Like all of agriculture, aerial applicators are facing potentially onerous regulations that could ground them if they are allowed to continue.
The biggest issue they are dealing with right now is the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program, which National Agricultural Aviation Association executive director Andrew Moore told me just went into effect on Halloween. “It’s kind of a scary regulation,” said Andrew of the regulation which impacts pesticide application near water. “The problem is that it’s duplicative of everything that already exists to protect the environment in regard to pesticide regulation.”
Moore says the NPDES would require a great deal of paper work on the part of applicators. “FIFRA already regulates the safety of pesticides to water, so this is a completely unnecessary burdensome rule.” In addition, he says they are very considered about lawsuits under the new regulation.
So, NPDES was a big topic at the NAAA convention in Las Vegas last week, where workshops were held and applicators were educated about the current status of the federal rule and where it stands at the state level. Andrew says they are also urging aerial applicators – and really anyone in the agriculture industry – to contact their senators about the issue. “Because we’ve been successful in passing legislation that would exempt pesticide applications over water for FIFRA approved pesticides,” said Moore. The measure has been passed by the House and has gone through the Senate Agriculture Committee. “We believe we have the votes in the Senate but it’s not being brought to the floor for a vote,” he added.
Listen to my interview with Andrew Moore here: [wpaudio url=”http://zimmcomm.biz/basf/naaa11-andrew.mp3″ text=”NAAA executive director Andrew Moore”]AgWired coverage of the 2011 NAAA Convention is sponsored by BASF.