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Environment

House Pesticide Bill Advances

by Britt E. Erickson
March 14, 2011 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 89, Issue 11

The House of Representatives Agriculture Committee has approved a bill that would amend federal pesticide and water pollution laws to eliminate a 2009 court-ordered requirement that pesticide applicators obtain a permit under the Clean Water Act (CWA) when spraying in or near U.S. waters. The Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011 (H.R. 872) addresses the negative economic consequences of that court decision, which overturned a 2006 EPA rule that excluded pesticides from needing permits under CWA because aquatic effects are already considered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide & Rodenticide Act. Pesticide applicators will need to obtain CWA permits beginning on April 9, unless Congress acts swiftly. The bill now moves to the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, which has primary jurisdiction over CWA.

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