Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Just in from Washington

AFBF Calls for Senate Action on Pesticides Bill

Washington--AFBF and 38 other groups have written to Senate leaders urging them to take action on H.R. 872, a bill to eliminate duplicative regulation of pesticides. The Senate Agriculture Committee passed the bill in June; the House passed it in March.

The groups said in their letter that they believe there are more than 60 senators who would vote for the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act—60 votes being the threshold to end debate and allow a vote on the bill.

The expansion of pesticide permitting requirements is the result of a 6th Circuit Court decision (National Cotton Council v. EPA) overturning EPA’s 30-year policy that a Clean Water Act permit is not required for pesticide applications authorized under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. Requiring CWA permits results in overlapping regulation of pesticides, according to Farm Bureau and the other groups.

“We believe that the agency’s regulation correctly interpreted congressional intent under the CWA and that Congress needs to take the necessary action to confirm that original intent,” the groups wrote.

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