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Environmental Groups Suing EPA Over Allowing Continued Use Of Controversial Pesticide

Gosia Wozniacka / AP

Gosia Wozniacka / AP

Environmental groups are suing the federal Environmental Protection Agency over its decision to allow the continued use of a controversial pesticide, widely used on crops in California.

The groups say the EPA needs to ban Chlorpyrifos.

Miriam Rotkin-Ellman is with the Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the organizations that filed Wednesday's motion.

She says the EPA recently announced Chlorpyrifos could be used for another five years while scientific studies are reviewed.

"...And we're going back to the court saying that is so unacceptable," say Rotkin-Ellman. "It's unacceptable because children need the protection, it's also unacceptable because the court told EPA they need to stop delaying."

NRDC says low levels of the pesticide have been linked to increased risk of learning disabilities in children.

Cynthia Cory with the California Farm Bureau says her organization is happy with the recent move by the EPA.

She says the bureau wants five years for risk assessment, even if that means restrictions will eventually be put in place.

"We'll live with that as long as we're doing it not in the courts but with the scientists and the risk-assessment process," says Cory.

NRDC says California can supercede the federal EPA by placing its own restrictions on the pesticide.

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