GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) - The final agreement has been filed in a decade-long battle to get the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to set buffer zones to keep agricultural pesticides out of salmon streams in Oregon, California and Washington.
The agreement filed Wednesday in federal court in Seattle calls for EPA to set buffer zones that will stand until it imposes permanent ones in the next few years. It goes into effect once a judge signs it.
The case stems from a 2004 injunction imposing spray buffers, which expired when federal biologists found that five broad-spectrum pesticides jeopardized the survival of endangered salmon, and EPA never imposed its own restrictions.
Earthjustice attorney Steve Mashuda, who represents salmon advocates, says the agreement sets clear and immediate protections for salmon.