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Democratic Senatorial Perspectives on Chlorpyrifos

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Last week a group of fifteen Democratic Senators sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler, asking the EPA to reverse its decision not to ban Chlorpyrifos. The letter outlines concern about children and farm workers and asks that the product be immediately removed from the marketplace.

The senators signing included: Tom Udall (D-NM), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Cory A. Booker (D-NJ), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Richard J. Durbin (D-IL), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Michael F. Bennet (D-CO). Of this list, Harris, Booker, Sanders, Gillibrand, Warren and Bennet are all running for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

In July the EPA rejected a petition filed by several states and environmental groups to enforce a ban, the second EPA ban rejection in the last few years (the last occurred in 2017). Massachusetts, Maryland, Washington, New York, Vermont and California have since sued the EPA. Several environmental groups have also filed suit, all in the 9th Circuit court. The registration for Chlorpyrifos with the EPA is set to expire in 2022, but EPA spokesperson Corry Schiermeyer said the EPA plans to release a proposed interim decision incorporating the scientific assessments in question for public availability and comment by October 2020, well ahead of the statutory deadline.


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