The House of Representatives has passed H.R. 872, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011. The vote was 292 to 130. That's two more votes than are needed under rules for non-controversial bills. The legislation states National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits are not required when applying pesticides according to their EPA approved label.
The National Corn Growers Association is pleased with the bipartisan vote. NCGA President Bart Schott says they strongly endorse this legislation and are pleased to see Congress understands how significantly farmers could be impacted by burdensome NPDES permits for pesticides.
For most of the past four decades, water quality concerns from pesticide applications were addressed within the registration process under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, rather than a Clean Water Act permitting program. H.R. 872 amends both the Clean Water Act and FIFRA in order to restore the previous regulatory framework. The push is now on for Senate passage.