NRDC v. EPA: The Ninth Circuit issues a narrow ruling on EPA’s conditional registration of a “nano-pesticide”

Vol. 45 No. 5

Michael T. Novak is a partner and co-chair of the Pesticide Practice Group at Keller and Heckman LLP. Eric P. Gotting is a partner and serves in the Litigation and Environmental Practice Groups at Keller and Heckman LLP. Kathryn M. Biszko is an associate in the Environmental Practice Group at Keller and Heckman LLP.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) first-ever conditional registration of a nanosilver pesticide was recently challenged on multiple fronts. Natural Res. Def. Council v. EPA, 735 F.3d 873 (9th Cir. 2013) (NRDC v. EPA). The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) not only questioned EPA’s approach to granting “conditional” pesticide registrations, but also the very safety of nanosilver itself. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, however, largely rejected NRDC’s suit. On November 7, 2013, the court upheld EPA’s conditional registration with one narrow exception and remanded the registration decision back to EPA on that issue. EPA, working with the pesticide registrant, subsequently amended the pesticide label to address the grounds for remand, thereby permitting the conditional registration to stand.

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The Law of Adaptation to Climate Change: United States and International Aspects