A bill that had passed the U.S. House with bipartisan support but stalled in the Senate would have protected pesticide applicators, their customers and state and local government from costs associated with duplicating already existing federal pesticide regulations.
Earlier this year, OFBF praised Ohio Reps. Jean Schmidt and Bob Gibbs, who sponsored the bill, for their efforts to reduce regulatory burdens that will harm Ohio farmers and other businesses and create needless expense for Ohio taxpayers.
Pesticides applications are effectively regulated under the Federal Insecticide Fungicide Rodenticide Act, which requires label restrictions governed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
As a result of the court’s decision, the NPDES permits are required as of Oct. 31, which could be required for farmers who apply pesticides “near water.” For the first 120 days that the permit is in effect, EPA will focus on providing compliance assistance and education of the permit requirements, rather than on enforcement actions.
Adam Sharp, OFBF’s senior director of legislative and regulatory policy, said the court-ordered expansion of EPA’s authority will not provide additional protections to the environment or human health. Instead, farmers and others will be burdened by another layer of bureaucracy and cost.
OFBF is urging the Senate to pass H.R. 872 before enforcement of the permit begins. Photo credit: Istockphoto.com