online: Jul 24, 2003
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About 25 crop-protection products used by Washington state potato growers are in jeopardy of being highly restricted following a recent judge's ruling.

A federal judge in the Washington Toxics Coalition Endangered Species Act lawsuit granted the plaintiff's request for an interim injunction to protect salmon in the Pacific Northwest.

Judge John Coughenour of the U.S. District Court in Seattle issued an order requiring EPA to establish buffer zones for any of 54 active ingredients for which EPA had not made a "no-effect determination" under the Endangered Species Act.

The order arbitrarily sets interim buffer zones at 20 yards for ground applications of crop-protection products and 100 yards for aerial applications. The judge did exempt the ingredients on which EPA has made no-effect determinations.

The Washington State Potato Commission intervened in the suit in support of EPA, arguing that stringent guidelines are already in place to regulate pesticides to protect salmon and evaluate risk when registering new products or reregistering existing ones.