2 Aug 2010, 12:06pm
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Judge Molloy’s ruling causes uncertainty over slurry use in firefighting

By Rob Chaney, the Missoulian, July 31, 2010 [here]

As the U.S. Forest Service struggles to find a new plane to drop fire retardant, it may also need a new fire retardant to drop.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Don Molloy ruled the agency didn’t do enough research on ammonium-based retardant’s toxic effects on plants and animals. While he didn’t block the use of slurry, he did order the Forest Service to more thoroughly examine the chemical mixture’s effects by the end of 2011. …

The group Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics brought the suit against the Forest Service. FSEEE argued ammonium-based retardants have been blamed for destroying both fish and plant habitats. The slurry kills fish outright, and its fertilizing properties invite noxious weeds and other invaders into rare-plant soils.

The Forest Service already has rules for where retardants can be dropped around water sources. But Molloy ruled the agency needs to produce more specific data on the impacts to threatened or endangered species. … [more]

Note: Fire retardant saves lives, including those of fish and FS employees. FS employees know those facts. Why then do FS employees wish to ban fire retardant? Are they suicidally insane? Or could it be that the FSEEE does not actually represent most FS employees?



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