In March, President Trump's Environmental Protection Agency abruptly reversed its decision to ban chlorpyrifos, a highly toxic insecticide.
Designated an endocrine disruptor, the insecticide is believed to stunt brain development in children with even the most minor levels of exposure.The chemical is a big seller for Dow Chemical.
Now the EPA is further deregulating the toxin's use.
On Monday, the EPA deep-sixed a regulation that was scheduled to take effect on March 6.
The regulation was intended to ensure that poisons are applied safely by regulating restricted-use pesticides that have the "potential to cause unreasonable adverse effects to the environment and injury to applicators or bystanders without added restrictions." Such substances are pesticides like atrazine and chlorpyrifos.
Current regulations require that anyone who works with restricted-use pesticides must have safety training first.
The proposed regulation would have added a requirement that workers using these pesticides be retrained every five years.
The proposed regulation would also "verify the identity of persons seeking certification" and mandate that users be at least 18 years of age.
The EPA pointed to the Trump administration's regulatory freeze (an executive order the president signed shortly after being inaugurated) in an announcement that the proposed regulation was being postponed until May 22, 2018.
This news comes at a bad time, just days after a very toxic pesticide drifted from a nearby field and sickened no fewer than 12 farmhands on the outskirts of Bakersfield, California.County officials who investigated the incident suspect chlorpyrifos.