EPA’s proposed new pesticide permit rules come under immediate fire
By Agri-Pulse Staff
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Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) charged that “By refusing to defend current law and its own reasonable regulations, EPA is unfortunately planning to place unnecessary, burdensome and duplicative permit requirements on producers, mosquito control districts and states. More regulation is not the key to economic recovery, especially when the regulation does absolutely nothing to further protect or enhance the environment.”
the need for the new rules, EPA pointed out that “This action is in response to
an April 9, 2009 court decision that found that pesticide discharges to
Peter Silva, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Water said that “EPA believes this draft permit strikes a balance between using pesticides to control pests and protecting human health and water quality.”
The agency’s draft permit covers the following pesticide uses: (1) mosquito and other flying insect pest control; (2) aquatic weed and algae control; (3) aquatic nuisance animal control; and (4) forest canopy pest control. It does not cover terrestrial applications to control pests on agricultural crops or forest floors. EPA is soliciting public comment on whether additional use patterns should be covered by this general permit.
The agency plans to finalize the permit in December 2010 to take effect April 9, 2011. Once finalized, the EPA Pesticide General Permit will be used in states, territories, tribal lands, and federal facilities where EPA is the authorized permitting authority. In the remaining 44 states, states will issue the pesticide general permits. EPA has been working closely with these states to develop their permits concurrently.
EPA will hold three public meetings, a public hearing and a webcast on the draft General Permit to present the proposed requirements of the permit, the basis for those requirements and to answer questions. EPA will accept written comments on the draft permit for 45 days after publication in the Federal Register.
In response to the EPA announcement, American Farm Bureau Federation Congressional Relations Director Tyler Wegmeyer told Agri-Pulse that “Requirements to get Clean Water Act Permits for applying pesticides has never happened before and EPA is expecting farmers during their busiest time of year to look at this extensive document and comment within such a short time. It is not reasonable.”
For more EPA information on the “Draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Pesticide General Permit for Point Source Discharges from the Application of Pesticides,” go to: www.epa.gov/npdes
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