WASHINGTON – Rep. Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) voted yesterday to eliminate a costly and duplicative permitting requirement for the application of pesticides that would hurt local farmers and further stretch state budgets. The House passed H.R. 872, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011 by a vote of 292 to 130. If signed into law, the bill would overturn the misguided court decision in National Cotton Council v. EPA.
“Over the last few years, the EPA has slowly but surely stepped up its regulation of our agriculture sector, but this action by Congress should help restore some balance in the regulatory process,” said Rep. Bishop. “Our farmers cannot afford to meet these burdensome requirements that would raise costs and further strain state budgets trying to comply with the requirement. I am glad Congress acted to solve this problem.”
Rep. Bishop co-sponsored the bill, which amends the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodentcide Act (FIFRA) of 1947. If passed, the bill would prohibit the EPA or state governments from requiring farmers and small businesses to file an additional permit for pesticides already authorized for sale by the FIFRA. The Georgia Cotton Commission, Georgia Peanut Commission, Georgia Farm Bureau and American Farm Bureau all support the bill.
The bill also amends the Water Pollution Control Act to prohibit the EPA and states from requiring permits for a pesticide or the residue resulting from the use of a pesticide registered under FIFRA. In 2009, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the EPA could regulate these pesticides. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.