House Lawmakers Push to Change Pesticide Permit Requirement

3/9/2013 7:00 AM

WASHINGTON — This week, a group of bipartisan lawmakers introduced H.R. 935, The Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2013, which would amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, Rodenticide Act and the Clean Water Act to clarify congressional intent and eliminate the requirement of a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit for the use of pesticides already approved for use under FIFRA.

This legislation passed the U.S. House in 2011 as H.R. 872, The Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011. Additionally, it advanced out of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, but the full Senate failed to consider it during the last Congress.

H.R. 935 is designed to address the negative economic consequences of the 2009 ruling posed by the case National Cotton Council v. EPA, in which pesticide users are required to obtain a redundant permit under the Clean Water Act or be subject to a costly fine.

“The Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2013 removes duplicative and costly red-tape requirements that provide no additional health or environmental benefits, while providing assurance that the pesticide community is not subject to redundant permitting requirements if they comply with EPA’s current regulations,” said Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment.

“Under FIFRA, pesticides must undergo extensive and rigorous testing before being approved,” said Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture.

“To require a duplicative permit for a pesticide that has already been approved through the FIFRA process is not only arbitrary, it’s an unnecessary burden on regulators and applicators and does nothing to improve water quality,” Schrader said.

Source: U.S. House Agriculture Committee.

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