Corteva, the agricultural chemicals producer spun off in 2019 from DowDuPont, the entity formed by the merger of Dow Chemical and DuPont, announced on February 6, 2020 that it will cease producing chlorpyrifos by the end of the year.
The continued registration of and scientific defense of chlorpyrifos by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has been under challenge by a wide range of environmental interests, state regulatory agencies and state attorneys general. Use of the insecticide in California in fact became illegal today as a result of action the the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Governor Cuomo of New York recently vetoed legislation that would have banned chlorpyrifos, instead directing the Department of Environmental Conservation to promulgate an emergency rule accomplishing the same end. It remains to be seen whether the Department still acts to prohibit use of existing stocks. State attorneys general and environmental organization are pursuing an action in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals seeking to overturn EPA’s registration. That litigation is now likely moot.
This decision marks the end of a 35+ year run for the chemical which ironically at one point was promoted as an alternative termiticide safer than the persistent chlordane which had the termiticide of choice for many years.