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Pesticide use ?near water may need federal permit

Published Feb. 5, 2009 | Discuss this article on Facebook
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Buckeye Farm News 

An appeals court has vacated an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule that allowed pesticides to be applied to U.S. waters without a Clean Water Act permit.

EPA issued the final rule in late 2007, which states that pesticides applied in accordance with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act are exempt from National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting requirements.

While environmental advocates challenged the rule, American Farm Bureau intervened in defense of EPA’s position. The court ruling held that all biological pesticides are pollutants requiring NPDES permits if they reach waters of the United States. Similarly, any residue or excess from chemical pesticide applications that reach waters of the United States would be considered pollutants. As a result, many, if not most, ground and aerial pesticide applications near or into water will likely require NPDES permits.

American Farm Bureau is evaluating the court ruling and seeking information on how EPA will implement it.


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