Ninth Court upholds EPA’s dicamba use-of-stocks decision

EPA logoUPDATED — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth District has backed the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to allow continued use of three dicamba products until July 31. In rejecting an emergency motion brought by environmental groups, the court also will not find EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler in contempt of court.

In addition, the court granted motions by CropLife America and grower groups, including the National Cotton Council, to participate as friends of the court. It also allowed BASF and Corteva Agriscience to intervene  and ordered a briefing for next week on BASF’s motion to stay the June 3 decision.

Bayer was already an intervenor since it acquired Monsanto, which was the original defendant in the suit.

The June 19 court ruling stems from an emergency motion filed June 11 by environmental groups challenging the EPA’s use-of-stocks order issued June 8. They contended the Ninth Court’s original ruling June 3 that vacated registration of three dicamba herbicides should have resulted in an immediate halt to all uses of the products.

The over-the-top dicamba herbicides in question are XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology from Bayer, FeXapan from Corteva and Engenia Plus VaporGrip from BASF.

Tavium, a premix that contains dicamba and S-metolachlor from Syngenta, is not part of the suit because it was registered a year later.

The Ninth Court vacated registrations of the three dicamba products June 3. The ruling stems from a suit brought by environmental groups contending the EPA violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act when it issued a two-year conditional registration for the three dicamba products in 2018.

The EPA June 8 clarified the status of existing stocks with an order that halted sales and distribution of the three products June 3.

Applicators and growers who had those products in possession as of June 3 would be allowed to use remaining supplies until July 31 as long as they following current product labels.

The environmental groups that brought the original suit that sought to ban dicamba applications and filed the emergency motion were the Center for Biological Diversity, the National Family Farm Coalition, Center for Food Safety and Pesticide Action Network North America.

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