CropLife America (CLA) commends Congressman Bob Gibbs (R-OH) for introducing the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2017amending the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. The bill provides clarification on the use and application of pesticides “in or near navigable waters as well as for other purposes.” This act will reverse a 2009 federal court decision in National Cotton Council v EPA lawsuit which directed the U.S. Environmental Agency (EPA) to require permits from applicators who spray over “navigable waters” as defined in the Clean Water Act.
“We applaud Congressman Gibbs for introducing this legislation which will make pest control tools more accessible to farmers,” stated Jay Vroom, president and CEO of CLA. “Preventing and removing redundant regulations for pesticide technology is vitally important for the protection of our national food supply. Bi-partisan support of this bill, as with similar bills introduced by the House and Senate for the last four congressional sessions, shows a national commitment to advancing technology, helping those in agriculture grow food more efficiently.”
The Sixth Circuit’s 2009 ruling in NCC v EPA added duplicative paperwork for farmers, public health officials and government agencies. Some farmers are currently required to obtain National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) point-source permits for certain pesticide applications to, over or near waters of the U.S. The Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act removes the requirement for NPDES permitting for pesticides that EPA has already approved for use under FIFRA.
In a media release, Congressman Gibbs stated, “Bureaucratic red tape is making it more difficult and costly for farmers to responsibly protect their crops…Requiring an NPDES permit is unnecessary. It only adds compliance costs, and no new environmental protections. FIFRA appropriately regulated pesticides for sixty years before the enactment of the Clean Water Act and has regulated pesticides for forty years after.”