President Donald Trump wants to trim the EPA’s pesticide licensing budget by about 18 percent and have industry fees cover the shortfall.
The fiscal year 2018 White House budget would set aside $99.4 million for pesticides work, a cut from the estimated $120.9 million Congress allocated for those efforts in fiscal 2017, according to budget documents. That includes funding for the EPA’s pesticide licensing activities, as well as grants to states and tribes for implementing pesticide programs.
In doing so, the administration intends to convince lawmakers to amend the statute that dictates how much pesticide manufacturers pay to the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure their products are approved with minimal delay. The current language in the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act restricts what activities for which the agency can use industry fees to register and review pesticides.
Trade associations representing pesticide manufacturers did not comment on the budget proposal when contacted by Bloomberg BNA. The Consumer Specialty Products Association and CropLife America are both actively pushing Congress to reauthorize the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act, which expires Sept. 30, and appropriate enough money to the Office of Pesticide Programs to keep it running.
“Since President Nixon created the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, EPA has managed to get the balance right more often than not,” Steve Caldeira, president and chief executive officer of CSPA, said in a statement issued in advance of the budget release. “However, we must find enough resources to maintain the respected programs that lawmakers and presidents from both political parties have worked so hard to devise, especially when it comes to chemicals.”