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From February 14, 2005

The Pesticide Industry’s Outlook for 2005 Exposed
(Beyond Pesticides, February 14, 2005)
– The president of Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE), Allen James, released the pesticide industry trade group’s 2005 outlook on January 31, 2005 for the specialty pesticide and fertilizer industry. Reviews of regulations under the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act as well as local pesticide and fertilizer bans continue to be top concerns for the industry.

What follows is the RISE press release on its 2005 outlook.

"In the administration's second term, I see a number of issues that will affect our industry during 2005," Mr. James said. "First of all, I believe that the Endangered Species Act (ESA) needs to be updated. The regulation of pesticides versus the ESA continues to be a battleground that hampers our industry without benefit to the public. Change is needed right now."

Mr. James also sees the Clean Water Act and its related National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements as applied to certain pesticide applications needing to be monitored by industry this year. He believes the activists will continue to use these issues to oppose the industry and hamper efforts to sell and apply pesticides used in or near water.

Fortunately, the EPA just released an interpretive statement and proposed rule that reflect EPA's long-standing policy that a CWA permit is not required where application of a particular pesticide to or over water is consistent with requirements under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

As always, the threat of local bans on pesticides and fertilizers continues to be in the forefront of the industry's outlook for the year. Mr. James sees the trend continuing in small communities with a focus on the so-called cosmetic use model that originated in Canada.

"We are watching the entire United States, but particularly the border states of New York, Connecticut, Maine, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Washington for any activity relative to banning pesticides, especially for outdoor lawn care and parks," Mr. James stated. "I would like to remind industry associates that fortunately for those of us in the U.S., most states have state preemption laws that override local bans. However, there is a growing effort among activists to overturn state preemption, and in some cases, to secure bans in violation of state law in hopes that state legislators will change the law." RISE is currently suing the City of Madison and Dane County, Wisconsin for just such a violation of state law. "The City of Madison and Dane County have overstepped their boundaries," James explained. "If we allow these bans to be instituted, we are completely ignoring preemption and what it stands for."

Activists have been unsuccessful pushing bans at the federal level, so they are now using the Internet to move to the local level in order to reach local government officials, according to Mr. James. "The wheels of change at the local level move more quickly and activists are using that reality to their advantage," he stated.