Issue 41 – January 2004
NoSpray Newz 2004/1
I am writing to update you on the latest developments in the No Spray Coalition’s 4-year-old legal case against New York City’s government, the upcoming Beyond Pesticides conference in California, and to ask for your help in maintaining the No Spray Coalition Website.
Next, about the lawsuit against NYC’s indiscriminate spraying of toxic pesticides supposedly to fight against West Nile Virus. In December, 2003, we finally won a very important round in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, in which the Court reversed the Lower Court judge and vacated his decision to throw out our case.
This was a tremendous victory for those fighting to preserve the environment all over the country under the Clean Water Act, let alone for our own case here in NYC. The Clean Water Act is one of the few laws that grants citizens the right to sue government agencies that are polluting the environment.
Our lawyers (and their interns — a new layer of environmental lawyers is being trained through our lawsuit) recently sent a letter to the new Judge, Hon. George B Daniels, who was assigned to the case since Judge Martin has retired. In the letter, we asked him to renew consideration of the summary judgment motions in light of the Second Circuit decision vacating Judge Martin’s bad ruling in December. Below, I’m sending you a copy of the letter.
We are currently waiting to hear from the Court regarding a ruling on our requests for summary judgment, the assignment of a court date for the full trial to begin, and other steps we’ll need to take in the case.
As always, any funds that you can send our way are gratefully appreciated and much needed. Our terrific lawyers are amazed at how far we’ve been able to go solely on the work of a bunch of dedicated volunteers and financial contributions from our many supporters across the country (and Canada too), who are outraged at the mass spraying of pesticides and who understand what’s at stake in this battle. Please send what you can to the address above, or if you prefer you can contribute via credit card (PayPal) at our website: www.nospray.org . We thank you in advance for all the help you’ve provided over the years, and for the new contributions you’re hopefully about to make – as well as being a healing activist against the massive ecological devastation taking place.
Lastly, if you are in the Bay Area of California, you can catch one of our lawyers, Karl Coplan, who will be a featured speaker at the Beyond Pesticides conference April 2-4 in Berkeley. [See announcement at end of this letter.]
for the No Spray Coalition
LETTER TO JUDGE DANIELS
March 5, 2004
Honorable George B. Daniels
United States District Judge
United States Courthouse
40 Center Street, Room 410
New York, NY 10007-1581
Re: No Spray Coalition v. The City of New York, No. 00 Civ. 5395
Dear Judge Daniels:
It is Plaintiffs’ understanding that the above-referenced matter has been reassigned to you since the departure of Judge Martin. This action was originally filed in 2000 against the City of New York to enjoin the spraying of pesticides for mosquito control, alleging violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), and the State and City Environmental Quality Review Acts (SEQRA and CEQR). On September 25, 2000, Judge Martin denied Plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction and dismissed the RCRA and SEQRA/CEQR claims. The Second Circuit affirmed.
The CWA claim proceeded as a citizen suit under CWA § 505(a)(1). Plaintiffs filed a motion for partial summary judgment on May 17, 2002, seeking a declaration that Defendants violated CWA § 301(a) by discharging pollutants in the form of pesticides from helicopters and trucks into New York City water bodies without a CWA permit. Defendants cross-moved for summary judgment on July 12, 2002, arguing that Plaintiffs failed to offer evidence necessary to support the elements of a CWA claim. On August 16, 2002, Plaintiffs submitted a memorandum of law in opposition to defendant’s motion for summary judgment and in further support of their motion for summary judgment. Judge Martin issued an opinion on November 26, 2002 granting Defendants’ summary judgment motion as a motion to dismiss and denying Plaintiffs’ summary judgment motion.
On December Ninth of last year, the Second Circuit vacated Judge Martin’s November 26, 2002 opinion and remanded for further proceedings. In light of the Second Circuit’s remand, Plaintiffs respectfully request reconsideration of Plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment, Defendants’ cross-motion for summary judgment and Plaintiffs’ opposition to Defendants’ motion for summary judgment, all of which were fully submitted. Plaintiffs do not wish to add to their motion at this time, but reserve the right to supplement if Defendants do so.
Very truly yours,
Karl S. Coplan, Esq.
Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic, Inc.
75 North Broadway
White Plains, NY 10603
Enclosures: No Spray Coalition v. City of New York, 351 F.3d 602 (2d Cir. 2003)
No Spray Coalition v. City of New York, 2002 WL 31682387 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 26, 2002)
cc: Inga Van Eysden, Esq.
Corporation Counsel for the City of New York
100 Church Street, 3-124
New York, NY 10007
Joel R. Kupferman, Esq.
New York, NY 10007
BEYOND PESTICIDES CONFERENCE
Unite for Change: New Approaches to Pesticides and Environmental Health
The 22nd National Pesticide Forum
University of California, Berkeley
April 2-4, 2004
Unite for Change: New Approaches to Pesticides and Environmental Health will be held April 2-4, 2004 at the Clark Kerr Conference Center, the University of California, Berkeley. This national environmental conference will be co-convened by Beyond Pesticides, Californians for Pesticide Reform and Pesticide Action Network North America. Register by March 26th to avoid the $20 late fee.
