The Deal with Dicamba: Overview of Recent Legal Developments - National Agricultural Law Center

The Deal with Dicamba: Overview of Recent Legal Developments

You will learn:

Dicamba is a highly effective herbicide that has long been used to control difficult weeds, including palmer amaranth which is commonly known as pigweed. While dicamba has historically been used in the late winter and early spring as a pre-emergent herbicide due to its tendency to volatize and drift off-target, in 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved a new, lower-volatility form of dicamba for use directly on dicamba-resistant soybeans and cotton. In the years since, EPA’s approval of dicamba for over-the-top use has been the subject of multiple lawsuits, with environmental plaintiffs claiming that EPA has violated both the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Endangered Species Act.

On February 6, 2024, a federal court in Arizona issued a decision directing EPA to vacate the 2020 registrations allowing over-the-top use of three dicamba-based pesticides, XtendiMax, Engenia, and Tavium. This is the second time that a court has vacated the EPA’s approval of over-the-top use of dicamba, following a 2020 decision issued by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals which concluded that EPA had violated FIFRA when approving the new use. While the decision from the Arizona court relies on different legal arguments than the Ninth Circuit’s 2020 decision, the outcome is the same. Following the ruling, EPA has issued an order that will enable farmers to use existing stocks of dicamba directly onto crops during the 2024 growing season, but only if the pesticides were “labeled, packaged, and released for shipment” prior to February 6. After 2024, it is unclear whether dicamba will be available for over-the-top use going forward.

The Arizona court’s decision comes at a time when EPA is reexamining how it registers pesticide products, which could have implications for the future of dicamba. This webinar will take a look at the Arizona court’s decision, EPA’s response, and what may lie ahead for agricultural producers.

Event Details:

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Noon – 1 p.m. (EDT)

11 a.m. – Noon (CDT)

You will hear:

Brigit began her life in Sonoma County, in the heart of California’s wine country. Growing up, she was surrounded by small farms, dairies, and wineries, which ultimately led to a passion for agriculture and the environment. She attended Sonoma State University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies, and a minor in studio arts. While at Sonoma State, Brigit studied different types of agricultural methods and how those methods could be used to promote environmental sustainability. After graduating from Sonoma State in 2015, she started as a law student at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. While at Lewis & Clark, she worked as a student clerk for the Western Resources Legal Center, where she worked on cases assisting small ranches, farms, and municipalities. During her time at Lewis & Clark, she also interned with the California Farm Bureau Federation, and worked as a law clerk for the Sacramento-based environmental law firm Somach Simmons & Dunn. While at the California Farm Bureau, Brigit focused on Environmental Species Act issues and water law issues, as well as issues specific to California. While at Somach Simmons & Dunn, Brigit expanded her work on water law and participated in work involving federal Indian law. On campus, Brigit was on the board of Lewis & Clark’s Food & Ag Law Society and served as a student member of the ABA Public Lands Committee.  She is licensed to practice law in Oregon.

Brigit began her work at the Center as a research fellow during her second year of law school. As a research fellow, Brigit worked on a wide variety of agricultural law topics ranging from liability issues to the new frontier of lab-grown meat. In 2019, Brigit graduated from Lewis & Clark and joined the Center full-time. At the Center, her primary area of research and scholarship is environmental law as it intersects with agriculture. She maintains an interest in promoting sustainability and environmental health through agriculture and resource use.

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