Yesterday, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved legislation that exempts Illinois corn farmers from having to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit in order to apply crop protection products on their farmers.
Illinois corn farmers discussed this legislation with the Illinois Congressional Delegation during their fly-in to Washington, DC earlier this week. They asked Congress to stop the EPA from imposing duplicative and unrealistic regulations on family farms.
The legislation passed yesterday does just that! H.R. 872 prevents the implantation of a court order forcing the EPA to promulgate the new permitting process for pesticides by April 9.
Illinois Corn Growers Association has been actively seeking some solution for this court-ordered NPDES permit requirement. Not only would obtaining the permits be nearly impossible given the volume of permits required and the limited Illinois EPA staff available to issue permits, but the application of pesticides is already regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act when the pesticide is used for its intended purpose and the use complies with pesticide labeling requirements.
“This bill prevents states and a wide range of public and private pesticide users from facing duplicative, unnecessary financial and administrative burdens in order to comply with the new permitting process,” said Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment.
The Senate’s intentions to consider the bill are still unclear.