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Environmental Defense Fund v. EPA

Citation: 5 ELR 20243
No. No. 74-1924, 510 F.2d 1292/7 ERC 1689/(D.C. Cir., 04/04/1975) Aff'g EPA Administrator's decision on remand

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals affirms the EPA Administrator's decision to suspend the registrations and prohibit the manufacture and sale of the pesticides aldrin and dieldrin. The suspension order represents a rational exercise of the broad discretion conferred on the Administrator by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodentcide Act, and is supported both by the agency's stated reasons for its action and by substantial evidence in the record. For a determination of "imminent hazard" for the purposes of suspension pursuant to § 6(c) of FIFRA, it is enough if EPA finds there is a substantial likelihood of serious harm to human health. Noting that in this case the burden is on the registrant to establish that continued registration poses no safety threat, the court goes on to hold that the Administrator's decision was adequately supported by evidence relating to existing concentrations of aldrin and dieldrin in human tissue, the carcinogenicity of the pesticides in mice and rats, and the extrapolation of the latter data to humans. The court also rejects the pesticide manufacturer's contention that ex parte communications between the Administrator and members of EPA's enformcement staff which led to issuance of the Notice of Intent to Suspend were improper. EPA's exemption of existing pesticide stocks from the general suspension, however, is remanded to the agency for further consideration.

Counsel for Petitioners Environmental Defense Fund, Inc. and National Audubon Society
William A. Butler
Jacqueline M. Warren
John F. Dienelt
Environmental Defense Fund, Inc.
1525 18th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036

John T. Shinkle
Caplin & Drysdale
1101 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036

Counsel for Petitioners Shell Chemical Company and Florida Citrus Mutual
Dennis G. Lyons
David H. Lloyd
Andrew S. Krulwich
Arnold & Porter
1229 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036

Charles W. Lane, III
Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carrere & Denegre
28th Floor, 225 Baronne Street
New Orleans, La. 70112

Counsel for Petitioner Earl L. Butz, Secretary of Agriculture
John A. Knebel General Counsel
James Michael Kelley Asst. General Counsel
Raymond W. Fullerton
Richard S. Wasserstrom
Department of Agriculture
Washington, D.C. 20250

Counsel for Respondent
Carla A. Hills Asst. Attorney General
Michael H. Stein
Stephen F. Eilperin
Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20530

William E. Reukauf
Environmental Protection Agency
Washington, D.C. 20426