U.S. District Court Judge George Daniels issued his long-awaited ruling in early June on a case brought five years ago by the NoSpray Coalition, along with a number of other organizations and individuals,* against NYC government's indiscriminate spraying of toxic pesticides to kill mosquitoes said to be transmitting West Nile Virus.

Over the years a number of courts had eliminated the large body of evidence we presented about people who were seriously sickened by the spraying of poisons such as Malathion and pyrethroids over New York's streets and urban environment, whittling down the case to the sole question of whether or not the City sprayed pesticides over water.

In this latest ruling, Judge Daniels agreed with most of our lawyers' claims that spraying toxic pesticides over NYC waterways without a permit - even if unintended (and it was VERY intentional) or for a short time - constitutes a violation of the Clean Water Act, and rejected the NY City government's claims to the contrary.

This is a very good result. Early findings on the law issues will stand as "the law of the case" for later arguments when applying the law to the facts.

This was a long-awaited and very important decision, as it carefully reviews prior case law and defines what constitutes a "pollutant" and rules that helicopters and spray trucks can be considered "point sources" under the Clean Water Act, as well as under what circumstances pesticide-spraying might indeed be opposed legally. We expect that it will have very positive implications for environmental and social justice activists who are fighting against the misuse of pesticides across the country.

With all the legalistic interpretations now out of the way and resolved in our favor, the case will be fast-tracked and go to trial before a jury with Judge Daniels presiding to determine whether the City actually sprayed pesticides over New York's waterways.

The full text of Judge Daniels' ruling is posted to the website at http://nospray.org/documents/Judge%20Daniels'%20Decision.pdf

* The Plaintiffs in the case are the No Spray Coalition, National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides, Disabled In Action, Save Organic Standards - New York, Valerie Sheppard, Mitchel Cohen, Robert Lederman, and Eva Yaa Asantewaa.