(Posted Thu. May 25th, 2017)
The National Corn Growers Association commended the House of Representatives for passing H.R. 953, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2017. This bipartisan legislation states that National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES) permits are not required when applying pesticides according to their EPA-approved labels.
“We are pleased the House of Representatives recognizes this permit requirement for what it is: expensive, duplicative, and unnecessary red tape,” said Brandon Hunnicutt, Vice Chair of the Freedom to Operate Action Team and a farmer from Giltner, Nebraska. “As it currently stands, the NPDES permitting system only adds to farmers’ regulatory burdens, without actually improving water quality.”
The Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act would reverse a 2009 court ruling that forced the Environmental Protection Agency to require pesticide applicators to get permits to spray in or near “navigable waters,” as defined in the Clean Water Act. Although NPDES permits do not provide any additional environmental benefits, they do significantly increase the regulatory burden on farmers, while also exposing them to potential citizen action suits. NCGA has been a leader in efforts to end this redundant and ineffective permitting requirement.
“We thank the House for their vote, and urge the Senate to act quickly on this important issue,” said Hunnicutt.