Ag Committee Approves the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act
In February, the House Agriculture Committee approved the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act (H.R. 953), legislation that would eliminate the duplicative permit requirement (National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permits) for use of pesticides that have already been approved by the EPA in the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). H.R. 953 was introduced in the House by Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH). Similar legislation has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID).
Currently, NPDES permits are required when applicators make pesticide applications directly to 'waters of the U.S.' The National Pest Management Association and other groups have long argued that NPDES permits are unnecessary based on the proper application directed from EPA approved labels on all pesticides.
Many beleive that H.R. 953 is necessary to address the negative economic consequences of the ruling posed by the case National Cotton Council v. EPA (6th Cir. 2009). Under the court ruling, pesticide users are required to obtain a redundant permit under the Clean Water Act (CWA) or be subject to a costly fine.