Featured speakers for this year’s event include: Sandra Steingraber, ecologist and author of Having Faith: An Ecologist’s Journey to Motherhood and Living Downstream; and Howard Lyman, author of Mad Cowboy and fourth generation family farmer. The list of speakers is up to date, please see the speaker page for bios and more information.
The Forum will begin on Friday afternoon at 1 pm with a school and community garden tour, featuring the Edible Schoolyard, a garden at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School. If you plan to attend please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-543-5450 to reserve a space on the bus. Visit the program/brochure page for an itinerary.
For more information on the National Pesticide Forum, please contact John Kepner at email@example.com or 202-543-5450.
THANK YOU! The generosity of our sponsors helps make the conference a great event year after year. The sponsors listed below contributed to the 21st National Pesticide Forum scholarship fund, making it possible for people from around the country to participate in one of the most important grassroots pesticide meetings of the year.
Registration will begin at 3:00 pm and the program will begin at 6:30 pm.
Friday, April 2, 2004
1:00 – 5:00 pm: School and Community Garden Tour
3:00 – 7:00 pm: Registration
3:00 – 5:30 pm: PAN North America Affiliates Reception
6:45 – 7:00 pm: Welcome
7:00 – 8:30 pm: Destroying the Planet One Bite at a Time: Howard Lyman
8:30 – 10:00 pm: Conference Reception
Saturday, April 3, 2004
8:00 – 8:45 am: Continental Breakfast
8:45 – 9:15 am: Welcome/Opening
9:15 – 10:00 am: The Organic Manifesto of a Biologist Mother: Sandra Steingraber
10:00 – 11:15 am: Emerging Science Panel: Tyrone Hayes, Warren Porter and Ignacio Chapela
11:30 am – 1:00 pm: Workshop I
—- Body Burden, Drift and Household Dust
—- Communities United Against Pesticide Drift
—- Schools and Beyond: Successful IPM Strategies
—- Alternatives at Home and on the Range
—- Poisoned Water: Opportunities for Change
1:00 – 2:30 pm: Banquet Lunch
3:00 – 4:30 pm: Workshop II
—- Tackling Global Pesticide Trade: New Tools, Partners & Campaigns
—- Uniting Labor and Public Campaigns
—- Asthma, Air Pollution & Pesticides: What Are the Links?
—- Lessons from Pesticide-Specific Campaigns
—- Selling Your Message to the Mainstream
4:45 – 6:00 pm: Panel: From Seed to Table and Beyond
6:00 – 8:00 pm: CPR Annual Meeting & Reception
Sunday, April 4, 2004
8:15– 9:00 am: Continental Breakfast
9:00 – 10:15 am: Panel: The Power of Local Action
10:30 am – 12:00 pm: Workshop III
—- Catch the Drift
—- Pesticide Activism in Canada and Mexico: Voice from the North and South
—- Strategy Session on Systemic Change
—- Reaching Out and Speaking Out with the Medical Community
—- Creative Litigation for Change
12:00 – 1:30 pm: Lunch
1:45 – 3:15 pm: Workshop IVv —- Organizing against the Gene Giants in North America
—- Uniting for long-term change: Building More Effective Coalitions
—- Managing Threats of West Nile Virus
—- Home and Garden Pesticides: A Wedge Issue?
3:15 – 3:45 pm: Closing
Howard Lyman, author of Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won’t Eat Meat, was thrust into the public spotlight after he exposed the threat of Mad Cow Disease to the conventional cattle industry in a 1996 interview on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Shortly after the show aired, both Mr. Lyman and the show were sued by a group of Texas cattlemen. This fourth generation family farmer, travels the country speaking first hand about the dangers of a chemical-based agriculture system and the opportunities for sustainable alternatives. More info.
Sandra Steingraber, ecologist, author, and cancer survivor, is an internationally recognized expert on the environmental links to cancer and reproductive health. Her most recent work, Having Faith: An Ecologist’s Journey to Motherhood, explores the intimate ecology of motherhood and serves as both a memoir of her pregnancy and an investigation of fetal toxicology. Dr. Steingraber’s other books include Living Downstream and Post-Diagnosis. More info.
Tyrone Hayes, professor of integrative biology at UC Berkeley, discovered that frogs exposed to very small doses of the herbicide Atrazine develop serious reproductive problems. Sygenta, Atrazine’s manufacturer and funder of the research, offered him $2 million to continue his research “in a private setting.” Dr. Hayes declined and continued with his own funding. More info.
Warren Porter is chair of the Department of Zoology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He found that mixtures of insecticides, herbicides and fertilizers commonly used on lawns are capable of suppressing immune parameters, changing hormone levels, and altering aggression. Dr. Porter also discovered a link between miscarriages and low levels of lawn chemicals. More info.
Ignacio Chapela, a microbial ecologist at the University of California, Berkeley, discovered that pollen had drifted several miles from a field of genetically modified corn in Chiapas, Mexico to remote mountains of Oaxaca, landing in the world’s last reserve of biodiverse maize. After reporting that the biodiversity could be lost, Monsanto attacked Dr. Chapela through a PR campaign to challenge his credibility. More info.
