The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Erin Jensen, 202-222-0722,

Trump's EPA Continues to Delay Federal Ban on the Brain-damaging Pesticide Chlorpyrifos, Leaving States to Take Action


Today, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it will not ban the neurotoxic, brain-damaging pesticide chlorpyrifos. Last summer, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the EPA to ban all uses of chlorpyrifos. The Trump Administration challenged the decision, the case was reheard by the full court, and in April the Ninth Circuit Court ordered the EPA to decide by July 18, 2019 if it would ban chlorpyrifos.

In 2015, after extensive study, EPA scientists confirmed that there is no safe level of exposure to chlorpyrifos, and the Obama administration moved forward with a proposed ban. In 2017, in one of its first actions under the Trump Administration, the EPA reversed course on the ban, defying the agency's own scientists.

States have moved forward in the face of federal inaction. In 2018, Hawaii became the first state to ban chlorpyrifos. In April of this year, the New York legislature passed a bill banning chlorpyrifos, but Governor Cuomo has yet to sign the legislation into law. In May, the California announced a ban and is moving forward with a plan that includes $5.7 million to support farmers to transition to safer alternatives.

In response to today's decision, Tiffany Finck-Haynes, pesticides and pollinators program manager for Friends of the Earth, issued the following statement:

The EPA's refusal to ban chlorpyrifos ignores decades of science showing that this pesticide has irrevocable effects on human health and the environment. The EPA is endangering the lives of children to protect pesticide industry profits.

While the federal government refuses to act, we urge states to step in, ban chlorpyrifos and demonstrate that they will safeguard public health and the environment. We call on Governor Cuomo to sign the chlorpyrifos ban bill sitting on his desk and protect New Yorkers from this toxic pesticide.

Friends of the Earth fights for a more healthy and just world. Together we speak truth to power and expose those who endanger the health of people and the planet for corporate profit. We organize to build long-term political power and campaign to change the rules of our economic and political systems that create injustice and destroy nature.

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