Sending Office: Honorable Nydia M. Velazquez
Sent By:

Republican Lead: Congressman Chris Smith (NJ)

Co-sponsors (57): Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezChairman Raúl M. Grijalva, Rep. David N. Cicilline, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Rep. McNerney, Rep. Peter DeFazio, Rep. Blumenauer, Rep. Bonamici, Rep. Roybal-Allard,
Rep. Quigley, Rep. Lee, Rep. Chu, Rep. Eleanor H. Norton, Rep. Frederica S. Wilson, Rep. Gabbard, Rep. Jackson Lee, Rep. Peter Welch, Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. Espaillat, Rep. Lipinski, Rep. Kathy Castor, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Rep. Steve Cohen, Rep. Ro Khanna, Rep.
Tim Ryan, Rep. Yvette D. Clarke, Rep. Chris Smith, Rep. Jackie Speier, Rep. Donald M. Payne, Rep. Betty McCollum, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, Rep. Gregory Meeks, Rep. Serrano, Rep Pingree, Rep. Matt Cartwright, Rep. Grace Meng, Rep. Barragán, Congresswoman
Eddie Bernice Johnson, Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. DeSaulnier, Rep. Lofgren, Rep. Adam Smith, Rep. Adam Schiff, Rep. Albio Sires, Rep. Bobby Rush, Rep. Diana DeGette, Rep. Katie Porter, Rep. Harley Rouda, Rep. Tom Suozzi, Rep. Krishnamoorthi,
Rep. Tlaib, Rep. Andy Levin, Rep. Jamie Raskin, Rep. Deb Haaland, Rep. McGovern, Rep. Huffman, Rep. Kathy Castor

Endorsing Organizations (163 including): Earthjustice, Sunrise Movement, NRDC, League of Conservation Voters (LCV), Sierra Club, United Farm Workers (UFW), Food
Policy Action Network, Pesticide Action Network, Friends of the Earth, Audubon, Environmental Working Group, Californians for Pesticide Reform, Hispanic Federation, Alaska Wilderness League,
 Greenpeace, Child Labor Coalition, National
Consumers League, Farmworker Justice, National Farm Worker Ministry,
 Red Hook Initiative, Gowanus Canal Conservancy, Lower East Side Ecology Center, Farmworker Association of Florida, NYC
 UFW Foundation, PlantPure Communities, Beyond Toxics, Defenders of Wildlife, Center for Environmental Health,

Please join me to champion environmental justice and public health by co-sponsoring H.R. 230, the Ban Toxic Pesticides Act of 2019.

This week the Trump administration has persuaded a U.S. appeals court to reconsider a decision to ban chlorpyrifos. The court will review former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s March 2017 refusal to ban the widely-used pesticide, according to Reuters.

“Pruitt’s ruling reversed a 2015 Obama administration plan to extend a 2000 ban on the pesticide that had covered most household settings. The appeals court had, in a 2-1 decision last Aug. 9, directed the EPA to ban chlorpyrifos within 60 days,” Reuters

Now an 11-judge panel will reconsider this case. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) told Reuters it’s seeking a rehearing because the appeals court lacked jurisdiction to review Pruitt’s ruling and ban the pesticide[1].

My legislation bans the use and stockpile of Chlorpyrifos, an extremely harmful pesticide that former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt eliminated by reversing an Obama-era ban. The New
York Times
 highlighted in a July 2nd, 2017 article, “he (Pruitt) reversed a ban on the use of a pesticide that the EPA’s own scientists have said is linked to damage of children’s nervous systems[2]”.
Additionally, H.R. 230 was included in in the Food Policy Action Network’s sixth annual Scorecard, which is responsible for “covering votes and proposed bills across the food system in 2017…co-sponsorships are accurately reflected in the Member’s record on
Food Policy”

According to reports, on March 9th of 2017, Mr. Pruitt met with a pesticide manufacturer for 25 minutes to reconsider an Obama-era ban on the use of Chlorpyrifos and promptly reversed the ban. This is a clear example of Administrator Pruitt kowtowing
to powerful companies that trample on our collective health and exposes children to toxic materials all in the name of profits.

Many studies have linked prenatal Chlorpyrifos exposures to autism and related disorders. For example, University of California, Davis researchers found that women in the second trimester who lived near fields treated with Chlorpyrifos had children that
were 3.3 times more likely to have autism.[3] Additionally, in a long-term study from 1997 to 2004 by Columbia Center for
Children’s Environmental Health – and funded by grants from EPA and the National Institutes of Health – “results showed that higher prenatal CPF [Chlorpyrifos] exposure, as measured in umbilical cord blood plasma, was associated with decreases in cognitive
functioning on two different WISC-IV [Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, 4th edition] indices, in a sample of urban minority children at 7 years of age.”[4]

Finally, EPA research indicates Chlorpyrifos, which is in the same family as Sarin gas, can lead to cholinesterase inhibition in humans with high exposures. In other words, this pesticide can overstimulate the nervous system causing nausea, dizziness, confusion,
and at very high exposures (e.g., accidents or major spills), respiratory paralysis and even death. Occupational exposure to Chlorpyrifos is a concern to the EPA and current Chlorpyrifos labels require workers handling and applying Chlorpyrifos to wear additional
personal protective equipment (e.g. chemical resistant gloves, coveralls, and respirators), and restricting entry into treated fields from twenty-four hours up to five days.

Our legislation, the Ban Toxic Pesticides Act of 2019bans this harmful pesticide by cancelling current EPA registration and prohibiting any future registration of pesticides that contain Chlorpyrifos. Join me in protecting public health
and ending the Trump Administration’s assault on our public health and the environment.

If you have any questions or would like to co-sponsor this important legislation, please contact Jacob Hochberg on my staff at Thank you for your consideration.


Nydia M. Velázquez                                                              

Member of Congress                                                             




[2] Davenport, Coral. “Counseled by Industry, Not Staff, E.P.A. Chief Is Off to a Blazing Start.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 2 July

[3] Konkel, Lindsey. “Autism Risk Higher Near Pesticide-Treated Fields.” Scientific American,


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