West Coast Salmon Enter Virginia Court

The other states where the no-spray buffers would apply around salmon streams are California, Idaho and Oregon. An interesting twist to this case is that these buffer zones are not currently being enforced. Mashuda says environmental groups have their own separate battle going with the Environmental Protection Agency about that.

“In some ways, it’s slightly ironic that Dow is suing about these protections, because they’re essentially right now written only on paper. They do not exist out there on the landscape. We have a whole other piece of litigation that’s designed to try and get these protections implemented.”

The chemicals are chlorpyrifos, malathion and diazinon, and they’ve also been found to have negative effects on human health. They were developed after World War II. Mashuda calls them “outmoded” in an industry that has come up with less-hazardous alternative products, as well as new farming methods, to kill pests without harming fish and wildlife.

Other parties in the appeal are Cheminova (which makes malathion) and Makhteshiam Agan (which makes diazinon). The case is in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.