(Beyond Pesticides, October 15, 2007) President Bush signed the Pesticide Registration Improvement Renewal Act (PRIA II) into effect last Tuesday, renewing and amending the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA). Environmentalists, government officials and industry representatives hailed the passage of the law, marking a rare consensus among the groups.
The Senate passed the bill (S. 1983) without opposition on August 2, and the House of Representatives gave its unanimous approval on September 24. The renewal legislation will extend funding through 2012 for EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP), which originally received $200 million in registration fees in 2003. Environmental groups and trade organizations called Congressional passage of the act a victory for cooperative public policy development, led by the Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA), CropLife America and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
“This is a win-win-win proposition,” said Phil Klein, CSPA’s senior vice president of legislative and public affairs. “The EPA Office of Pesticide Programs gets long-term stable funding. The environmental and farm worker communities get increased funding for worker protection, shorter timelines for reduced risk pesticides, a comprehensive review of pesticides every 15 years, and additional grant money for farm worker certification. And industry benefits from predictable timelines for bringing newer and more innovative products to market.”
“Renewal of PRIA is a huge win for both public health and the environment,” said Heather Taylor, deputy legislative director, NRDC. “The law has kept harmful pesticides in check since 2003 and will continue to safeguard the public in immeasurable ways for years to come. It’s clear that the more environment and industry work together, the more we all win.”
PRIA II builds upon the tradition of the first PRIA legislation, which is set to expire in 2008, amending the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). It increases in and clarifies categories covered, uses maintenance fees for registration review, protects funds for grant programs, increases funding levels, and prevents free-riding. “PRIA II reauthorizes the solid legislation created four years ago by a broad coalition of pesticide manufacturers, public interest groups, and pesticide user groups. Predictable timelines have allowed industry to provide the American farmer with better and more innovative methods to produce the safe, affordable and abundant food supply Americans enjoy,” said Jay Vroom, president and CEO of CropLife. “We are enthusiastic about the reauthorization of the legislation and applaud Congress for swiftly passing it.”
“The reauthorization of PRIA by the 110th Congress represents a significant legislative victory in a most challenging time and demonstrates the benefits of collaboration among all stakeholders in the process,” said Beau Greenwood, executive vice president government relations and public affairs of CropLife.
Along with CSPA, CropLife and NRDC, the coalition supporting PRIA reauthorization included American Chemistry Council Biocides Panel, Biotechnology Industry Organization, Biopesticide Industry Alliance, Chemical Producers & Distributors Association, International Sanitary Supply Association, Protected Harvest and Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment. CSPA represents the manufacturers of consumer household pest management and antimicrobial (disinfecting) products, and CropLife represents the producers of agricultural pesticides. NRDC is a leading national environmental organization.