Pesticides killing salmon?

Big chemical companies fighting no-pesticide buffer zone for salmon streams

Chemical companies are fighting a court decision with implications for salmon and steelhead on the West Coast.

Last year, a court sided with a National Marine Fisheries Service recommendation to allow for a 500-foot buffer around salmon streams where certain pesticides can’t be sprayed, but chemical producers Dow Chemical, Cheminova and Makhteshiam Agan are fighting the decision in federal court in Virginia, according to San Diego Scoop.

Steve Mashuda, an Earthjustice attorney representing wildlife advocates in the case, says the chemicals in question are organophosphates, widely used agricultural pesticides that are lethal to fish even in low doses and have been found to have negative health effects on humans. Federal officials had previously considered banning the chemicals altogether, but compromised with the buffer-zone strategy.

Meanwhile, the chemical companies have argued the buffer zone isn’t necessary and will cost them business.