Jon H. Harsch
Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.
March 3 - Senate Agriculture
Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., wrote EPA Administrator
Lisa Jackson Wednesday requesting that Jackson ask for a nine-month
extension of the two-year stay of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
in the National Cotton Council v. EPA case. Stabenow says the delay
is “necessary to prevent widespread confusion regarding Clean Water
Act (CWA) permitting obligations that could arise for hundreds of
thousands of regulated entities nationwide, including farms and
For news coverage
of EPA's request Thursday for a six-month extension and reaction from
the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Council of
Farmer Cooperatives, click .
The two farm groups welcomed EPA's extension request and called on
Colngress to pass H.R. 872, a block to block EPA from regulating
pesticides under the Clean Water Act.
The full text of
Sen. Stabenow's letter follows:
March 2, 2011
The Honorable Lisa
I write to
respectfully request that you ask the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
to extend, by nine months, the two-year stay it granted in National
Cotton Council v. EPA. I believe that an extension of the stay –
which is set to expire on April 9, 2011 – is necessary to prevent
widespread confusion regarding Clean Water Act (CWA) permitting
obligations that could arise for hundreds of thousands of regulated
entities nationwide, including farms and timberlands. It is my
understanding that neither EPA nor States with delegated National
Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) programs are
sufficiently prepared to implement the permitting requirements.
Providing additional time will give the relevant regulatory agencies
enough time to properly implement the Court’s 2009 ruling, which
made applications of aquatic pesticides subject to NPDES permitting
An extension of
the stay would also provide Congress with an opportunity to gain a
better understanding of how EPA’s implementation of the Federal
Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) protects human
health and the environment, including the quality of water resources.
Gaining additional insight into FIFRA’s protection for waters
would also be particularly relevant to a review of EPA’s
preparation of the Pesticide General Permit under the CWA.
Because FIFRA is
the primary statute governing pesticide use, I would like to obtain
additional information regarding EPA’s implementation of the statue
to determine the effectiveness of protection for human health and the
environment in the case of pesticide applications on or near water.
* In implementing
its statutory mandate, what efforts does EPA take to ensure that
FIFRA-registered pesticides, particularly those for aquatic use, do
not adversely affect the environment and human health?
* Describe the
steps that EPA takes to assess risks and identify controls to
* What steps does
EPA take to collect information on incidents related to pesticide
use? What does the Agency do with that information?
* How do EPA and
the States, through their delegated authority, ensure that pesticide
applicators adhere to the requirements of FIFRA that protect human
health and the environment?
I thank you for
your attention to these matters, and I look forward to your response
to the issues raised in this letter.
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