Washington, D.C., (August 5, 2015)—The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives today applauded the Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee’s approval of S. 1500, the Sensible Environmental Protection Act. The legislation, introduced by Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), would resolve the regulatory morass created by a misguided and poorly reasoned court decision forced on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
S. 1500 clarifies the Clean Water Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) to ensure that crop protectants compliant with FIFRA do not require permits under the Clean Water Act. The legislation would eliminate the significant financial and liability burdens imposed by the ruling on thousands of farms, co-ops and other agri-businesses. Companion legislation in the House, H.R. 897, was passed out of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
“It is far past time for this issue to be dealt with once and for all. The intent of Congress has long been clear—FIFRA was always intended to regulate the registration and use of crop protectants and the EPA plays an important role in the process by ensuring that pesticides do not harm human health or the environment,” said Chuck Conner, president and CEO of NCFC. “Quite simply, under FIFRA, the label is the law. Those who do not follow a product’s label are violating the law even without a clean water permit.”
“With today’s EPW markup, we are encouraged that the Senate is, for the first time, taking concrete steps to repeal these costly and duplicative pesticide permitting requirements,” continued Conner. “I would like to thank Senators Crapo and McCaskill for their leadership on this issue and urge Senate leadership to make floor time available for S. 1500 as soon as feasible.”