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House Agriculture Committee Advances Key Provisions in 2012 Farm Bill
Jul 12, 2012
WASHINGTON, DC – CropLife America (CLA), the national association representing the manufacturers, formulators and distributors of crop protection products, thanks the leaders of the House Agriculture Committee for their bipartisan collaboration and dedication to advancing their version of the Farm Bill. Through invaluable leadership, the Committee has included broadly supported legislative provisions in H.R. 6083, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2012 (FARRM). CLA stands ready to work with the Committee to move these provisions, along with other Farm Bill priorities, to the President’s desk for his signature as soon as possible.
While the Farm Bill is an important piece of legislation for the entire agricultural industry, CLA supports three provisions of particular significance to the manufacturers and applicators of crop protection products:
- H.R. 872 (Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act): The House Farm Bill currently includes H.R. 872, legislation which clarifies that pesticides applied in accordance with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) would not require National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. H.R. 872 prevents a duplicative court mandate under the Clean Water Act (CWA) that imposes significant legal burdens on U.S. growers and pesticide applicators with no environmental or health benefits;
- Endangered Species Act and Biological Opinions (BiOps): It is paramount that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Fish and Wildlife Services and the National Marine and Fisheries Services (collectively, the “Services”), work together to support the use of the best available science for regulatory determinations and ensure that the regulations promulgated by different agencies are not in conflict. As such, an important provision under the Horticulture Title imposes a temporary stay on the EPA from modifying or canceling a pesticide registration based on the BiOp issued by the Services until an unbiased, external scientific, peer review of the BiOp is conducted;
- Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA) Reauthorization: FARRM contains legislation reauthorizing PRIA, a critical authority for registrants of crop protection products, which facilitates a predictable registration process with the EPA. PRIA is currently set to expire on September 30, 2012. Since PRIA was first enacted in 2003, all stakeholders have realized significant measurable benefits. The broad stakeholder coalition will continue to work closely with Congress to ensure that all PRIA process improvements that maintain a high level of protection for public health and the environment are enacted before the end of the current fiscal year.
“The successful passage of the 2012 Farm Bill represents a clear path forward for U.S. agriculture,” said Jay Vroom, president and CEO of CLA. “With legislative support and a viable regulatory framework, our farming economy can continue to thrive, and all stakeholders can continue to work together to advance modern agriculture.”
“Now that the House Agriculture Committee has completed its work, we look forward to working with the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives to bring the FARRM Act to the floor for a vote by the full House,” said Beau Greenwood, executive vice president of government relations and public affairs. “American agriculture depends on the certainty provided by the FARRM Act, and Congress must work to ensure the critical support of our agriculture sector.”
“CLA thanks the House Agriculture Committee, particularly the leadership of Chairman Frank Lucas and Ranking Member Collin Peterson, for their tireless efforts on this vital piece of legislation,” continued Greenwood. “Their work in driving the Farm Bill forward demonstrates their commitment to America’s agricultural community.”