Aerial Fire Retardant Court Decision

Yesterday (7/27), in a lawsuit brought by FSEEE, U.S. federal district court Judge Donald Molloy ruled that the Forest Service had violated the National Environmental Policy Act and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service had violated the Endangered Species Act in regard to the Forest Service’s use of aerial fire retardant. The retardant is used primarily in the West, with California accounting for half of the over 20 million gallons dropped from airplanes and helicopters annually. The retardant, which includes ammonia-based fertilizer, is toxic to fish and threatens rare plants.

The judge ordered the Forest Service to prepare an environmental impact statement and complete ESA consultation with FWS and NMFS by December 31, 2011. He also warned that failing to do could be met with sanctions, including contempt proceedings, which wouldn’t be the first time.

Read the 79-page court decision.

1 thought on “Aerial Fire Retardant Court Decision”

  1. Andy, this topic has raised some strong emotions, for example, this on SOS forests.

    Could you explain in this forum what you are trying to achieve with this litigation? When I read the news clips, the quotes from you are so brief it’s hard to understand what you and AFSEE are trying to do- your desired future conditions.

    A comment in the WISE blog linked to this set of aerial photos, which I thought were fairly interesting.


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