Regulatory Update – EPA Signs Pesticide General Permit – Duplicate Permits Required in Some Cases
Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a final pesticide general permit that requires applicators of pesticides in or near U.S. waters to obtain National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits under the Clean Water Act. This will result in duplicate permitting for those whose discharges are already covered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Legislation in Congress to prevent the duplicative permitting did not make it through the process in time for the October 31, 2011 court-ordered deadline for implementation of the permit. Earlier this year, the House passed a bill with a strong bipartisan vote that would have prevented implementation of the order by exempting discharges involving the application of pesticides authorized for sale, distribution, or use under FIFRA as long as the pesticides were used for their intended purposes and in compliance with labeling requirements. The Senate Agriculture Committee approved the bill in June, but Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) blocked the bill from moving to the Senate floor. NACD supported the legislative efforts to prevent the duplicative permitting. For more information on the new NPDES permit, click here.