Former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt is back in Oklahoma doing whatever it is people in Oklahoma do, but his legacy lives on.
You may recall that Pruitt ignored the advice of federal scientists and health officials early last year when he approved the use of the pesticide Chlorpyrifos, which has been credibly linked to brain damage in children.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has now ordered the EPA to ban the chemical within the next two months because, in the court's word, former administrator Scott Pruitt never justified its approval.
In March 2017, just a month after he was confirmed as the agency’s administrator, Scott Pruitt rejected a petition by the health and environmental groups to ban the pesticide. He did so even though the agency’s own staff scientists had recommended that chlorpyrifos be removed from the market, based on health studies that had suggested it was harming children, particularly among farmworker families. [...]
The court ruled that there was “no justification for the E.P.A.’s decision in its 2017 order to maintain a tolerance for chlorpyrifos in the face of scientific evidence that its residue on food causes neurodevelopmental damage to children,” referring to the formal agency process of banning a pesticide.
It's anyone's guess if the Trump regime will try to appeal this ruling to the Supreme Court, but I'm slightly skeptical that they will. And even if they do, there's no guarantee the Supreme Court will agree to hear the case.
The government arguing that the chemical should be approved when government scientists say it should be banned is something of a problem that's not easily hand-waved in court.
Putting the cart before the horse by announcing regulatory decisions before studying or justifying them has led to several defeats for the Trump regime.