[X] CLOSEMAIN MENU

  • Archives

  • Categories

    • Announcements (579)
    • Antibacterial (111)
    • Aquaculture (20)
    • Beneficials (18)
    • Biodiversity (15)
    • Biofuels (6)
    • Biological Control (9)
    • Biomonitoring (28)
    • Canada (4)
    • Cannabis (17)
    • Children/Schools (209)
    • Climate Change (28)
    • contamination (36)
    • Environmental Justice (102)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (41)
    • Events (81)
    • Farmworkers (103)
    • Fracking (1)
    • Golf (11)
    • Health care (30)
    • Holidays (24)
    • Integrated and Organic Pest Management (52)
    • International (275)
    • Invasive Species (27)
    • Label Claims (45)
    • Lawns/Landscapes (177)
    • Litigation (270)
    • Nanotechnology (52)
    • National Politics (380)
    • Pesticide Drift (116)
    • Pesticide Regulation (641)
    • Pesticide Residues (132)
    • Pets (17)
    • Preemption (2)
    • Resistance (65)
    • Rodenticide (21)
    • Take Action (370)
    • Uncategorized (98)
    • Wildlife/Endangered Sp. (302)
    • Wood Preservatives (21)
  • Most Viewed Posts

Search Results

California Proposes to Ease Permit Restrictions For Mosquito Spraying

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

(Beyond Pesticides, February 15, 2012) California mosquito control agencies are charging that new NPDES permitting regulations would eliminate West Nile virus fogging and jeopardize public health. In response, the state of California has proposed to scale-back pesticide regulations, easing rules on fumigating adult mosquitoes. This is in spite of the high risk for further degradation of already contaminated surface waters in the state, and contrary to the stipulations and protections set out in the Clean Water Act. The current federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, which recently went into effect after much resistance from the pesticide and agriculture industry and intensive lobbying efforts in Congress, does not authorize the discharge of biological and residual pesticides or their degradation by-products to waters of the U.S. that are impaired by the same pesticide active ingredients or any pesticide in the same chemical family. ”˜Impaired waters’ are polluted waters, i.e. those waters not meeting water quality standards pursuant to section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The NPDES permit is authorized under the CWA to require pesticide applicators to apply for permits before applying pesticides on or near surface waters. This process involves keeping records of pesticides used and monitoring […]

Share

ACT NOW: Senators Write Letter Seeking Consideration of Misguided Bill

Friday, December 16th, 2011

(Beyond Pesticides, December 16, 2011) A group of U.S. Senators has drafted and sent a letter to the offices of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in an attempt to convince them to set aside time in the Senate schedule for consideration of the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011, H.R. 872. ACTION IS NEEDED to show Senators Reid and McConnell that the public does not want this bill and that pesticides should not be exempted from critical safety and environmental protections. Consideration of this bill would take valuable time out of the Senate’s schedule to debate a bill that would weaken important policies that protect human health and the natural environment. The letter, dated December 8th, aims to communicate a sense of bipartisan agreement that the issue should move forward. It was drafted by Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Kay Hagan (D-NC) and was signed by 13 other Republicans and 10 other Democrats. However, despite this apparent bipartisan support, many Senators have expressed serious concern regarding the effects that would result from passage of the bill. Your help is needed. Please call the offices of Senator Reid and Senator McConnell today and tell […]

Share

Take Action – Senate Threatens Clean Water with Pesticide Amendment

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

(Beyond Pesticides, November 17, 2011) Updated 1:00 p.m. – Thanks to everyone for taking action and putting pressure on your Senators. Senator Roberts filed an amendment yesterday to the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill opposing provisions to gut pesticide protections from the Clean Water Act. It is the same language we opposed this summer. He has tried to slip it into other bills as well. It’s important that we continue to put pressure on legislators to oppose the amendment offered by Senator Roberts and to support stronger pesticide restrictions around water. PLEASE CALL YOUR SENATORS(Senate directory) with the following message: “We urge you to oppose Senator Roberts’ amendment to the Energy and Water appropriations bill. Previously introduced as S. 718, the amendment would prevent the EPA from protecting our waterways from pesticide discharges. This bill will strip EPA’s ability to protect our waters from pollution by amending the Clean Water Act (CWA) and federal pesticide law to exempt applications of pesticides to waterways from CWA standards. There is already widespread contamination of our waterways by toxic pesticides, and we cannot rely solely on our weak pesticide law to protect those waters. This amendment is bad for public health and bad […]

