On Friday, AgLogic Chemical LLC, which produces the pesticide aldicarb, asked to intervene in favor of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals lawsuit contesting the EPA registration of aldicarb for use with oranges and grapefruits.
AgLogic explained that aldicarb, a granular pesticide put directly into soil that decreases its toxicity, has shown to be effective in use with citrus plants, specifically in fighting a bacterial disease known as Huanglongbing. The company argued that the conditional registration applies only to 100,000 acres in Florida and is accompanied by a “stewardship and monitoring program that requires extensive training,” so it does not present a significant danger. The company further claimed that it should be allowed to intervene because it “benefits directly from the registration and product approval,” however, the EPA does not represent its interests.
The petition seeking a review of the registration was filed by the Farmworker Association of Florida, the Environmental Working Group, and the Center for Biological Diversity in early March. It noted that the registration of aldicarb for citrus was previously canceled due to potential harm. Specifically, they purported that the re-registration was rushed through at the end of the Trump Administration and that the EPA did not sufficiently consider the consequences of the registration, including the harm the pesticide could cause to farmworkers and children.
AgLogic, however, claimed that Huanglongbing, also known as Citrus Greening, has cost the citrus industry over $7 billion and caused job loss. The company explained that other pesticides have not been able to address this disease. “The citrus industry in Florida is searching for tools to help battle citrus greening, and has encouraged AgLogic to re-register the pesticide aldicarb that was registered for use on citrus.”
Additionally on Friday, the petitioners filed a motion seeking summary reversal in which they reiterated their claims that the EPA’s registration should be stayed and that it violates the Endangered Species Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. The organizations claimed that their members would be harmed without a stay on the registration, and that it would additionally have lasting impacts on public health, water pollution, and wildlife.
The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys with the Center for Biological Diversity, the EPA by the Department of Justice, and AgLogic by Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP.