Redundant Pesticide Approvals Would Be Eliminated Under Bipartisan McCaskill Bill

Senator introduces bipartisan Sensible Environmental Protection Act, to eliminate redundant federal permitting requirements

WASHINGTON – Farmers should not have to seek two separate and duplicative approvals for the use of standard pesticides on their crops, said U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, who today introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at eliminating such redundant federal requirements.

The Sensible Environmental Protection Act—which McCaskill introduced along with Republican Senator Mike Crapo of Idaho—would prohibit the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency or a state from requiring a Clean Water Act permit for pesticide use near water if the pesticide is already authorized for sale, distribution or use under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

“This redundant regulation is an extra burden for farmers and unnecessary for the protection of our environment,” McCaskill said. “We do need to protect human health and the environment, but when we can achieve that goal with one permitting program it makes no sense to require farmers go through another whole permitting regime to achieve the same goal. This bill is a commonsense step toward a more efficient and effective process while still providing all the protections needed.”

“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,” said Crapo. “Our rural communities are already under a substantial amount of financial strain and regulatory pressure and are looking to Congress for much-needed relief. SEPA seeks to answer that call, in part, by eliminating the costly regulations associated with the federal pesticide permitting process. This additional layer of regulation imposed by the courts has shown to provide little, if any, benefit.”

The bill has garnered the support of Senators across the political spectrum, including Tom Carper of Delaware, Chris Coons of Delaware, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Mike Enzi of Wyoming,  Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, James Risch of Idaho, Pat Roberts of Kansas, Jerry Moran of Kansas, John Barrasso of Wyoming, John Boozman of Arkansas, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, and Deb Fischer of Nebraska.

McCaskill backed a similar bill in the previous Congress and worked to address the issue in an amendment to the 2012 Farm Bill. McCaskill also recently introduced the Federal Permitting Improvement Act, a bipartisan and widely-supported bill that would streamline and speed up the highly unpredictable and uncoordinated federal permitting process.

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