Share

Senate Negotiations Break Down, Clean Water Act Pesticide Permits Take Effect

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

(Beyond Pesticides, November 1, 2011) With negotiations to delay the court-ordered Clean Water Act (CWA) permits for pesticide applications breaking down in the U.S. Senate, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Pesticides General Permit (PGP) will take effect today. The PGP, a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit, covers most pesticide applications to water, including mosquito and other flying insect pest control, aquatic weed and algae control, aquatic nuisance animal control, and forest canopy pest control. Legislation to eliminate the permit requirement, the so-called Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act (HR 872), passed the U.S. House in April 2011. Similar legislation was introduced by Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) in the Senate and passed through the Senate Agriculture Committee under the leadership of Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), but a hold was put on the bill by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Ben Cardin (D-MD). According to Environment and Energy (E&E) Daily, the four Senators’ staff have been working on a compromise, but negotiations have reportedly broken down. E&E Daily reports that last week, the two sides appeared to be close to a deal. In exchange for a two-year moratorium on the new permit requirement, a national survey would be conducted on pesticide […]

Share

Dirty Water Bill Offered as Amendment in Senate, Act Now

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

(Beyond Pesticides, October 11, 2011) U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) has offered an amendment to a currency bill in the Senate this week which would strip protections against pesticide contamination from the Clean Water Act (CWA). The language of the amendment is the exact same language as H.R. 872, which is currently working its way through the Senate and which environmental and public health advocates have been fighting against for much of the past year. Urgent action is needed to stop the amendment from successfully being attached to the larger bill, S. 1619. Click here to send an email to your Senators urging them to stand with you in opposing the Roberts amendment, Amendment 720, and ensuring our waterways are kept safe from pesticide contamination. Attaching the bill as an amendment to an entirely unrelated bill represents an attempt to slip the language in unnoticed and get it through without a fight. The language in the amendment, which has already passed through the U.S. House of Representatives as H.R. 872, and was voted out of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry as the stand alone bill S. 718 in June, but had since stalled in the Senate, would […]

Share

House Guts Environmental Programs, Restricts Clean Water Protections

Friday, July 29th, 2011

(Beyond Pesticides, July 29, 2011) With the nation’s attention diverted by the drama over the debt ceiling, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are loading up an appropriations bill with over 70 amendments (riders) to significantly curtail environmental regulation in the 2012 Department of the Interior and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) spending bill (H.R. 2584), in one of the most extreme attacks on the environment and public health in modern history. The debate began on Tuesday for this House spending bill, which determines the funding for the Department of Interior, EPA, Forest Service, and other environment-related federal agencies. Among restrictions is one that would restrict EPA’s ability to act in several key areas, including pesticide suspensions and cancellations related to endangered species protections, pesticide product brand names, and Clean Water Act (CWA) permits for pesticide use on or near water. It includes language that would amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide & Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the CWA to exempt FIFRA-compliant pesticides from requiring a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit under the CWA. The appropriations includes bill language that is essentially the same as that contained in stand-alone legislation (H.R. 872) approved by the House and […]

Share

Agency Seeks Comments on Biological Opinion of its Proposed General Permit

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

(Beyond Pesticides, July 14, 2011) In its draft Biological Opinion, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) finds that the issuance of the proposed Pesticides General Permit by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of endangered and threatened species and cause the destruction or modification of critical habitat of the species without the implementation of a reasonable and prudent alternative (RPA). The agency is seeking public comment on the implementation of the proposed RPA and possible alternatives that would avoid the likelihood of jeopardizing the threatened or endangered species. Comments will be accepted until July 25, 2011. Essentially, the proposed Pesticides General Permit grants blanket approval to all pesticide applicators operating near waterways by issuing a single permit which would apply to all such potential applications, and largely removes the opportunity for environmental oversight of specific applications. The findings in this Biological Opinion are particularly relevant in light of current efforts by Congress to strip protections from the Clean Water Act (CWA) by prohibiting discharge permits for pesticides in waterways. Under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), federal agencies have an obligation to insure, in consultation with NMFS and the U.S. Fish […]

