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AGRIBUSINESS: Senators Strive to End Redundant Pesticide Permit Requirements

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Nebraska Senator, Mike Johanns and Kansas Senator, Pat Roberts have introduced legislation to eliminate a redundant Environmental Protection Agency permit requirement for applications of pesticides. 

In January 2009, the Sixth Court of Appeals issued an opinion that requires pesticide applications to be permitted under the Clean Water Act. Those permits, part of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, are added to the label requirements and restrictions already placed on the use of a pesticide under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.

Johanns says the E-P-A's agenda is just more red tape, and Roberts says the duplicate regulation creates potential for heavy penalties. With their bill, Roberts and Johanns seek to ensure Clean Water Act permits aren’t needed for the applications of pesticides and amends the FIFRA by stating "no permit shall be required for the use of a pesticide that is registered under the act." Roberts introduced the same legislation in the last Congress, but it was blocked from floor consideration. Both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees passed similar legislation with strong bipartisan support in the 112th Congress.

Senator Chuck Grassley is one of the bill's co-sponsors.