Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns and Kansas Senator Pat Roberts have introduced legislation to eliminate a burdensome, costly and redundant Environmental Protection Agency permit requirement for applications of pesticides. Johanns says the agenda the Administration’s EPA is pushing amounts to more red tape, more roadblocks and more needless headaches. He notes the President has repeatedly promised to eliminate duplicative regulations – but says actions speak louder than words. That’s why he is acting with Roberts on an economically and environmentally responsible solution to this government-made problem. According to Roberts – the double layer of red tape isn’t just costly to the agriculture industry and consumers – but creates confusion and the potential for significant penalties. He says this bill eliminates a redundant permit requirement while still ensuring proper pesticide use through existing law.
In January 2009 – the Sixth Court of Appeals issued an opinion in that requires pesticide applications to be permitted under the Clean Water Act. This National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit is added to the label requirements and restrictions already placed on the use of a pesticide under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. With their bill – Roberts and Johanns seek to ensure Clean Water Act permits aren’t needed for the applications of pesticides and amends FIFRA by stating no permit shall be required for the use of a pesticide that is registered under the act. Roberts introduced the same legislation in the last Congress. It was blocked from floor consideration. The House and Senate Agriculture Committees passed similar legislation with strong bipartisan support in the 112th Congress.
Jerry Moran of Kansas, Roy Blunt of Missouri, John Barrasso and Michael Enzi of Wyoming, John Thune of South Dakota, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, David Vitter of Louisiana, James Inhofe of Oklahoma and John Boozman of Arkansas are co-sponsoring the legislation.