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EPA Proposes Pesticide Permit

by Britt E. Erickson
June 7, 2010 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 88, Issue 23

EPA has released a draft pesticide permit that sets the stage for a debate about what pesticide spraying activities on or near water will be required to obtain permits under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The action comes in response to a 2009 court ruling that requires such permits for pesticides discharged into U.S. waters. The ruling overturned a 2006 EPA rule, which excluded pesticides that comply with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide & Rodenticide Act from being considered pollutants under CWA because aquatic effects are already considered under FIFRA. The court gave EPA two years to develop the new permit, which pesticide applicators will need to obtain beginning on April 9, 2011. EPA is seeking public comments on the proposed permit until July 19 and has scheduled three public meetings, a public hearing, and a webcast this month to discuss the new requirements. Activities covered by the draft permit include control of flying insects that spend time in water; control of aquatic weeds, algae, and aquatic nuisance animals; and aerial application of pesticides over a forest canopy. EPA expects to finalize the permit by the end of the year.


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