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S.L. Cowley & Sons Mfg. Co. v. EPA

ELR Citation: 10 ELR 20245
Nos. No. 78-1232, 615 F.2d 1312/(10th Cir., 02/26/1980)

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals reverses an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) order cancelling the registration of a rodenticide after finding that the order was based upon the erroneous assumption that EPA has authority to establish and enforce minimum effectiveness standards for pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. The court rules that while the Agency does have authority under the statute to assure that a pesticide product satisfies any accompanying claims of efficacy, whether express or implied, it does not have authority to oversee the efficacy of pesticides generally. Because the cancellation proceeding was tainted by an erroneous interpretation of agency authority, however, EPA must grant the petitioner an opportunity for a hearing on the question of improper labeling before attempting to sustain the cancellation on the alternate ground of a misbranding violation.

Counsel for Petitioner
Michael S. Yaroschuk
1000 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington DC 20036

Counsel for Respondent
Patricia A. Reeves, Robert E. Kopp, John M. Rogers
Civil Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-3159

David E. Menotti, Deputy Assoc. General Counsel; Mitchell H. Bernstein
Environmental Protection Agency, Washington DC 20460
(202) 755-2680

Joined by Holloway and McWilliams, JJ.