Court Delays Pesticide Permitting for Two Years

On Monday, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals granted EPA’s request for a two-year stay in the implementation of its January 2009 pesticide permit ruling. The rule would have required Clean Water Act permits for many pesticide applications. The court’s ruling postpones the permit mandate until April 9, 2011. Meanwhile, the American Farm Bureau Federation and other agricultural and industry groups have asked the court to rehear the case, National Cotton Council of America, et at., v. Environmental Protection Agency, but the court has yet to rule on the request.  In April, EPA notified all groups that it would not request a rehearing and would simply request that the court stay the mandate, giving them and states time to develop a permitting program. The court’s ruling requires Clean Water Act permits for “any chemical pesticide applications in and over, including near, waters of the U.S. that leave a residue or excess in water, and all biological pesticide applications that are made in or over, including near, waters of the U.S.”