Share

Bill That Strips Water Protections from Pesticides Advances in Senate, Act Now

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

(Beyond Pesticides, June 23, 2011) The Senate Agriculture Committee has passed legislation that would allow pesticides to be sprayed into water without a Clean Water Act (CWA) on Tuesday, June 21, and urgent action is needed to stop the bill from passing in the full Senate. The bill, Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011 (H.R. 872) amends the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the CWA, reversing a 2009 court order requiring the permits as a part of the National Pollutant Discharge System (NPDES). The U.S. House of Representatives already passed H.R. 827 by a vote of 292-130 back in April. Beyond Pesticides encourages individuals and organizations email and call their Senators that regulating pesticides under the CWA is necessary to protect our waterways, public health, fish, and wildlife, and therefore, they must oppose H.R. 872. Out of eight committee members who voted, the only ones to oppose the bill were Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who was not present at the markup, but issued a recorded vote. Without press or notice, the bill was marked up private business meetings, and is being heralded by the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), which states that “The […]

Share

Senate Considers Eliminating CWA Protections from Pesticides, Act Now

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

(Beyond Pesticides, May 25, 2011) Legislation, already passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, that would allow pesticides to be sprayed into water without a Clean Water Act (CWA) permit, is now being weighed by the U.S. Senate (S. 718). The Western Farm Press recently reported that Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, is holding up the bill while she discusses it with EPA and USDA. But, the bill is expected to move quickly and the time to act is now. Beyond Pesticides encourages individuals and organizations tell their Senators that regulating pesticides under the CWA is necessary to protect our waterways, public health, fish, and wildlife, and therefore, they must oppose S. 718. Michigan residents: Please call Senator Stabenow, thank her for delaying the legislation and ask her to oppose S. 718. Please call both your district office and Washington, DC. Upper Peninsula Office: (906) 228-8756 Northern Michigan Office: (231) 929-1031 Flint/Saginaw Bay Office: (810) 720-4172 Southeast Michigan Office: (313) 961-4330 Mid-Michigan Office: (517) 203-1760 Western Michigan Office: (616) 975-0052 Washington, DC Office: (202) 224-4822 All other U.S. residents: Please call your U.S. Senators and tell them to oppose S. 718. If you know your […]

Share

Take Action: Oppose Senate Bill to Strip Clean Water Act Protections from Pesticides

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

(Beyond Pesticides, April 12, 2011) Ask your Senators to stand with you in opposing S. 718, the pesticide industry’s latest move in their assault on the Clean Water Act (CWA). Like HR 872 that recently passed the U.S. House of Representatives, the Senate bill would amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the CWA to eliminate provisions requiring pesticide applicators to obtain a permit to allow pesticides or their residues to enter waterways. Take action now. S. 718 – the so-called “Bill to amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act to improve the use of certain registered pesticides,” would ensure that CWA permits are not required for the application of pesticides and amends the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) by stating that no permit shall be required for the use of a pesticide that is registered under FIFRA. This bill would mean that pesticide applicators will be able to discharge pesticides into US waterways without any government oversight. Should this bill pass in the Senate it would mean final legislation can be signed by the President effectively making it law that EPA cannot uphold the CWA when it comes to protecting U.S. waters from […]

Share

Take Action: Efforts to Dismantle Clean Water Act Protections Continue in the Senate

