Pacific salmon had their day in court, and the salmon won.

A federal judge has upheld measures required to protect endangered salmon and steelhead from three toxic pesticides.

Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, made the ruling Monday in a lawsuit brought by Dow AgroSciences, Makhteshim Agan of North America, and Cheminova, Inc. USA against the National Marine Fisheries Service.

The plaintiff companies hold registrations issued by the U.S. EPA that authorize them to sell products containing three insecticides: chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion.

Note that the companies were suinf not because their pesticides were banned, but because the National Marine Fisheries Service had ruled that they couldn’t be used in such a way that they polluted the streams that salmon depend on for their survival. It wasn’t an attempt to stop the pesticide use, it was an attempt to have them used responsibly, and the companies involved objected. That’s why they lost.

The EPA didn’t come out looking to good here either, after all, they issued the permits allowing the pesticides to be used indiscriminately. And just in case anyone thinks that the only concern here is the health of a few fish, the same pesticides are linked attention deficit disorders and development delays in children.