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Use Of Pesticides Questioned

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is agreeing to consider for the first time in a decade how 18 commonly used pesticides may affect endangered salmon and woodland plants.

Agency officials say they´ll sign a settlement today with three California environmental groups that sued over the EPA´s approval of 18 pesticides commonly used in fields, forests, orchards and to control weeds along highways and irrigation canals.

Several million pounds of the pesticides are used each year on California crops throughout the Central Valley and along much of the Pacific Coast. The EPA is agreeing to analyze the pesticides´ effect on seven salmon species and 33 endangered forest plants.