Leveling the FIFRA Playing Field: Life Beyond Termilind (PDF)
The quest by law abiding pesticide registrants for relief from illegally registered pesticides has taken a new turn. Tacitly acknowledging the futility of urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to initiate enforcement action against bad actors, registrants are now, in epidemic proportion, taking their case to EPAin the form of filing administrative petitions to revoke and/or cancel Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)1 registrations issued to competitors and alleged to be obtained illegally. EPA’s Offices of General Counsel and Pesticide Programs struggle on a good day to keep up with the relentless demands of implementing the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA)2 and the day-to-day business of FIFRA registration and reregistration. The administrative burden placed on EPAas a result of these petitions is further stressing a system that often appears on the brink of collapse. Nonetheless, the administrative petition process, albeit slow, frustrating, and costly for both EPA and registrants, at the least has the potential to provide the semblance of a level playing field. This Dialogue describes In re Termilind, a landmark EPA decision revoking two FIFRA registrations, its progeny, and the reasons why EPAmust streamline its current system or identify a better one to address the problem of illegally registered pesticide products.