October 2009

Agency moving forward to revoke registration of highly toxic carbofuran

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided to move forward with their decision to revoke tolerances of carbofuran, which was sold under the brand name “Furadan”
  • EPA warns growers that carbofuran should not be applied to any food crops after December 31, 2009
  • Announcement will not eliminate international uses that are killing African lions

WASHINGTON (Oct. 30, 2009) – Defenders of Wildlife is pleased to hear that the EPA has not given in to pressure from carbofuran manufacturer FMC Corporation to reverse a decision to end the use of this highly toxic pesticide in the United States. The following is a statement from Bob Irvin, senior vice president for Defenders of Wildlife:

“This toxic pesticide has killed millions of birds and other wildlife in the U.S. alone. EPA analysis has confirmed that carbofuran is a threat to human health through contaminated food, drinking water and occupational exposure. And in its 2005 ecological risk assessment for carbofuran, EPA stated that there were no legal uses of carbofuran that did not kill wild birds. The December 31 end-date for U.S. applications of carbofuran cannot come too soon for America’s environment and wildlife.

“Unfortunately, today’s announcement will not end the international use of carbofuran. International use has resulted in the deaths of lions in Africa and is threatening the very existence of the species. Defenders of Wildlife is committed to working with our conservation partners in addressing that issue as well.”

Read today’s EPA announcement at: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/carbofuran/carbofuran_noic.htm

Learn more at: http://www.defenders.org/newsroom/press_releases_folder/2008/07_24_2008_epa_issues_landmark_decision_to_prohibit_deadly_pesticide_carbofuran_residues_on_food.php


Contact: Cat Lazaroff, 202-772-3270

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities.  With more than 1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come.  For more information, visit www.defenders.org.


Defenders of Wildlife urges Congress to oppose U.S. offshore drilling


WASHINGTON (Oct. 28, 2009) – The impacts of the nine-week West Timor oil rig blowout are creating an environmental catastrophe for wildlife and ocean ecosystems, Defenders of Wildlife said today. In August, the West Atlas/Montara offshore drilling rig, widely touted as a “safe, modern” operation, suffered what the rig’s operators termed a “loss of well control.” Despite three attempts to stop the resulting massive oil spill, oil continues to leak into the surrounding ocean.


“A global-scale environmental catastrophe so large that it is visible from space is unfolding in one of earth’s last marine wilderness areas,” said Richard Charter, government relations consultant with Defenders of Wildlife, “It is time for the dithering, excuses, and failed response efforts to end and for the international community to get the full story on how and why this spill has been allowed to continue for so long. This persistent mess is too big and too damaging to hide any longer.”


Estimates of the volume of oil spilled since the August 21 Australian blowout have now expanded as much as five-fold, to more than 9.7 million gallons, while the oil slick has covered several thousand square miles of ocean waters. Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate is now discussing allowing essentially the same kind of “environmentally-responsible” offshore drilling to go forward off the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida’s Gulf Coast and Panhandle beaches.


“If anything like the Australian blowout ever takes place off of the Southeast U.S. beaches or in Florida waters, the economic and environmental consequences will last for decades,” Charter emphasized.


Worldwide, conservation interests have become increasingly concerned as satellite images have shown that the mega-spill has spread from Australia’s whale and sea-turtle rich Kimberley Coast into distant Indonesian waters as well. Three prior attempts to stop the flow of oil have failed, and a fourth attempt this week had to be postponed due to equipment failure.


Photos courtesy of TimesOnline.co.uk taken by photographers as identified show the recent preliminary assessment of wildlife impacts at: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/earth-environment/article6886916.ece?slideshowPopup=true&articleId=6886916&nSlide=14&sectionName=NewsEnvironment


Satellite imagery of the spill can be downloaded courtesy of Skytruth.org at:





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Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities.  With more than 1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come.  For more information, visit www.defenders.org.  

By David Siders
The Stockton Record
October 27, 2009

STOCKTON – Municipal Utilities Director Mark Madison parked Monday by an old alfalfa field on the city’s north side and walked along an access road to where construction had started on the Delta Water Supply Project, Stockton’s $217 million campaign to pump drinking water from the Delta.

It is the most expensive public works project in city history.

It had been several years since Madison was last at the property, where a treatment plant is to be built, and when he arrived Monday he said, “To me, this is beautiful. It’s 40 years in the making.”

He put on a vest and a hard hat. A grader had cleared a parking lot and made room for a groundbreaking ceremony…

Click here to read the full article on Recordnet…

Indybay Central Valley Newswire

by Dan Bacher
Wednesday Oct 21st

Donald Koch, the director of the Department of Fish and Game for 18 months, sent his letter of resignation to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today.

He said that his decision to resign is “unrelated” to his duties as director, but Koch had recently acquired the reputation for impersonating the “invisible man” for his refusal of requests from reporters for information on the state’s trout hatchery program.

“It is with regret that I tender my resignation as the Director of the Department of Fish Game (sic), effective November 1, 2009,” said Koch. “My decison is unrelated to my duties regarding the State’s cherished fish and wildlife resources.”

In informing the Governor of his resignation, Koch praised Schwarzenegger for his “leadership” regarding the development of a draft settlement agreement on the Klamath and for taking “immediate action” on climate change…

Click here to read the full article posted on Indybay

The Bureau of Reclamation announces that effective Friday, October 23, 2009, at 10 a.m., the Delta Cross Channel Gates will be closed for protection of out-migrating winter-run Chinook salmon. Closures will occur intermittently through Spring 2010. During closures, boat traffic will be unable to pass through the Delta Cross Channel Gates, so boaters should plan alternate travel routes.

The Cross Channel Gates are located on the Sacramento River near Walnut Grove.

Gate operation information is available online at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/cvo/; see “Delta Cross Channel Gate Status.” For additional information, please contact Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Region Public Affairs Office at 916-978-5100.

Click here to view this announcement on Bureau of Reclamation’s website.

Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times, 10/14/2009

During the wet season, the city of L.A. sends 100 million gallons of stormwater into the Pacific each day. That water had, for many years, been handled as pollution, since the water produced in rainstorms picks up various effluents that then flush into the ocean.

But a new California bill seeks to expand the role of stormwater management to incorporate strategies that will use it as a resource. The Stormwater Resource Planning Act, SB 790, allows municipalities to tap funds from two of the state’s existing bond funds and use the money for projects that reduce or reuse stormwater, recharge the groundwater supply, create green spaces and enhance wildlife habitats. SB 790 was signed into law Sunday and takes effect Jan. 1, 2010.

Click here to read the full article from the LA Times…

Posted on Science Blog, 10/11/2009

The world will miss its agreed target to stem biodiversity loss by next year, according to experts convening in Cape Town for a landmark conference devoted to biodiversity science.

The goal was agreed at the 6th Conference of Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in April 2003. Some 123 world ministers committed to “achieve, by 2010, a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the local, national and regional levels, as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on Earth.”…

Click here to read the full article on Science Blog…

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