In a strong bipartisan vote, the House recently approved a Farm Bureau-supported bill clarifying congressional intent regarding regulation of the use of pesticides in or near navigable waters.

The Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2017 (H.R. 953) is narrowly crafted to clarify that lawful use of pesticides in or near navigable waters is not excessively covered under two statutes, the Clean Water Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.

The legislation “simply codifies EPA’s longstanding interpretation of the law before it was thrown into confusion by a 2009 court ruling, which imposed an additional layer of needless red tape on pesticide applicators,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall wrote in a letter urging lawmakers to pass the bill.

The Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act corrects the duplicative requirements associated with EPA’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System pesticide permit by specifying that NPDES permits are not needed for the lawful application of EPA-labeled pesticides.

“This is an important fix that will reduce red tape and legal liabilities associated with the lawful use of pesticides in protecting public health and food security,” Duvall said.