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Farm Bill Would Allow Mass Killing of Endangered Species With Pesticides

Politics
Farm Bill Would Allow Mass Killing of Endangered Species With Pesticides
Salmon jumping at Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska. NPS / David Jacob / CC BY 2.0

The newest version of the 2018 Farm Bill, set for a vote on Friday, includes an unprecedented provision allowing the widespread killing of endangered plants and animals with pesticides.

The bill launches the broadest attack on the Endangered Species Act in 45 years, eliminating the requirement that federal agencies analyze pesticides' harm to the nation's 1,800 protected species before approving them, greatly increasing the risk of extinctions.


"House Republicans are putting salmon, killer whales and other wildlife on the fast track to extinction," said Lori Ann Burd, director of the Center for Biological Diversity's environmental health program. "This is a stunning gift to the pesticide industry, with staggering implications for endangered species."

Earlier this year the National Marine Fisheries Service released a "biological opinion" showing that three widely used insecticides—chlorpyrifos, malathion and diazinon—are putting killer whales and 37 different salmon and sturgeon species on a path to extinction.

In response the pesticide industry has sought to exempt pesticides completely from the Endangered Species Act. During this session of Congress, the pesticide industry has spent more than $43 million on congressional lobbying to achieve that goal.

In addition to the attacks on endangered species, H.R. 2 weakens Clean Water Act protections from pesticides, includes a sweeping provision that would gut protections for forests, and has 46 different provisions that would curtail public input and common-sense protections provided by the National Environmental Policy Act.

Late additions to the legislation would also roll back virtually all protections for old-growth forests in Alaska.

"This farm bill should be called the Extinction Act of 2018," said Burd. "If it becomes law, this bill will be remembered for generations to come as the one that drove the final nail in the coffin of some of America's most vulnerable species."

A meteorologist monitors weather in NOAA's Center for Weather and Climate Prediction on July 2, 2013 in Riverdale, Maryland. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The Trump White House is now set to appoint two climate deniers to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in one month.

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A plastic bag caught in a tree in New Jersey's Palisades Park. James Leynse / Stone / Getty Images

New Jersey is one step closer to passing what environmental advocates say is the strongest anti-plastic legislation in the nation.

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Did you know that nearly 30% of adults do, or will, suffer from a sleep condition at some point in their life? Anyone who has experienced disruptions in their sleep is familiar with the havoc that it can wreak on your body and mind. Lack of sleep, for one, can lead to anxiety and lethargy in the short-term. In the long-term, sleep deprivation can lead to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

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Climate Week this year coincides with clear skies in Washington state for the first time in almost two weeks.

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