Senators Pat Roberts and Mike Johanns have introduced legislation to eliminate a burdensome, costly and redundant Environmental Protection Agency permit requirement for applications of pesticides.
At issue is the January 2009, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals opinion in National Cotton Council v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, that requires pesticide applications to be permitted under the Clean Water Act. This National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit is now in addition to any label requirements or restrictions already placed on the use of a pesticide under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.
Since early in 2012, the EPA has enforced a now permanent rule in response to the Sixth Circuit Court ruling requiring approximately 35,000 pesticide applicators to get permits to cover about 500,000 applications per year.
Senator Roberts and Johanns’ bill ensures Clean Water Act permits are not needed for the applications of pesticides and amends FIFRA by stating that no permit shall be required for the use of a pesticide that is registered under FIFRA. Roberts introduced the same legislation in the last Congress where it was blocked from consideration on the Senate floor.