Idaho Congressman Simpson is a cosponsor of H.R. 935, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2013. H.R. 935 removes duplicative requirements that have added layers of paperwork on top of day-to-day operations for small businesses, farmers, and local governments by clarifying that pesticides which are already regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) are not also regulated under the Clean Water Act.
In 2009 a federal court overturned the EPA's long-standing positions that the application of pesticides, which are regulated under FIFRA, did not require a Clean Water Act permit. Under the court ruling, pesticide users, which include not only farmers and ranchers but cities and counties, mosquito control districts, and other water users, are now required to obtain a duplicative and unnecessary permit.
"Adding an additional layer of regulation on an already-regulated activity doesn't make applying pesticides safer," said Simpson. "Instead, it adds more paperwork, cost, and increased risk of litigation for cities and counties, farmers and ranchers, and irrigation and drainage districts. These new regulations do nothing to protect public health or the environment. In fact, since the new regulations have made mosquito control operations more costly and forced municipalities to curtail pesticide applications, cases of diseases like West Nile Virus have tripled since 2011."
H.R. 935 is a bipartisan, widely-supported bill that addresses this issue of pesticide regulation by removing redundant red tape while ensuring the health and safety of communities are protected. Identical legislation, also cosponsored by Simpson, was passed by the House of Representatives in 2011; however, while it advanced out of the Senate Committee by a unanimous vote, it was not taken up on the Senate floor during the previous Congress.