Trumps EPA chief lifts ban on pesticide that poisons children

March 31, 2017 by  
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As part of the Trump administration’s current war to overthrow Obama-era environmental regulations, this week, newly appointed EPA Chief Scott Pruitt signed an order reversing a recommendation to ban a pesticide linked to nervous system damage in children. Chlorpyrifos is sprayed on tree nuts, soybeans, corn, wheat, apples, citrus, and a number of other common crops. In recent years, researchers have found that chlorpyrifos exposure on foods, in drinking water, and in the air can impair cognitive development in children. (Given that the active chemical is related to nerve agent weapons, perhaps this should not be surprising.) Multiple studies have found that children exposed to the pesticide at high levels have lower IQ scores than their peers. In light of the evidence, much of it gathered by the EPA’s own researchers, the agency adopted a “zero tolerance” policy for any residues of the chemical left on food items in 2015. Since it’s impossible to completely remove the chemical, this would have effectively ended its use in the US. This followed a decade of restrictions that have gradually reduced the number of approved crops and circumstances for its use. Despite the risk, it’s still used widely in other countries. Related: EPA chief says carbon dioxide is not a ‘primary contributor’ to global warming Now, Scott Pruitt is ignoring his own agency’s research in order to allow farmers to continue using this toxic pesticide. Of course, that’s not the way he’s spinning it – if you ask him, it’s a win for the scientific process. In a statement about the order, he said, “By reversing the previous administration’s steps to ban one of the most widely used pesticides in the world, we are returning to using sound science in decision-making — rather than predetermined results.” The Natural Resources Defense Council has already pledged to fight the new action in court. Via LA Times Images via Pixabay ( 1 , 2 )

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Trumps EPA chief lifts ban on pesticide that poisons children

Portland bans an insecticide in an effort to help save threatened bee population

April 2, 2015 by  
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The city of Portland, Oregon  is doing their part to save the bees by banning the use of neonicotinoid insecticides on city-owned property. The Portland city council unanimously approved the emergency measure on Wednesday, making the ban effective immediately. While the chemical pesticides are efficient at their job, they have also been effectively killing birds, bees and butterflies for years, as the chemicals persist in the environment. Studies have shown that massive bee colony die-offs are likely caused by the insecticides and in 2013, Oregon officials blamed the death of tens of thousands of bees on “improper use” of pesticides. “We’re doing another good thing for the people of Portland, Oregon, the United States, maybe the entire world,” said Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who introduced the policy. While the ban does not apply to private property , it is an important first step, Fritz said. “These toxicants kill bees outright , so this ordinance is critical to protecting Portland’s burgeoning local foods movement,” Lisa Arkin, executive director of Beyond Toxics , said in a press release. Similar ordinances in Seattle, Spokane and Eugene inspired the action. Image via Ziva and Amir  via Flickr Creative Commons.  Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: #savethebees , backyard beekeeping , bee colony collapse , dying bees , honey bees , insecticide ban , pesticide ban , portland insecticide ban , portland oregon

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Portland bans an insecticide in an effort to help save threatened bee population

California issues first-ever mandatory water restrictions to combat disastrous drought

April 2, 2015 by  
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As record low snow packs threaten to increase the severity of California’s already-devastating drought , Governor Jerry Brown has issued the first mandatory water restrictions in the state’s history. Under the executive order, 400 local water supply agencies—who provide water to around 90 percent of all of California residents—will be required to cut water usage by 25 percent. Additionally, campuses, golf courses, cemeteries and other large landscapes will be required to make cuts, municipalities will no longer water ornamental grasses on medians, and 50 million square feet of lawns will be replaced with drought-tolerant landscaping . Read the rest of California issues first-ever mandatory water restrictions to combat disastrous drought Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: agriculture water reporting , california drought , executive order , governor jerry brown , Lake Tahoe , low reservoir , low snow pack , Sierra Nevadas , water restrictions , water shortages , water usage , wildfire threat

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California issues first-ever mandatory water restrictions to combat disastrous drought

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