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

(Beyond Pesticides, April 6, 2011) In yet another move to dismantle Clean Water Act (CWA) regulations regarding pesticides, U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry introduced legislation (S. 718) aimed to “eliminate a burdensome, costly and redundant permit requirement for applications of pesticides.” Last week a similar bill, H.R. 872, passed in the House which prevents the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from applying the protective CWA permit regulations to monitor pesticides applied to and near U.S. waters. However, EPA has moved forward and published its draft version of the final permit. Like HR 872, S. 718, “Bill to amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act to improve the use of certain registered pesticides,” would ensure that Clean Water Act permits are not required for the application of pesticides and amends the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) by stating that no permit shall be required for the use of a pesticide that is registered under FIFRA. This bill would mean that pesticide applicators will be able to discharge pesticides into US waterways without any government oversight. Should this bill pass in the Senate it would mean final legislation […]

Share

Send a Letter to Your Representative After U.S. House Votes To Weaken Protection of Water Sources from Pesticides

Monday, April 4th, 2011

(Beyond Pesticides, April 04, 2011) After Friday’s vote (April 1, 2011) to weaken protections from pesticides in the Clean Water Act, send a message to your U.S. Representative today. See action steps, as easy as two clicks, at the end of this post. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act (H.R. 872) by a vote of 292-130. The bill, introduced by Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH), amended the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA) to eliminate provisions requiring pesticide applicators to obtain a permit to allow pesticides or their residues to enter waterways. The bill effectively reversed a 2009 Sixth Circuit court decision which ruled that, under FIFRA and CWA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must require such permits. Sponsors of the bill said that the clean water requirements are “duplicative regulations” which would “unnecessarily burden” farmers and small businesses. However, the potentially high cost of public health problems, environmental clean-up efforts, and irreversible ecological damage that could result in the removal of this permitting process has not been considered. The reality is that this permitting process forces the pesticide users to seek alternative approaches to pest management if […]

Share

Take Action! Congress To Weaken Clean Water Act

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

(Beyond Pesticides, March 17, 2011) Urgent action is needed to stop the bill, Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011 (H.R. 872), from weakening protections under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved the bi-partisan bill yesterday, which amends the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the CWA to eliminate provisions requiring pesticide applicators to obtain a permit to allow pesticides or their residues to enter waterways. This bill has also been approved unanimously by the House Committee on Agriculture and will reverse a 2009 court order requiring the permits as a part of the National Pollutant Discharge System (NPDES) if it lands on the President’s desk by April 9, 2011. Take Action Now. The 2009 Sixth Circuit court decision, in response to the National Cotton Council v. EPA, overturned the Bush Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule exempting commercial pesticide applications from the oversight provided under CWA. The decision requires NPDES permits for pesticide applications directly to or near waterways in order to reduce and eventually eliminate pollutants in the natural environment. Sponsors of the bill say that the clean water requirements are “duplicative regulations” which would “unnecessarily burden” farmers […]

Share

Congress Advances Bill to Limit Clean Water Protections from Pesticides

Friday, March 11th, 2011

(Beyond Pesticides, March 11, 2011) The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture unanimously approved a bill, Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011 (H.R. 872), on Wednesday, March 9 which would amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA) to eliminate provisions requiring pesticide applicators to obtain a permit to allow pesticides or their residues to enter waterways. The bill would effectively reverse a 2009 Sixth Circuit court decision which ruled that, under FIFRA and the CWA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must require such permits. A similar bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate last year. The 2009 court ruling came in the case National Cotton Council v. EPA. Prior to this case, EPA had deemed it unnecessary to require permits for pesticide applications near waterways. These previous regulations meant that, in instances where pesticides were applied directly to water to control pests such as mosquito larvae or aquatic weeds, or when pesticides were applied to control pests over or near water, applications were held to the much less stringent FIFRA standards. FIFRA, unlike the CWA, does not fully regulate or monitor water quality and the protection of aquatic ecosystems in […]

