This winter as you have talked with your friends I am sure that the EPA somehow entered the conversation. Be it spray nozzle regulations, attempts to regulate dust, making sure that water is safe from spilled milk or generally just being a pain and hassle, the EPA seems to be everywhere.
With their desire to implement a regulation for everything under the sun ( and then maybe more) I was surprised to receive the information regarding EPA’s delaying the permit process for farmers who will have to spray near water or ditches.
-Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requesting an extension to allow more time for pesticide operators to obtain permits for pesticide discharges into U.S. waters. EPA is requesting that the deadline be extended from April 9, 2011 to October 31, 2011. During the period while the court is considering the extension request, permits for pesticide applications will not be required under the Clean Water Act.
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 as of April 9, 2011. The final permit will reduce discharges of pesticides to aquatic ecosystems, thus helping to protect the nation’s waters and public health.
The extension request is important to allow sufficient time for EPA to engage in Endangered Species Act consultation and complete the development of an electronic database to streamline requests for coverage under the Agency’s general permit. It also allows time for authorized states to finish developing their state permits and for permitting authorities to provide additional outreach to stakeholders on pesticide permit requirements.
EPA’s general permit will be available to cover pesticide discharges to waters of the U.S. in MA, NH, NM, ID, OK, AK, DC, most U.S. territories and Indian country lands, and many federal facilities.
For more information: http://www.epa.gov/npdes/pesticides–
Delaying the implementation of this regulation is the right thing to do for agriculture. How many CFB members knew that they possibility needed a permit as a result of the National Cotton Council v. EPA case? If you are someone who may eventually require a permit, it is my understanding that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Enviroment is the proper state agency to work with.
Farmers also gained in Congress on this issue. On March 2, Reps. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) and Joe Baca (D-Calif.) introduced H.R. 872, a bipartisan bill to reduce the regulatory burdens imposed by the National Cotton Council v. EPA case (6th Cir. 2009). Joining in this effort as original co-sponsors were House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.), Reps. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa), Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Tim Holden (D-Pa.), Larry Kissell (D-N.C.), Bill Owens (D-N.Y.), Mike Ross (D-Ark.) and Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (D-MP).
H.R. 872 would amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA) to clarify that CWA permits are not needed when a pesticide is applied in accordance with the FIFRA approved label. AFBF supports H.R. 872 and as such, I would encourage CFB members to contact their federal representative and have them sign onto this bill.
For background and history on this issue, you can find information here, http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=410.