Senate bill aims to eliminate redundant pesticide approvals

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) | Courtesy of Sen. Claire McCaskill
U.S. Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) introduced the Sensible Environmental Protection Act (SEPA) on Wednesday, which would eliminate the need for farmers to obtain two separate and duplicative federal approvals to use standard pesticides on their crops.

The legislation would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 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.

McCaskill said this redundant regulation is an extra burden for farmers and is unnecessary to protect the environment.

“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 to go through another permitting regimen to achieve the same goal,” McCaskill said. “This bill is a common-sense step toward a more efficient and effective process, and still provides all the protections needed.”

Crapo said the duplicative approval requirement, which affects a variety of stakeholders in Idaho and across the nation, must be fixed.

“Our rural communities are already under a substantial amount of financial strain and regulatory pressure, and are looking to Congress for much-needed relief,” Crapo said. “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 been shown to provide little, if any, benefit.”

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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