WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 953, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2017, addressing the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Pesticide Permit. CropLife America (CLA) is encouraged by the passing of this bill and looks to the Senate to continue to move it forward. The full enactment of the bill will reduce redundancy in federal laws, ensure that farmers can adequately address crop threats, empower public health officials to use the best tools available, and enable the pesticide industry to operate in a highly regulated yet predictable environment.
“We applaud the House for passing this legislation which will remove the duplicative regulation of pesticides for both agricultural and non-agricultural users,” stated Jay Vroom, CEO and president of CLA. “The House has passed similar bills on this issue since 2011, showing unwavering bipartisan support for the responsible use of pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. We will continue to act as a resource on this issue to help lessen permitting burdens for farmers and other pesticide users, and we remain hopeful that the Senate will now take up this important issue.”
Currently, pesticide applicators are subject to the court-created requirement that lawful applications over, to or near “waters of the U.S.” obtain a Clean Water Act (CWA) NPDES permit authority from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or delegated states. HR 953 clarifies that federal law does not require this redundant permit for pesticide applications already authorized under federal pesticide law and would amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act and CWA to clarify Congressional intent regarding the regulation of the use of pesticides in or near navigable waters – specifically that no permit is required for the lawful application of a registered pesticide.