Marion Moses, MD is a physician and director of the Pesticide Education Center in San Francisco, founded in 1988 to educate workers, consumers, and the public about the hazards and health effects of pesticides. Her interest in pesticides began with her work with Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers union, beginning in 1966, first as a nurse and then as a doctor. She was Cesar Chavez’s personal physician. She is the author of Designer Poisons. More info.
Darryl Alexander, program director of health and safety, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, Washington, DC
Martha Dina Arguello, director of health and environment programs, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Los Angeles, CA
Phil Boise, Urban-Ag Ecology, Gaviolta, CA
Tracey Brieger, campaign coordinator, Californians for Pesticide Reform, San Francisco, CA
Miguel Cifuentes, secretary, Cimitarra River Valley Peasant Association, Barrancabermeja, Colombia
Jim Cochran, farmer, Swanton Berry Farms, Davenport, CA
Grant Cope, attorney, Earthjustice, Seattle, WA
Karl Coplan, co-director, Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic, White Plains, NY
Maite Cortes, director, Colectivo Ecologista Jalisco, Guadalajara, México
Bill Currie, founder, International Pest Management Institute, Ash Fork, AZ
Carol Dansereu, executive director, Farm Worker Pesticide Project, Seattle, WA
Teresa DeAnda, central valley representative, Californians for Pesticide Reform, Earlimart, CA
Patricia Diaz, director, Huicholes y Plaguicidas, Oaxaca, México
Paula Dinnerstein, lawyer, Lobel, Novins and Lamont, Washington, DC
Sharon Duggan, lawyer, Law Offices of Sharon Duggan, Berkeley, CA
Diane Estrin, director, Community Action to Fight Asthma, Oakland, CA
Michel Gaudet, president, Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Chris Geiger, toxics reduction coordinator, San Francisco Department of the Environment, CA
Michael Green, director, Center for Environmental Health, Oakland, CA
Norma Grier, executive eirector, Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, Eugene, OR
Mary Haffner, parent activist, Ventura, CA
Kevin Hamilton, asthma program coordinator, Community Medical Center, Fresno, CA
Pamela Marshall Heatherington, executive director, Environmental Center of San Luis Obispo, CA
Dave Henson, executive director, Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, Occidental, CA
Jerry Jochim, IPM coordinator, Monroe County Public Schools, Bloomington, IN
Billie Karel, program coordinator, Agricultural Resources Center, Carrboro, NC
Forest Kase, assistant scientist, Pesticide Action Network North America, San Francisco, CA
Susan Kegley, senior scientist, Pesticide Action Network North America, San Francisco, CA
Peggy Keller, chief of animal desease control and prevention/acting bureau chief of community hygeine, Department of Health, Washington, DC
Megan Kemple, public education coordinator, Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, Eugene, OR
Greg King, executive director, Smith River Project, Orleans, CA
Lani Malmberg, director, Ewe4ic Ecological Services Inc., Oreana, ID
Ricardo Melendez, community outreach director, Wishtoyo Foundation, Chumash tribe, Oxnard, CA
Amy Leach, Neighbors at Risk, Oceano, CA
Miranda Leonard, environmental health educator, Environmental Center of San Luis Obispo, CA
Pollyanna Lind, clean water campaign coordinator, Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, Eugene, OR
Rebecca Love, National Environmental Education Training Foundation, Washington, DC
Karl Malamud-Roam, chair, AMCA Regulatory and Legislative Committee/ Environmental Projects Manager, Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District, Concord, CA
Michelle Mascarenhas, food and society policy fellow, Rooted In Community Network, San Francisco, CA
Pamela Miller, director, Alaska Community Action on Toxics, Anchorage, AK
Judith Murawski, industrial hygienist, Association of Flight Attendants, AFL-CIO, Washington, DC Sharlyle Patton, director, Commonweal Health and Environment Program, Bolinas, CA
Andrea Lea Peart, health and environment director, Sierra Club Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Catherine Porter, legal services and public policy coordinator, Women’s Cancer Resource Center, Oakland, CA
Erika Rosenthal, lawyer, Earthjustice/ Pesticide Action Network North America, Oakland, CA
Cindy Russell, MD, chair of environmental committee, Santa Clara County Medical Association, Sunnyvale, CA
Lucy Sharatt, Polaris Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Carolina Simunovic, environmental health coordinator, Fresno Metro Ministry, Fresno, CA
Carl Smith, project director, Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education, Los Angeles, CA
Susan Spalt, former health coordinator, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, Carrboro, NC
Skip Spitzer, corporate accountability program coordinator, PANNA, San Francisco, CA
Angela Storey, pesticides organizer, Washington Toxics Coalition, Seattle, WA
Robina Suwol, executive director, California Safe Schools, Los Angeles, CA
Beebo Turman, project director, Berkeley Community Gardening Collaborative, Berkeley, CA
Bill Walker, vice-president, Environmental Working Group West Coast Office, Oakland, CA
Heather Whitehead, Genetic Engineering Action Network, Somerville, MA