U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) today co-sponsored legislation to clarify that additional permits are not required for pesticide application in accordance with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The bill, S. 718, will bring legal and regulatory certainty for America's farmers, foresters and ranchers regarding the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) recent actions related to the Clean Water Act.
"Once again, the EPA has overreached, causing serious consequences in our agriculture sector," said Chambliss. "By refusing to defend current law and its own reasonable regulations, the EPA is in the position to place unnecessary, burdensome and duplicative permit requirements on producers, mosquito-control districts and states. Our legislation would simply prevent the EPA from imposing an erroneous regulation that does absolutely nothing to further protect or enhance the environment."
The bill makes it clear that producers who are in compliance with requirements of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) do not need to obtain Clean Water Act permits. The bill will protect public health and safeguard the environment by ensuring that producers are in strict compliance with FIFRA while simultaneously eliminating duplicative regulatory obligations that would be imposed if Clean Water Act permits are required.
During the more than 35 years since the Clean Water Act's enactment, the Environmental Protection Agency has never required a Clean Water Act permit for the application of FIFRA-registered farm chemicals. The FIFRA Paperwork Reduction Act will prevent EPA from doing so in the future.
Last month, the House passed similar legislation, H.R. 872.