EPA Requests More Time for Pesticide Permits


Last week, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson requested an extension to allow more time for pesticide operators to obtain permits for pesticide discharges into U.S. waters.  The extension being requested is to move the effective date from the current April 9, 2011 to October 31, 2011.

EPA is developing a pesticide general permit in response to the 6th Circuit Court’s 2009 decision, which found that discharges from pesticides into U.S. waters were pollutants, and, therefore, will require a permit under the Clean Water Act.

The American Farm Bureau Federation’s Tyler Wegmeyer has been working on the issue. 

He says that the Farm Bureau opposes the new requirement under the Clean Water Act.

Meantime, National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson sides with Farm Bureau, saying the original court order is “misguided,” since pesticides are already regulated under one set of laws.

He says that clear EPA guidance to the states on how to comply is, so far, lacking.

Johnson points to bills in both houses to overturn the court order, but acknowledges the challenge in the Senate where he says Environment and Public Works Chair Barbara Boxer has been a strong ally of environmentalists.

Concerns that were voiced during the Commodity Classic in Tampa last week is that this could end up spilling over into regulations for terrestrial applicators that are near water of any kind.

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Posted by Haylie Shipp


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