The following is a press release from the Montana Farm Bureau Federation:
The American Farm Bureau Federation, along with the Montana Farm Bureau Federation, is pleased that the Senate Agriculture Committee has passed H.R. 872, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011, in a strong bipartisan vote. The measure clarifies that National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits are not required when applying pesticides according to Environmental Protection Agency-approved labels.
For most of the past four decades, water quality concerns from pesticide applications were addressed within the registration process under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, rather than a Clean Water Act permitting program. H.R. 872 amends both the Clean Water Act and FIFRA in order to restore the previous regulatory framework.
Under a federal court ruling in 2009, pesticide applicators would have to apply for an NPDES permit if the chemical reaches a body of water, which could include ditches and culverts. While NPDES permits will not provide any additional environmental benefits, the complex new requirements would have exposed farmers to potential citizen action suits for something as simple as paperwork violations.
“This is good news for Montana’s farmers and ranchers,” notes John Youngberg, vice president of governmental affairs, Montana Farm Bureau Federation. “This legislation simply eliminates excessive regulatory paperwork which could delay spraying, resulting in a damaged crop. In addition, many people don’t realize the time and money spent to make sure agricultural chemicals are safe and not harmful to the environment.”
The House passed the bill that was sponsored by Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) on March 31. Gibbs is a past president of the Ohio Farm Bureau.
Source: Montana Farm Bureau Federation
Posted by Haylie Shipp