Troubling News on Pesticide Permits
This past week we learned that the 6th Federal Court District rejected Crop Life America's appeal to re-hear the case in which the court ruled that pesticide applications will be subject to USEPA pollution discharge permits under the Clean Water Act. We are not surprised that the court declined to re-hear the issue, but this setback does mean that USEPA is proceeding to draft rules that will make many pesticide applicators subject to permits under the Clean Water Act. Initially USEPA intends to focus the permitting process on mosquito applications and aquatic pesticide applications. However we expect that over time they will expand the program to encompass all pesticide applications including those to crop land. Our national organization Crop Life America is weighing the legal and legislative options. One of the big questions here is whether the Department of Agriculture will be able to maintain the pesticide licensing program or whether the program will have to be transferred to the EPA since the EPA is the agency in charge of enforcing the Clean Water Act. We will keep you posted on the industry's efforts to resolve this very challenging issue.