U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) recently joined a bipartisan group of colleagues to introduce a bill that would end duplicative regulations at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) against pesticides users.
The Sensible Environmental Protection Act (SEPA) seeks to clarify the intentions behind the regulations by the current administration. Fischer believes these regulations are burdening the food producers, weed control agencies, Natural Resource Districts and other personnel involved in pest management in Nebraska.
"Pesticide applicators across Nebraska are being forced to deal with duplicative and onerous federal regulations,” Fischer said. “This is causing real harm, resulting in increased costs throughout Nebraska and across America.”
For more than 30 years, the EPA has launched a pesticide application regulation structure under the Federal Insecticide, Rodenticide, and Fungicide (FIFRA) to handle the distribution, sale and application of pesticides. The goal of FIFRA is to protect the environment as well as human health. Under this statute, producers must submit their pesticides to the EPA for inspection and registration.
Even though this regulation framework is currently underway, another court decision in 2009 allowed the EPA to require additional permits for specific pesticide applications near or in water under the Clean Water Act, which went into affect in 2011.
“To help alleviate this burden, I’ve joined my colleagues to introduce SEPA, which targets the requirements associated with the pesticide permits,” Fischer said. “Through this bipartisan legislation, we can provide relief to countless Nebraska farmers, outdoor enthusiasts, and their families.”