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Help Ensure All Pesticide Uses Remain Under Legal Primacy of FIFRA

Posted on March 17th, 2011

Tell Your U.S. Representative to co-sponsor H.R. 872, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011

In 2009, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the U.S. EPA’s 2006 rule exempting aquatic pesticide applications from Clean Water Act (CWA) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting. EPA is now forced to develop an NPDES permitting system for pesticide applications in, over or near "waters of the U.S." This one decision nearly doubles the population of entities required to be permitted under the CWA. Starting April 9, 2011, golf course superintendents may be required to meet numerous new planning, performance, recordkeeping and reporting requirements in CWA NPDES permits in addition to meeting the requirements under specific product labels.

EPA and the states must begin implementing and enforcing the permit program in April 2011. This permit will preempt the science-based review of pesticides and label requirements for uses regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Never in the 62 years of FIFRA or 38 years of the CWA has the federal government required a permit to apply pesticides in, over or near "waters of the U.S." for control of such pests as mosquitoes, forest canopy insects, algae, or invasive aquatic weeds and animals, like Zebra mussel. As a matter of fact, Congress omitted pesticides in 1972 when it enacted the CWA, and despite major rewrites since, has never looked beyond FIFRA for the regulation of pesticides.

On March 2, House Representatives Bob Gibbs (R-OH), Jean Schmidt (R-OH), and Joe Baca (D-CA) introduced H.R. 872, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011, that would eliminate the need for NPDES permits for pesticide applications made in accordance with FIFRA. This legislation would ensure that all pesticide uses would be under the legal primacy of FIFRA and restrict EPA from creating redundant environmental regulations.

Enter your 5-digit Zip Code in the Take Action Now! box below to urge your U.S. Represenative to co-sponsor H.R. 872 and ensure its passage this Congress. A template letter has been provided to help you take quick and easy action on this important issue.

For help, contact Chava McKeel, Senior Manager of Information and Public Policy, at (800) 472-7878, ext. 3619.

For additional background on the issue:

May 2010 GCM Inside Your Water column

GCSAA's offical NPDES comments to EPA on their draft pesticide general permit

GCSAA NPDES pesticide general permit overview

Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association
Member of GCSAA