Farming and Conservation Groups in Dicamba Case Say EPA is in Contempt of Ruling

Plaintiffs in the Ninth Circuit case which canceled the temporary approvals for three Dicamba products filed an emergency motion asking the court to enforce its vacatur on the products. They claimed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should be held in contempt for their response to the court’s ruling claiming they are “brazenly attempting to tailor the Court’s vacatur to its liking.”

The motion claimed the court’s decision was clear and that over the top uses of the dicamba products should stop immediately, requesting emergency relief. “Extraordinary events require extraordinary actions. EPA has defied this Court’s decision, requiring Petitioners’ emergency motion,” it stated.

The Ninth Circuit released its opinion blocking the selling of Dicamba products on June 3. The EPA expressed disappointment with the decision and issued a cancellation order for the three Dicamba products addressed in the court case which allows use of the products through the end of July.

The emergency motion alleged the EPA did not have the authority to issue a cancellation order because the court’s order already canceled the use of the products. “While EPA can take new action after vacatur, such action must comply with FIFRA and this Court’s Order. But here, EPA made zero attempt to address the Court’s rulings or take an action consistent with them,” the plaintiffs claimed.

The plaintiffs include the Center for Food Safety, Center for Biological Diversity, Pesticide Action Network North America, and the National Family Farm Coalition. They claimed the EPA’s order allowing the use of over the top dicamba products will cause a 16 million pound increase in dicamba pollutants.

“It cannot be so easy to circumvent this Court’s order. EPA cannot get away with allowing the spraying of 16 million more pounds of dicamba and resulting damage to millions of acres, as well as significant risks to hundreds of endangered species,” the motion stated.

The organizations noted that the only uses vacated by the court decision were over the top use of the products on dicamba-tolerant soybean and cotton. They said since other uses for the products exist and were previously approved, there should not be a reason to allow further use through July.

“Trump’s EPA is so rogue it thinks it can blow off a federal court ruling that stops the damaging dicamba spraying in an administrative order,” said George Kimbrell, lead counsel in the case with the Center for Food Safety according to a press release. “EPA needs a lesson in separation of powers and we’re asking the court to give it to them.”