Battle in the Bay

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is facing a lawsuit for allegedly violating the Endangered Species Act. Filed last week by the Center for Biological Diversity, the suit charges the EPA allowed the use of 60 toxic pesticides in the habitats of nearly a dozen Bay Area endangered species without determining the potential effects.

According to the center, about 8.5 million pounds of pesticides are applied to Bay Area counties each year, not including home and commercial use. The organization’s lawsuit claims the EPA has consistently failed to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on endangered species impacts when registering and authorizing pesticides, as is required under the Endangered Species Act.

The Center for Biological Diversity, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection of imperiled species, is seeking restrictions in areas that serve as habitat for 11 endangered species, including the California tiger salamander, San Francisco garter snake and Alameda whipsnake.