AUBURN – Coach Tommy Tuberville joined Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS), and dozens of Senate and House colleagues in a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regarding the Eighth Circuit’s recent ruling in Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association et al. v. Michael Regan. The letter urges EPA to comply with the Eighth Circuit’s ruling, noting the importance of chlorpyrifos to agricultural production in the U.S.
“The court has spoken and, consistent with its decision, we believe farmers should have access to this critical tool for the 2024 growing season. EPA should follow the court’s ruling and immediately allow safe uses of chlorpyrifos,” wrote the senators.
“EPA should move expeditiously to follow the court’s direction that vacates the revocation rule,” continued the senators. “Protecting the use of critical crop protection tools, like chlorpyrifos, is of the utmost importance as our nation continues to make strides towards bolstering a strong domestic food supply, especially in the wake of a global pandemic and record inflation. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.”
Click here to read the entire letter.
Chlorpyrifos is an insecticide that has been commonly used in the United States since 1965. In particular, it is used by soybean and cotton farmers in Alabama.
In 2006, EPA reviewed and reaffirmed chlorpyrifos registrations for agricultural uses.
In 2007, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Pesticide Action Network North America filed petitions demanding EPA revoke all food-residue tolerances for chlorpyrifos. Near the end of the Obama Administration, EPA proposed to revoke all chlorpyrifos food-residue tolerances. In 2017 (denying the petitions) and again in 2019 (rejecting objections to the denial), however, EPA declined to finalize their 2006 proposal, claiming that the science on neurotoxic effects was uncertain and controversial, and that Agency should instead focus its efforts towards the 15-year registration review cycle required under law.
In 2020, EPA issued new scientific studies determining it could not “make a causal linkage” between chlorpyrifos and the neurodevelopmental effects claimed by the 2007 NGO petition. It also determined that a core set of 11 key uses on crops would result in safe levels or exposure.
On April 29, 2021, the Ninth Circuit Court issued an opinion in which it ordered EPA to either revoke all chlorpyrifos tolerances, or modify the tolerances and simultaneously make the required safety finding. The Ninth Circuit also ordered EPA to correspondingly modify or cancel related…registrations for food use in a timely fashion.”
In August 2021, EPA released the Final Tolerance Rule for Chlorpyrifos, which revoked food tolerances for chlorpyrifos, effective February 28, 2022.
Last week, the Eighth Circuit struck down the EPA’s revocation decision as arbitrary and capricious, as it did not consider whether it could safely retain some chlorpyrifos tolerances, including those previously identified as safe. The court also noted, “Before the EPA’s 2021 ban, agricultural use of chlorpyrifos had survived multiple safety reviews,” and that the EPA itself acknowledged it could “safely retain some chlorpyrifos tolerances.”
Additional cosigners include U.S. Senators Eric Schmitt (R-MO), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Katie Britt (R-AL), Jim Risch (R-ID), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), John Boozman (R-AR), James Lankford (R-OK), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Mike Braun (R-IN), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), John Thune (R-SD), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), John Barrasso (R-WY), Mike Rounds (R-SD), John Hoeven (R-ND), and Steve Daines (R-MT).
U.S. Representatives signing the letter include Reps. James Baird (R-IN-04), Mike Bost (R-IL-12), Kat Cammack (R-FL-03), Ben Cline (R-VA-06), James Comer (R-KY-01), Eric “Rick” Crawford (R-AR-01), Brad Finstad (R-MN-01), Michelle Fischbach (R-MN-07), Sam Graves (R-MO-06), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Trent Kelly (R-MS-01), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA-01), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO-03), Tracey Mann (R-KS-01), Mary Miller (R-IL-15), Barry Moore (R-AL-02), John Rose (R-TN-06), David Rouzer (R-NC-07), Austin Scott (R-GA-08), Rick Allen (R-GA-12), Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), Ashley Hinson (R-IA-02), Andrew Clyde (R-GA-09), Mike Flood (R-NE-01), Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA-15), Jason Smith (R-MO-08), David Joyce (R-OH-14), Dan Newhouse (R-WA-04), Eric Burlison (R-MO-07), John Duarte (R-CA-13), Julia Letlow (R-LA-05), Frank Lucas (R-OK-03), and Don Bacon (R-NE-02).
Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.