Bill To Stop Pesticide Permits Advances – KFGO

“The last thing we need is more regulation coming from EPA on this issue,” he said. “For too long we’ve let organizations and courts twist laws, and that is costly to agriculture producers. The courts are not the place to decide ag policy.”

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Bill To Stop Pesticide Permits Advances

OMAHA (DTN) — The U.S. House Committee on Agriculture passed a bill on Wednesday that would stop EPA regulators from requiring permits for farmers and other pesticide applicators.

H.R. 872 will move to the full House after the committee unanimously passed the resolution during a committee business meeting to markup and vote on the bill.

EPA officials are expected to soon announce the final rules for the new National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, or NPDES, by April 9. That could require some farmers to obtain pesticide application permits depending on where they live.

The Obama administration also asked the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals for an extension of the deadline to Oct. 31, to provide more time to work through the program’s effects on the Endangered Species Act and in response to concerns raised by state, agriculture and agriculture chemicals industry officials.

Committee Chairman Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., said there is an urgency to pass the legislation.

“The (Endangered Species Act) consultation process is in itself costly and time-consuming,” Lucas said in a prepared statement read to the committee. “There is no guarantee that an extension will be granted or that the ESA consultation process will not make this problem worse than it already is. Failure to act swiftly exposes our constituents to an onerous, costly and completely unnecessary regulatory burden that Congress never intended.”

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio, has 59 co-sponsors. It would amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act to not require permits.

Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., the ranking member on the committee, said it is important that agriculture has a voice on the issue.

“The last thing we need is more regulation coming from EPA on this issue,” he said. “For too long we’ve let organizations and courts twist laws, and that is costly to agriculture producers. The courts are not the place to decide ag policy.”

The EPA was forced to create the program as a result of a 2009 decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, in the National Cotton Council v. EPA. The court ruled EPA could not exempt pesticide users from Clean Water Act requirements.

via Bill To Stop Pesticide Permits Advances – KFGO.

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