Last week, AAI joined almost two hundred organizations comprised of pesticide users, stakeholders and state agencies in signing a letter of support of Amendment #2367 to the U.S. Senate Farm Bill. The amendment was sponsored by Senators Hagan (D-NC) and Crapo (R-ID) and a host of bipartisan cosponsors. The amendment would have clarified that federal law does not require redundant water permits for lawful pesticide applications.
Pesticide users are now subject to a new federal permit, which burdens them with additional paperwork while threatening them with citizen suits and substantial penalties. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and delegated states have been forced to implement this new National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Pesticide General Permit (PGP) for the application of pesticides under the Clean Water Act (CWA) since the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals (National Cotton Council of America v. EPA) overturned EPA’s own regulation declaring that a permit was not required for the application of a pesticide regulated under the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). In the letter, the signees urged the Senate to take immediate action to affirm that water permits are not required for FIFRA-regulated pesticide applications as they are redundant since the lawful use of pesticides already includes water quality protections.
Unfortunately, the amendment was not moved forward for debate in the Senate, but AAI hopes that the language in Amendment #2367 will be included in the House version of the Farm Bill.