[X] CLOSEMAIN MENU

  • Archives

  • Categories

    • ALS (2)
    • Announcements (586)
    • Antibiotic Resistance (10)
    • Aquaculture (23)
    • Aquatic Organisms (8)
    • Beneficials (30)
    • Biofuels (6)
    • Biological Control (15)
    • Biomonitoring (28)
    • Birds (5)
    • btomsfiolone (1)
    • Bug Bombs (1)
    • Canada (10)
    • Cannabis (22)
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (5)
    • Children (27)
    • Children/Schools (220)
    • Climate Change (36)
    • Clover (1)
    • contamination (80)
    • Environmental Justice (116)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (139)
    • Events (82)
    • Farm Bill (10)
    • Farmworkers (126)
    • Fertilizer (3)
    • Forestry (2)
    • Fracking (3)
    • Fungicides (4)
    • Goats (1)
    • Golf (11)
    • Health care (32)
    • Holidays (24)
    • Household Use (1)
    • Integrated and Organic Pest Management (58)
    • International (299)
    • Invasive Species (29)
    • Label Claims (47)
    • Lawns/Landscapes (195)
    • Litigation (294)
    • Microbiata (5)
    • Microbiome (6)
    • Nanosilver (1)
    • Nanotechnology (53)
    • National Politics (386)
    • Pesticide Drift (134)
    • Pesticide Efficacy (1)
    • Pesticide Regulation (690)
    • Pesticide Residues (150)
    • Pets (18)
    • Preemption (20)
    • Resistance (82)
    • Rodenticide (22)
    • Synthetic Pyrethroids (2)
    • Take Action (443)
    • Toxic Waste (1)
    • Uncategorized (518)
    • Wildlife/Endangered Sp. (341)
    • Wood Preservatives (22)
  • Most Viewed Posts

Daily News Blog

05
Jun

Congress Continues Attacks on Clean Water Act Protections

(Beyond Pesticides, June 05, 2015) A new federal bill was introduced Wednesday that, if passed, would undermine the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to issue Clean Water Act permits for pesticide spraying over waterways. Titled the Sensible Environmental Protection Act  and introduced by Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo), this new bill would reverse a 2009 federal court decision in National Cotton Council v. EPA that directed EPA to require permits from applicators who spray over “navigable waters,” as outlined in the Clean Water Act (CWA). The bill’s authors claim that the need for water permits is duplicative, given that pesticide applicators also comply with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the law that requires applicators to follow instructions on pesticide labels.

boy pond for web“This issue is a prime example of an unnecessary, duplicative federal regulation impacting a variety of stakeholders in Idaho and across the nation that must be fixed,” Senator Crapo said in a statement.  “Our rural communities are already under a substantial amount of financial strain and regulatory pressure and are looking to Congress for much-needed relief.”

Contrary to  Senator  Crapo’s claims, the  CWA permit serves as a valuable tool that lets authorities know what is sprayed and when it is sprayed, so that the public may know what chemicals are used in their waterways and the potential dangers to sensitive aquatic ecosystems. Existing pesticide regulations under FIFRA do not achieve these protections and most agricultural pesticide applications are exempt from  CWA  permit requirements. Permits do not prevent applicators from using pesticides, especially for public health emergencies. The permits do require basic protections for water quality and aquatic wildlife. Applicators must record their pesticide applications and monitor application sites for any adverse incidents, which must be reported. For many states, the cost of the permit is as low as $25. The myth that the CWA permits for pesticide discharges near waterways are burdensome for farmers has not been substantiated.

The new bill is similar to H.R. 897, recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The House Agriculture Committee unanimously passed the latest version of the inaccurately titled Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2015 (H.R. 897), which would nullify regulations that require pesticide applicators to apply for  National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)  permits under CWA before applying pesticides on or near surface waters. The legislation also amends FIFRA by stating that no permit shall be required for the use of a pesticide that is registered under FIFRA. Generally, it means that pesticide applicators can discharge pesticides into waterways with no EPA oversight under the standards of the CWA and the permitting process, which takes into account local conditions that are not addressed under FIFRA.

Already,  nearly 2,000 waterways are impaired  by pesticide contamination  and many more have simply not been tested. A U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report from last year  finds that levels of pesticides continue to be a concern for aquatic life in many of the nation’s rivers and streams in agricultural and urban areas. The study, which documents pesticide levels in U.S. waterways for two decades (1992-2011), finds pesticides and their breakdown products in U.S. streams more than 90 percent of the time. Known pesticide water contaminants, such as  atrazine,  metolachlor, and  simazine, continue to be detected in streams more than 50 percent of the time, with fipronil being the pesticide most frequently found at levels of potential concern for aquatic organisms in urban streams. The report also found that for urban areas, 90 percent of the streams exceeded a chronic aquatic life benchmarks.

The potentially high cost of public health problems, environmental clean-up efforts, and irreversible ecological damage that can result from unchecked, indiscriminate pollution of waterways is being ignored by opponents of  CWA  regulation. The reality is that this permitting process encourages pesticide users to seek alternative approaches to pest management if their current methods are going to contaminate nearby sources of water. To learn more about these issues and more, visit our  Threatened Waters  page.

Source: EE News (subscription required)

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides

Share

Leave a Reply

  • Archives

  • Categories

    • ALS (2)
    • Announcements (586)
    • Antibiotic Resistance (10)
    • Aquaculture (23)
    • Aquatic Organisms (8)
    • Beneficials (30)
    • Biofuels (6)
    • Biological Control (15)
    • Biomonitoring (28)
    • Birds (5)
    • btomsfiolone (1)
    • Bug Bombs (1)
    • Canada (10)
    • Cannabis (22)
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (5)
    • Children (27)
    • Children/Schools (220)
    • Climate Change (36)
    • Clover (1)
    • contamination (80)
    • Environmental Justice (116)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (139)
    • Events (82)
    • Farm Bill (10)
    • Farmworkers (126)
    • Fertilizer (3)
    • Forestry (2)
    • Fracking (3)
    • Fungicides (4)
    • Goats (1)
    • Golf (11)
    • Health care (32)
    • Holidays (24)
    • Household Use (1)
    • Integrated and Organic Pest Management (58)
    • International (299)
    • Invasive Species (29)
    • Label Claims (47)
    • Lawns/Landscapes (195)
    • Litigation (294)
    • Microbiata (5)
    • Microbiome (6)
    • Nanosilver (1)
    • Nanotechnology (53)
    • National Politics (386)
    • Pesticide Drift (134)
    • Pesticide Efficacy (1)
    • Pesticide Regulation (690)
    • Pesticide Residues (150)
    • Pets (18)
    • Preemption (20)
    • Resistance (82)
    • Rodenticide (22)
    • Synthetic Pyrethroids (2)
    • Take Action (443)
    • Toxic Waste (1)
    • Uncategorized (518)
    • Wildlife/Endangered Sp. (341)
    • Wood Preservatives (22)
  • Most Viewed Posts