Farm Bill Update: McCaskill Backs Effort to Eliminate Unnecessary EPA Rules on Farmers and Ranchers
Senator: This is exactly the kind of duplicative EPA regulation that drives folks up the wall
June 14, 2012
WASHINGTON - Days after introducing an amendment to require input from farmers and ranchers in crafting environmental rules, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill today moved to amend the Farm Bill to eliminate a redundant Environmental Protection Agency regulation that would force thousands of Missouri farmers and ranchers to apply for permits in order to use already-approved pesticides on their own land.
Currently, all pesticides must undergo more than 100 different tests, as well as registration by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before being certified as having no "adverse effects on the environment". In 2009, a federal court issued a decision requiring individuals who were working in or near water to acquire yet another permit in order to continue operations. This new requirement went into effect in October of last year.
"There's no reason to force Missouri's farmers and ranchers to get permits to use pesticides that are already approved for safe use," McCaskill said. "This is exactly the kind of duplicative EPA regulation that drives folks up the wall, and I'm going to do everything I can to make sure it's not hurting jobs and business in Missouri agriculture."
Without the measure-which McCaskill is supporting along with Senators Mike Crapo (R-Wyo.) and Kay Hagan (D-N.C.)-the EPA has estimated that an additional 365,000 pesticide users, including farmers, ranchers, cities, counties, and forest managers, will be required to obtain permits.
The bipartisan amendment will clarify that Clean Water Act permits are not required for the use of already approved pesticides, as well as require the EPA to perform a study on whether and how current processes can be improved to better protect the environment.
The Farm Bill currently being debated in the Senate would protect agriculture jobs and reduce the national deficit by $23 billion by streamlining and consolidating federal programs and ending unnecessary farm subsidies, while preserving important resources for farm and ranch families and strengthening the crop insurance program-issues which are critical to the livelihoods of Missouri's farmers and ranchers.
A copy of the amendment to eliminate this unnecessary EPA regulation can be found HERE.
McCaskill's Fight for Missouri's Farmers and Ranchers
Claire McCaskill has consistently fought to ensure Missouri's farm and ranch families have the resources they need to succeed, and to prevent and overturn unreasonable rules and regulations on producers.
- McCaskill delivered a victory for rural communities, successfully forcing the U.S. Labor Department to withdraw proposed rules that would affect the ability of young adults to work on family farms and ranches.
- McCaskill helped lead a bipartisan group of Senators in successfully demanding an exemption to allow the transportation of all farm supplies from any distribution point to a local farm retailer or to the consumer during planning and harvest seasons.
- McCaskill confronted the Environmental Protection Agency in opposition to proposed rules over farm dust, forcing the EPA to abandon any such rules.
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