Issue Date: April 4, 2011
Court Extends Pesticide Permit Deadline
A federal appeals court has given EPA an extra six months to develop a water discharge permit for pesticides that are sprayed on or near U.S. waters, extending the April 9 deadline until Oct. 31 (C&EN, March 28, page 32). Such permits are required under a 2009 court ruling that declared pesticide residues and biological pesticides are pollutants under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The court decision overturned a 2006 EPA rule that excluded pesticides from CWA because aquatic effects are already considered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide & Rodenticide Act. As EPA finalizes the pesticide water permit, legislation (H.R. 872) is working its way through Congress that would exempt pesticides from CWA. The bill moved swiftly through two committees in the House of Representatives, but a vote by the full House on March 30 was delayed because of concerns raised by Rep. Tim H. Bishop (D-N.Y.), ranking member of the House committee with jurisdiction over CWA. Bishop contends that not enough is known about pesticides in water to make the exemption permanent. The House passed the legislation on March 31, but the Senate has shown little interest in pursuing such a bill at this time.
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