Share

Chemical Ag Lobby Attacks EPA Over New Regulatory Decisions

Monday, October 4th, 2010

(Beyond Pesticides, October 4, 2010) The Nebraska Farm Bureau and its champion, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb), have recently expressed concern over a series of actions and proposals by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concerning agriculture. Arguing that EPA is “overreaching” and is “out of control” by introducing new regulations that create “more paperwork” for its farmers, Sen. Nelson and advocates for chemical-intensive agriculture dismiss the EPA’s mandate to protect public and environmental health. Sen. Nelson recently brought up his concerns at a Senate hearing with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. Nebraska Farm Bureau is asking the state’s congressional delegation to work with their colleagues to halt EPA’s “non-stop regulatory assault on the state’s farmers and ranchers and their counterparts nationwide.” In addressing Administrator Jackson, Sen. Nelson said he agreed with a number of Nebraska producers who have told him that agriculture’s perspective is not being considered in EPA’s decision making, saying that, “EPA is overreaching with proposed regulations for carbon emissions, atrazine, dust standards, applying clean water rules on pesticide use and greenhouse gas reporting for livestock operations.” “Many in the agricultural community are rightly concerned about EPA’s actions because the agency’s rules typically are implemented in a top-down fashion […]

Share

Groups Tell Senators to Stop Undermining Clean Water Act

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

(Beyond Pesticides, September 2, 2010) Beyond Pesticides, along with dozens of environmental and public health groups from across the country, sent a letter to members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, urging the withdrawal of S. 3735, a bill that would strip the Clean Water Act of protections from pesticides. The bill, introduced by Senators Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), the Senate Agricultural Committee’s Chair and Ranking Member, seeks to nullify regulations that require pesticide applicators apply for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits under CWA before applying pesticides on or near surface waters. The groups say Congress should be supporting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in fulfilling its task, rather than undermining laws that protect public health and the environment. Senators Lincoln and Chambliss argue that because pesticides are registered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) additional regulation is unnecessary and the legislation will reduce the burden on farmers, foresters and ranchers. In their August 30th letter, the groups say, “CWA complements and does not duplicate the pesticide registration reviews conducted by EPA under FIFRA, which sets a general national standard that does not take into account conditions and […]

Share

Bill Would Strip Clean Water Act Protections from Pesticides

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

(Beyond Pesticides, August 10, 2010) Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and Ranking Member Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) introduced legislation on August 6, 2010 that would strip the public of the protection provided by the Clean Water Act (CWA) from the toxic hazards of pesticides applied to or near U.S. waterways. If successful, the bill, S. 3735, would nullify regulations that require pesticide applicators apply for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits under CWA before applying pesticides on or near surface waters. Beyond Pesticides encourages its members to contact their Senators and let them know how they feel about S. 3735. Senators Lincoln and Chambliss say that because pesticides are registered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) additional regulation is unnecessary and the legislation will reduce the burden on farmers, foresters and ranchers. Environmentalists argue that CWA is more protective, and pesticides should be regulated under both statues to improve protections for human health and the environment. CWA uses a health-based standard known as maximum contamination levels to protect waterways and requires permits when chemicals are directly deposited into rivers, lakes and streams, while FIFRA uses a highly subjective […]

Share

Tell EPA to Strengthen Proposed Pesticide Water Permits

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

(Beyond Pesticides, July 13, 2010) Beyond Pesticides is urging the public to send comments by July 19, 2010 to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on its recently issued draft “general permit” under the Clean Water Act (CWA) that will govern aquatic pesticides and certain pesticide spraying over or near surface waters, including mosquito spraying and spraying over forest canopies and near irrigation ditches. Environmental groups believe the pesticide industry is lobbying to make this permit as weak as possible. Beyond Pesticides encourages individuals to send comments to EPA supporting strong, meaningful regulation of pesticide applications in order to fully protect public health and the environment. See talking points and instructions for sending comments below. Background EPA announced the public availability of a draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit, posted here, for certain pesticide use patterns, also known as the Pesticides General Permit (PGP) on June 2, 2010. The action stems from a 2009 court decision in the case of the National Cotton Council et al. v. EPA, in which the 6th circuit court of appeals ruled that pesticide discharges into water are pollutants and require permitting under the CWA. This ruling overturned the Bush administration policy that […]

