Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Contact

Brett Hartl, (202) 817-8121, bhartl@biologicaldiversity.org

Press Release

House Farm Bill Wipes Out Protections for Water, Wildlife From Pesticides

Legislation Guts Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, Public Lands Protections
WASHINGTON -

In a narrow vote, the U.S. House of Representatives today passed a 2018 Farm Bill that contains an unprecedented provision that would allow the killing of endangered wildlife with pesticides.

With every Democrat and 20 Republicans voting in opposition, H.R. 2, the so-called Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, passed by a vote of 213 to 211. Two Republicans abstained from voting.

“House Republicans just put killer whales, frogs and hundreds of other species on the fast track to extinction,” said Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “This is a stunning gift to the pesticide industry with staggeringly harmful implications for wildlife.”

The legislation would also eliminate the requirement that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service analyze a pesticide’s harm to the nation’s 1,800 protected species before the Environmental Protection Agency can approve it for general use. A separate provision would eliminate the Clean Water Act’s requirement that private parties applying pesticides directly into lakes, rivers and streams must first obtain a permit.

During this session of Congress, the pesticide industry has spent more than $43 million on congressional lobbying to advance these provisions.

In addition to giveaways to the pesticide industry, H.R. 2 includes a sweeping provision that would gut environmental protections for national forests to expedite logging and mining, including eliminating nearly all protections for old-growth forests in Alaska. The legislation contains nearly 50 separate provisions that would eliminate all public input in land-management decisions provided by the National Environmental Policy Act.

“This farm bill should be called the Extinction Act of 2018,” said Hartl. “If it becomes law, this bill will be remembered for generations as the hammer that drove the final nail into the coffin of some of America’s most vulnerable species.”

###

At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature — to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters and climate that species need to survive. 

As Iran Elects New President, Experts Urge Biden to Rejoin Nuclear Deal, Lift Sanctions

"The Biden administration must remain resolute and seek a break from the disastrous conditions that helped contribute to this result."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


UN General Assembly Condemns Myanmar Junta Violence, Urges Arms Embargo

Member nations voted 119-1 in favor of the resolution, which also calls for a return to the country's fragile democracy.

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


Dems Introduce Abolition Amendment to Scrap Constitution's 'Slavery Clause'

"The loophole in our Constitution's ban on slavery not only allowed slavery to continue, but launched an era of discrimination and mass incarceration that continues to this day," said Sen. Jeff Merkley.

Julia Conley, staff writer ·


'Surreal' and 'Distressing': Climate Experts' Predictions Come True With US Heatwave

"The current heatwave and drought leave no doubt, we are living the dangerous effects of the climate crisis."

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·


94% of Americans Oppose Big Pharma's Control of Global Covid-19 Vaccine Doses: Poll

Half of U.S. adults also consider it unacceptable that pharmaceutical corporations, which monopolized dose production, have profited substantially from vaccines developed using public funding.

Kenny Stancil, staff writer ·