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Public Statements

Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DeFAZIO. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

We're here, and we're pretending we're doing something about a real problem. We are amending the wrong statute at the wrong time under the guise that this is a crisis, and we're bringing up a bill that will never see the light of day in the Senate.

So what could we really do?

Well, we could work with the Environmental Protection Agency. I've already written to the Environmental Protection Agency, and I would encourage others to as well who recently got an extension until October 31 from the court. So there is no immediate threat of these new regulations going into place. Particularly, the biggest problem with what they're proposing is the small size of general permitting. It's 640 acres. My State has 6,400 acres. That's a pretty big piece of property. I don't know many small farms or other folks who operate on more than 6,400 acres. Even at 6,400 acres, it's a three-page form that you fill out in my State.

Oregon is the State where this problem started because 90,000 juvenile salmon were killed by the improper application of a pesticide, so we would be particularly sensitive to that. We're pretty sensitive about our water. I think all of your constituents are sensitive about their water. So, to amend the Clean Water Act here, you're going at the wrong place. People don't want pesticides or herbicides in what they drink or in what their kids drink--plain and simple.

FIFRA is meaningless in terms of really regulating what goes into the water. The EPA doesn't test pesticides for their water quality standards, and FIFRA does not regulate how much of a pesticide is safe to apply to water. So we should be amending FIFRA, but that would have been a little more work, and that would have been real legislation, and that might have been something that the Senate would have taken up, and that might really have gotten something done.

But we don't want to do that. We want to play to the crowd here. Let's rage here and say it's going to cost $50,000 for every small business. That's a bunch of hooey.

In my State, like I say, we have a three-page application. So the point is that we can do something real. We can influence the EPA, get reasonable regulations, and protect the drinking water of this country--or you can do what you're doing here today, which is meaningless.


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