Thursday, April 7, 2011

Congress Should Provide Relief for Pesticide Applicators

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives approved HR 872 in a move to repeal a 2009 federal court decision that would require pesticide applicators to comply with duplicative regulations.

For decades, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) has been used to protect our water resources from harmful pesticides. However, last year, the court determined farmers treating weeds or public health officials spraying for mosquitoes, for example, should be required to comply with FIFRA and obtain a Clean Water Act (CWA) permit administered by EPA.

Realizing the potential of additional CWA regulation, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and TDA have been working to develop a regulatory program that meets federal standards and can be used broadly to minimize the burdens of new permitting and reporting requirements.

I hope Congress will take action and provide the guidance necessary to prevent the over-regulation of pesticide applicators by clarifying that FIFRA is the best framework for protecting the environment from improper applications.

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