BASF Intervenes in Dicamba Suit, Supports Added Regulations From EPA

On Tuesday, agricultural company and Engenia producer, BASF, intervened in a case regarding added restrictions in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s recent dicamba product registration. The company said that the new restrictions are safeguards which add to BASF’s interest in developing Engenia and help protect from damage by the dicamba products. 

The intervenor said, “while BASF is sympathetic to the burdens these restrictions impose on growers, BASF supports EPA’s highly protective registration decision as the best approach to ensure the continued availability of this important product.” 

BASF was also involved as an intervenor in a Dicamba lawsuit earlier this year filed by environmental organizations. The court granted the plaintiff’s request to cancel the registration of over-the-top dicamba products, including BASF’s Engenia, which BASF opposed. The court vacated the registration of the products and denied BASF’s request for an en banc rehearing of the case. 

The present lawsuit was filed on November 4 by the American Soybean Association and Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. shortly after the EPA announced that it was registering or re-registering some over-the-top dicamba products through 2025. The plaintiffs in this suit allege that additional restrictions placed on the dicamba products will have negative effects on farmers who rely on the products and should be removed. They also argued that the EPA did not have the authority to place the restrictions on use of the products. 

In the memorandum in support of BASF’s motion to intervene, the company argued that it has standing, filed its motion in a timely manner, and has interest in the lawsuit’s subject matter. It also said that neither party would adequately represent its interests in the case. 

The company said that it owns the registration for the Engenia herbicide, which was issued by the EPA under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) on October 27, 2020, granting use of Engenia and other products on dicamba-tolerant crops, including soybeans and cotton, to provide weed control. They said the restrictions challenged in the complaint were added by the EPA “to ensure that concerns regarding off-site movement and potential non-target plant damage are fully addressed,” and that modifying the restrictions would eliminate safeguards and impact BASF’s Engenia registration and business. 

BASF, represented by Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. and DLA Piper, LLP, said that it contacted the attorneys for the plaintiffs and the defendants and that its motion to intervene in the lawsuit was not opposed by either party.