In his first major decision as Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt ignored the agency’s research and federal law by rejecting a petition to revoke tolerances for the neurotoxic insecticide chlorpyrifos [“EPA chief declines to ban pesticide despite risks,” news, March 31]. The EPA’s latest science assessment concluded that residues of chlorpyrifos found in food and water threaten the normal brain development of babies and children. Although the EPA said the science was “unsettled,” the agency did not withdraw or change its conclusions about the dangers of chlorpyrifos.
The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act allows the administrator to leave tolerances in place only if the administrator finds them “safe.” Mr. Pruitt did not make that finding in denying the chlorpyrifos petition.
Citizens will again have to go to court to compel the Trump administration to comply with the law.
William Jordan, Washington
The writer was deputy director for programs at the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Pesticide Programs from 2012 to 2016.