Ohio Reps. Jean Schmidt and Bob Gibbs recently held a congressional hearing on pesticide regulations.

Ohio lawmakers fight regulatory redundancy

Buckeye Farm News

Ohio Reps. Jean Schmidt and Bob Gibbs have led an effort to reduce regulatory burdens that will harm Ohio farmers and other businesses and create needless expense for Ohio taxpayers.

Schmidt and Gibbs are sponsors of H.R. 872, which protects pesticide applicators, their customers and state and local government from costs associated with duplicating already existing federal pesticide regulations.

Pesticides applications are effectively regulated under the Federal Insecticide Fungicide Rodenticide Act, which requires label restrictions governed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. H.R. 872 would stop a recent court ruling that would add duplicative EPA regulations under the Federal Clean Water Act.

“At best, this is nothing more than paperwork redundancy,” said American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman. “At worst, this permit requirement will be used to delay or prevent essential crop protection. It invites anti-chemical activists to oppose pesticide use by threatening farmers with lawsuits and enormous federal penalties.”

Adam Sharp, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation’s senior director of legislative and regulatory policy, explained the court-ordered expansion of EPA’s authority will not provide additional protections to the environment or human health. Instead, farmers, forest managers, state agencies, city and county municipalities, water districts and others will be burdened by another layer of bureaucracy and cost.

“Ohioans should be proud that Reps. Schmidt and Gibbs have taken a leadership role on this important national issue,” Sharp said.

Sharp said the court-ordered expansion of EPA authority is set to become effective April 9.Photo courtesy of American Farm Bureau.

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