The Environmental Protection Agency will submit a response today (Tuesday) to an emergency motion asking a federal court to order an end to the use of dicamba.
The groups that filed the emergency motion also asked that the EPA be held in contempt of court for its decision to allow farmers to use existing stocks of the herbicide through July.
The response expected in the Ninth Circuit Court will be the latest in a series of rapid developments that represent a years-long debate over the herbicide.
On June 3, the U.S. Ninth District Court of Appeals ruled that farmers could no longer spray dicamba. Days later, the EPA issued an order canceling the registrations of the three dicamba products (Bayer’s Xtendimax, BASF’s Engenia and Corteva’s FeXapan) but allowing growers and applicators to use existing stocks through July 31.
On Thursday, groups that oppose the use of the herbicide responded with the emergency motion.
In its order, the EPA outlined limited and specific circumstances under which existing stocks of dicamba could be used.
Administrator Andrew Wheeler noted that “at the height of the growing season, the court’s decision has threatened the livelihood of our nation’s farmers and the global food supply.”
He also said the agency’s order to use existing stocks is “consistent with EPA’s standard practice following registration invalidation, and is designed to advance compliance, ensure regulatory certainty and to prevent the misuse of existing stocks.”
The EPA also said the additional weeks of dicamba use would “mitigate some of the devastating economic consequences” of the court decision.
Until the court rules on the EPA’s response filed today, farmers can use dicamba.
Sources: EPA, Farm Progress, Politico