U.S. Senator Kay R. Hagan (NC) today was joined by Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) in introducing a bipartisan amendment to the Farm Bill that would reduce burdensome and unnecessary regulations on farmers. The Hagan/Crapo amendment would reverse a recent court decision that upended a regulatory approach to pesticide applications which has worked effectively for 35 years, while also requiring the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to study ways to better protect the environment and the health of North Carolinians from pesticide applications. Senators Hagan and Crapo are joined by a bipartisan group of senators, including: Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO); Jim Risch (R-ID); Mark Pryor (D-AR); Saxby Chambliss (R-GA); and Mary Landrieu (D-LA).
"I'm sponsoring this amendment to protect farmers from burdensome and unnecessary regulations that keep them from doing what they do best: farming," Hagan said. "This amendment is about the most effective and efficient way of regulating pesticides. I will continue to fight for North Carolina farmers to eliminate costly, duplicative regulations."
Specifically, the amendment would clarify that Clean Water Act permits are not required for pesticide applications. Since the early 1970s, the EPA has regulated pesticide applications under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). A 2006 court decision required separate Clean Water Act permits for pesticide applications, creating an enormous layer of bureaucracy without any public health or environmental benefits. The Hagan/Crapo amendment would also require EPA to perform a study on whether and how the FIFRA process can be improved to better protect the environment and human health and wildlife from pesticide applications.