Ninth Circuit Denies Stayby Mitch Lies
Capital Press, May 7, 2004
A federal appeals court dealt a blow to farmers May 4 when it denied a stay of no-spray buffers along salmon-bearing waters in Washington, Oregon and Northern California.
The ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco set back efforts to remove the 60- and 300-foot buffers while farm and forest groups appeal a 2002 ruling that EPA was out of compliance in registering pesticides for use near salmon-bearing waters.
But Terry Witt of Oregonians for Food and Shelter said the ruling wasn’t all bad for farmers.
While the court denied the motion for a stay, he said, it also granted a request brought by OFS and other interveners for an expedited appeal.
In expediting the appeal, the court gave U.S. District Judge John Coughenour until May 25 to act on a similar request for a stay that is before him and set a June 1 opening to hear arguments in the appeal.
Coughenour in January banned the use of 34 pesticides within 60 feet of salmon bearing waterways for ground applications and 300 feet for aerial applications after Washington Toxics Coalition and other environmental groups filed for the injunction.
The no-spray buffers are expected to cost farmers millions of dollars in lost production.
CropLife America, an organization of pesticide manufacturers, along with several other interveners earlier this year appealed Coughenour’s 2002 ruling that EPA registered pesticides without consulting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries on their impacts on salmon.
Their appeal is based in part on the contention that Coughenour should not have heard the case in the absence of evidence of injury to endangered salmon runs.
The EPA in March also filed a notice to appeal Coughenour’s ruling.
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