Science

Group Sues Donald Trump’s Government for Not Protecting Bees

By Charles Omedo , Feb 15, 2017 01:15 AM EST
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MOSHAV ADANIM, ISRAEL - MARCH 26: A honeybee pollinates a flower in a citrus grove just coming into blossom at the start of spring March 26, 2009 in Moshav Adanim in central Israel. Honey bee pollination is essential to the success of a farmer's crops. In a single day, each bee from a hive which houses thousands of the insects can make ten or more trips from the hive, visiting several thousand flowers. (Photo : David Silverman/Getty Images)

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on Tuesday filed a lawsuit challenging the authority of the Donald Trump government to delay designating the rusty patched bumblebee as an endangered species - a designation that ought to take effect last Friday after it was listed in the Federal Register on January 11.

Established in 1970, the NRDC is an international non-profit environmental organization with over 2 million members and online activists who all work to protect the world's natural resources, public health and the environment.

President Trump sets aside public health rules made by Obama

The NRDC brought up the litigation at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, and joined the US Department of the Interior and the US Fish and Wildlife Service in the lawsuit. The NRDC legally seeks to enforce the defendants to protect the rusty patched bumblebee as an endangered species as recently stated in the Federal Register; and to prevent the defendants from implementing and enforcing a delay order for the protection, the US News wrote.

It must be noted that President Trump's administration ordered that all federal agencies must rescind or freeze all environmental rules instituted by the Obama administration to protect public health and the environment. This order has made the Fish and Wildlife Service to delay listing the rusty patched bumblebee as endangered until March 21.

NDRC contends that Trump's administration violated the law

According to Rebecca Riley, a senior attorney with the NRDC, the Trump administration has acted arbitrarily and outside of the law by blocking the rusty patched bumblebee from being listed as an endangered species. "There is no legitimate reason to delay federal protections for this bee. In this case, the decision to freeze protections for the rusty patched bumble bee without public notice and comment violates the law."

The NDRC contends that listing the rusty patched bumblebee as endangered in the Federal Register had rested and finalized the case. But withdrawing or suspending the listing is a violation of federal law. In the same extent, the NDRC has also sued the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and joined a lawsuit brought by the Public Citizen and Communications Workers of America in related litigations against the Trump administration.

The rusty patched bumblebee lost about 90% of its habitat over a 20-year-period due to disease, pesticides and climate change. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature says it is endangered and facing extinction and must be protected at all costs.

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