WASHINGTON, March 19, 2015-- The House Agriculture Committee today approved the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2015, which would clarify congressional intent regarding pesticide regulation near waters of the United States.
The bill, H.R. 897, introduced by Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio, would eliminate duplicative pesticide permitting requirements by amending the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA) to eliminate the requirements of a CWA permit for the use of FIFRA-registered pesticides.
A 2009 decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit applied the provisions of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permitting process under the CWA to pesticide applications that were already fully regulated under FIFRA.
“The money and time that farmers have to spend fulfilling redundant, unnecessary requirements is time and money that can be put to better, more productive use,” said Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway, R-Texas. “Correcting the erroneous court decision that created this duplicative process has been a priority for public health, water resources, and agricultural stakeholders."
The full House passed this bill during the two previous Congresses, but the Senate has yet to do so.
“It was never the intent of Congress to burden producers with additional permit requirements that would have little to no environmental benefit,” said Ranking Member Collin Peterson, D-Minn. “The House has consistently supported this legislation and I hope that the Senate will quickly take action.”