The American Farm Bureau Federation and Colorado Farm Bureau strongly support a bill introduced Friday by Sens. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) that aims to clarify that additional permits are not required for pesticide application in accordance with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.
AFBF President Bob Stallman said the bill remedies the harmful effects of a court decision that puts farmers at risk of unnecessary and burdensome regulation. “This legislation does nothing more than clarify what has been the situation for nearly 40 years—that lawful application of pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) does not trigger regulatory requirements in other programs,” Stallman said.
“Congress must step up and take action to clarify the questions raised by a flawed court ruling that, if left to stand, will have ramifications for farmers and ranchers around the country. Farmers know the label on each chemical they use is the law of the land and that they must use chemicals properly. Having additional regulations and bureaucratic red tape will not improve food safety or the environment. We commend the senators for their leadership on this important issue.”
Lincoln said subjecting farmers, foresters and ranchers to an additional layer of bureaucracy under the Clean Water Act was never Congress’ intent.
“Our legislation is very simple: as long as a producer is complying with FIFRA, then no Clean Water Act permit will be required,” Lincoln said. “During the more than 35 years since the enactment of the Clean Water Act, the EPA has never required a permit for the application of FIFRA-registered crop protection products. Our bill would extend this common-sense approach and avoid duplicative, unnecessary burdens on our farmers, foresters, and ranchers.”