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Greens say EPA slacking on pesticides

Sept. 10, 2008 at 11:59 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Environmentalists say the U.S. government and agricultural interests are not doing enough to protect the quality of the nation's groundwater supply.

The Environmental Protection Agency has come under fire recently in the form of lawsuits alleging the agency has not been aggressive enough in preventing pesticides from being a major source of groundwater contamination.

"There are several pesticides on the market that pose extreme risks to human health," said Joshua Osborne-Klein, an attorney for Earthjustice. "Our lawsuits say that the EPA has not fully assessed these risks."

ABCNews.com said Wednesday that Earthjustice has filed four lawsuits in the past two years against the EPA, and several states are becoming more aggressive in the study of pesticides and what levels should be considered dangerous.

ABCNews.com noted the EPA keeps databases on chemicals and ensures they are stored properly; however, critics say it stops short of declaring certain substances dangerous.

"The manufacturers of these chemicals have some influence over the way that the Environmental Protection Agency assesses them," alleged Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food and Water Watch. "Looking at pesticides has become very politicized. EPA hasn't been doing what they need to do."

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