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CRAMER: House Passes Bill Reducing EPA Regulations on Pesticides for Public Health

May 24, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer supported a bill today with a majority of his House colleagues, which eliminates a duplicative regulatory process under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the approved use of pesticides.

H.R. 953, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2017, ensures farmers, states, local governments, mosquito control districts, and other lawful users of pesticides are prepared to protect public health without unnecessary burdens that provide no additional protections to the environment. The bill clarifies Congressional intent regarding regulation of the use of pesticides for control of exotic diseases such as Zika virus and West Nile virus, as well as for other lawful uses in or near navigable waters. It amends the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to prohibit the EPA or a state from requiring a permit under the Clean Water Act.

“As we approach the Summer months, the use of pesticides – especially to combat mosquito-borne diseases like Zika and West Nile Virus – becomes a vital resource for public health,” Cramer said.  “Since pesticides are already regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, there is no need for this rule, which only creates additional compliance costs and slows down the process for responding to future health emergencies.”

In 2009, a Federal Court ruling determined the EPA could regulate pesticides under the Clean Water Act of 1972. The ruling created a duplicative system of regulations for pesticides, causing additional time and money to be wasted on compliance. The EPA has estimated this process affects 365,000 pesticide users, including state agencies, cities, counties, mosquito control districts, water districts, pesticide applicators, farmers, ranchers, forest managers, scientists, and even every day citizens.