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Pesticide Controls to Aid Salmon Now

by Editorial Board
Seattle Post-Intelligencer - January 27, 2004

Like a salmon struggling upstream, protection for the Northwest's endangered fish sometimes seems to leap forward, other times to tread water.

A federal court order imposing tighter controls on pesticide spraying counts as one of those surges ahead. Credit environmental and fisheries groups for demanding action and a federal judge for a ruling that will protect salmon quickly.

U.S. District Judge John Coughenour ordered no-spraying buffers for some pesticides be put in place up to 100 yards around salmon streams. The order will remain in effect until the Environmental Protection Agency works with the National Marine Fisheries Service to come up with permanent pesticide protections for salmon. Coughenour also required that retail stores post warnings about some pesticides.

Gardeners and homeowners are likely to welcome the information so they can help protect the region's salmon. Some farm groups warn of economic problems. Any serious trouble seems unlikely, though, in part because alternatives exist for most of the pesticides.

In another piece of good news, the Bush administration has proposed an increase in money for Northwest salmon protection. At the same time, though, environmentalists say the EPA is preparing new regulations undercutting pesticide rulings by Coughenour and other judges. That could put a serious obstacle in the way of recovery for salmon and other endangered species.

Related Pages: See Salmon & Ecologics and the Pollution sub-heading.
See also Bush Administration to Ease Pesticide Reviews for Endangered Species by John Heilprin, 1/28/4

Editorial Board
Pesticide Controls to Aid Salmon Now
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, January 27, 2004

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