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Judge upholds restrictions on pesticides

Salmon protection focus of new rules

PORTLAND – A federal judge has upheld federal restrictions on agricultural pesticides designed to protect endangered salmon and steelhead in the West.

The Oregonian reports that a U.S. district judge in Maryland denied claims by pesticide manufacturers that NOAA Fisheries Service biologists had failed to consider all the information available.

The agency, headquartered in Maryland, has called for warning labels on pesticides to keep them out of salmon streams, where even minute amounts can be harmful.

Judge Alexander Williams Jr. noted Monday the agency considered 20,000 pages of documents.

The pesticides are organophosphates – chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion. The restrictions would require no-spray zones of 500 feet when spraying from the ground, and 1,000 feet when spraying from the air.

Once imposed, they would apply in Washington, Oregon, California and Idaho.