The Phaserl


Uh Oh: House Passes Bill Nicknamed “Poison Our Waters Act”

by Mike Barrett, Natural Society:

On May 24, 2017, the House passed a measure reversing an EPA requirement that those spraying pesticides on or near rivers and lakes file for a permit. Opponents are referring to the legislation as the “Poison Our Waters Act.” The bill’s real name is the “Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2017.” [1]

The permitting system for the use of pesticides under the Clean Water Act was redundant, according to Rep. Bob Gibbs, a Republican from Ohio, who added that the bill will protect farmers, ranchers, and local pest control agencies from regulatory burdens. He says:

“This is important legislation that fixes a bad court decision requiring a costly, unnecessary, and duplicative permit when cities and municipalities use pesticides already approved and regulated by the EPA for mosquito abatement. It’s just another layer of red tape that diverts resources from their mission of protecting the public from insect-borne diseases.”

Under the act, anyone applying a pesticide approved by the EPA under the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act would no longer need to acquire a Clean Water Act “general permit” for their activities.

The Clean Water Act had the biggest impact on the largest-volume applicators. Most of the pesticide applicators can obtain a permit with minimal restrictions on spraying.

According to the group Beyond Pesticides, signing the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act into law would:

  • Undermine federal authority to protect the U.S. waters under the Clean Water Act
  • Allow spraying of toxic chemicals into waterways without local and state oversight
  • Contaminate drinking water sources and harm aquatic life
  • ]

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