House lawmakers push to end extra permit requirement

Published online: Mar 11, 2013
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A group of bipartisan lawmakers introduced H.R. 935, The Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2013 on Tuesday.

This bill would amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA) to clarify Congressional intent and eliminate the requirement of a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for the use of pesticides already approved for use under FIFRA. This legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives on March 31, 2011, as H.R. 872, The Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011.

Additionally, it advanced out of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, but the full Senate failed to consider it during the last Congress. H.R. 935 is necessary to address the negative economic consequences of the ruling posed by the case National Cotton Council v. EPA (6th Cir. 2009). Under the court ruling, pesticide users are required to obtain a redundant permit under the Clean Water Act (CWA) or be subject to a costly fine.

"The Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2013 removes duplicative and costly `red-tape' requirements that provide no additional health or environmental benefits, while providing assurance that the pesticide community is not subject to redundant permitting requirements if they comply with EPA's current regulations. This legislation passed last year by a bipartisan super majority, and it is key to job creation and the elimination of unnecessary regulations that hamper our economic growth," said Rep. Bob Gibbs, Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment.

"Federal agencies continue to develop and implement duplicative regulations that create undue burdens and more red tape for American citizens. H.R. 935 will provide clarity with EPA regulations, which will in turn allow citizens to better navigate the regulatory environment," said Rep. Austin Scott, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture.

"Under FIFRA, pesticides must undergo extensive and rigorous testing before being approved. To require a duplicative permit for a pesticide that has already been approved through the FIFRA process is not only arbitrary, it's an unnecessary burden on regulators and applicators and does nothing to improve water quality. I urge my House colleagues to support the swift passage of this important legislation in the 113th Congress," stated Rep. Kurt Schrader, Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture.

"Reducing regulations, helping farmers and the agriculture community, and eliminating unfunded mandates for state and local governments are keys to helping create jobs and put people to work. This bill is a great step toward reforming the regulatory process, streamlining government, and saving taxpayers' time and money. Let's pass this common sense bill now," said Rep. Mike McIntyre. The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure also shares jurisdiction of the bill.