Share

EPA Proposes New Pesticide Discharge Permits

Friday, June 4th, 2010

(Beyond Pesticides, June 4, 2010) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed new permit requirements for the discharge of pesticides into US waterways. EPA announced the public availability of a draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for certain pesticide use patterns, also known as the Pesticides General Permit (PGP). The agency is accepting public comments until July 19, 2010. This action stems from a 2009 court decision in the case of the National Cotton Council et al. v. EPA, in which the 6th circuit court of appeals ruled that pesticide discharges into water are pollutants and require permitting under the Clean Water Act (CWA). This ruling overturned the Bush administration policy that exempted pesticides from regulation under the CWA, and instead applied the less stringent standards of the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). CWA uses a kind of health-based standard known as maximum contamination levels to protect waterways and requires permits when chemicals are directly deposited into rivers, lakes and streams, while FIFRA uses a highly subjective risk assessment that does not consider safer alternatives. EPA will issue permits in territories, Indian Country Lands, 6 states and the District of Columbia where the Agency is […]

Share

U.S. Supreme Court Lets Stand Pesticide Use Permitting to Protect Waterways

Friday, February 26th, 2010

(Beyond Pesticides, February 26, 2010) The U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to review a U.S.Circuit Court decision in National Cotton Council (NCC) v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), upholding EPA’s authority to subject pesticide use to a permitting process under the Clean Water Act (CWA). In January of 2009, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling that commercial application of certain pesticides must be regulated under the Clean Water Act. EPA is now working to create a permitting system that complies with the ruling under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). This is one of three high profile cases the Supreme Court refused to hear involving industry challenges to government regulations. In the case of the Texas Water Development Board v. the Department of Interior, local government intended to build a reservoir in an area designated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) as a wildlife refuge. The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals found that the FWS did not violate the National Environmental Policy Act when it created the refuge, and so a reservoir cannot be constructed in that area. In the case of Rose Acre Farms Inc. v. the United States, an egg producer sued […]

Share

EPA Upholds Clean Water Act to Protect Waterways From Pesticides

Monday, April 13th, 2009

(Beyond Pesticides, April 13, 2009) Rebuffing the Department of Agriculture, the Justice Department announced that it will not seek rehearing of a recent significant environmental decision that enables improved protection from pesticides under the Clean Water Act. In a letter dated March 6, 2009, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack had asked EPA Administrator Jackson to request reversal of the 6th Circuit’s decision (The National Cotton Council et al. v. EPA) in January that invalidated a Bush EPA rule exempting pesticide spraying around waterways from the Clean Water Act regulations. “This decision means that EPA recognizes its responsibility to move forward with implementing the Clean Water Act, instead of trying to circumvent this bedrock public protection statute as was attempted by the Bush EPA,” stated Charlie Tebbutt of the Western Environmental Law Center, who argued the case for the environmental plaintiffs. “We now look forward to working with EPA and the states to bring about meaningful changes in site specific uses of pesticides to protect our nation’s waters,” continued Mr. Tebbutt. In this same announcement, EPA stated that it will seek to continue the Bush rule for two years, despite the court ruling it illegal. “This part of the EPA’s decision is troubling,” […]

Share

Court Reverses Bush EPA Exemption of Pesticides Under Clean Water Act

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

(Beyond Pesticides, January 13, 2009) In another stinging defeat for the Bush Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), on January 7, 2009, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a clear rebuke of the administration’s 2006 rule which exempted certain commercial pesticide applications from the oversight provided by Congress under the Clean Water Act. [The National Cotton Council et al. v. EPA (Nos. 06-4630; 07-3180/3181/3182/3183/3184/3185/3186/3187/3191/3236). See also Headwaters, Inc. v. Talent Irrigation Dist., 243 F.3d 526, 532-33 (9th Cir. 2001).] The Court held that pesticide residuals and biological pesticides constitute pollutants under federal law and therefore must be regulated under the Clean Water Act (CWA) in order to minimize the impact to human health and the environment. According to Beyond Pesticides, the EPA rule had allowed the weaker and more generalized standards under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) to trump the more stringent CWA standards. CWA uses a kind of health-based standard known as maximum contamination levels to protect waterways and requires permits when chemicals are directly deposited into rivers, lakes and streams, while FIFRA uses a highly subjective risk assessment with no attention to the safest alternative. Read Beyond Pesticides’ press release on EPA’s 2006 decision. Several manufacturers […]

Share