from the Agricultural Retailers Association
Bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 953) and U.S. Senate (S. 340) that would clarify that federal law does not require the redundant and unfairly burdensome National Polluntant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits for already regulated pesticide applications. Click here for more information on this issue.
The requirement to obtain NPDES permits for point source discharges from pesticide applications to waters of the United States stems from a 2009 decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. In its ruling, the Sixth Circuit determined that (1) biological pesticides and (2) chemical pesticides that leave a residue are pollutants as defined under the CWA and as such are subject to regulations applicable to pollutants. Courts have previously determined that applications of pesticides, such as from nozzles of planes and trucks, irrigation equipment, etc. are point sources.
ARA and allied industry stakeholders have been leading an effort to pass this legislation over the past several years. It was one of ARA’s priority issues discussed during the 2017 ARA Winter Board meeting and Legislative Fly-In this past February. There are many obstacles in our path to secure a NPDES permit legislative fix and we need your help in urging your Senators and Representatives to support and pass this common-sense, bipartisan legislation.
H.R. 953 is pending in the House Rules Committee and scheduled to be considered by the full U.S. House of Representatives this Wednesday, May 24, 2017. Please take a few moments to submit a pre-drafted letter (which you can customize) to your lawmakers on this important industry issue! Also, consider sharing this ARA link with your colleagues.