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Environmental Defense Fund v. EPA

Citation: 4 ELR 20031
No. No. 72-1548, 489 F.2d 1247/6 ERC 1112/(D.C. Cir., 12/13/1973) Aff'g EPA Administrator's decision on remand

The ENVIRONMENTAL PROCTECTION AGENCY Administrator's order which cancelled, effective December 31, 1972, almost all registrations for the use of DDT and which was not accompanied by a NENVIRONMENTAL PROCTECTION AGENCY impact statement is upheld in all respects by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The cancellation order was issued pursuant to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), and the 1972 Amendments to the statute explicitly set forth the substantial evidence test as the proper standard of review for such drders. After examining the evidence concerning the human and environmental hazards of DDT, the court concludes that although the facts might have supported a contrary decision by the Administrator, the cancellation order was based on substantial evidence in the record as a whole, and rejects an attempt by pesticide manufacturers to have the cancellation rescinded. On the same grounds, the court also rejects EDF's challenge to the Administrator's decision to allow continued use of DDT in controlling certain public health problems or in agricultural quarantines.

Because the substantive and procedural standards of FIFRA ensure full and adequate consideration of environmental issues and provide for ample judicial review, the court, relying on the rationale of Portland Cement Ass'n v. Ruckelshaus, 3 ELR 20642 (D.C. Cir. 1973), rules that formal compliance by ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY with the impact statement requirements of ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY is unnecessary since functional compliance has occurred. The court points out that this ruling does not represent a broad exemption for all ENVIRONMENTAL PROCTECTION AGENCY environmental actions from the requirements of ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, but is rather a narrow exception resulting from the statutory framework of FIFRA. For earlier decisions of the court regarding cancellation of DDT use registration, see 3 ELR 20488, 1 ELR 20059, 1 ELR 20050, and 1 ELR 20045.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
John F. Dienelt
William A. Butler
1712 N St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036

Counsel for Defendant
Stephen F. Eilperin
Alan S. Rosenthal
Walter H. Fleischer
Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20530

Michael C. Farrar
Blaine Fielding
Environmental Protection Agency
401 M St., S.W., Room 519
Washington, D.C. 20460

Counsel for Intervenor Coahoma Chemical Company
Robert L. Ackerly
Charles A. O'Connor
1625 K St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006