Tthe U.S. EPA is requesting an extension to allow more time for pesticide operators to obtain permits for pesticide discharges into U.S. waters. EPA is requesting that the deadline be extended from April 9, 2011 to October 31, 2011. During the period while the court is considering the extension request, permits for pesticide applications will not be required under the Clean Water Act.
EPA is developing a pesticide general permit in response to the 6th Circuit Court’s 2009 decision, which found that discharges from pesticides into U.S. waters were pollutants, and, therefore, will require a permit under the Clean Water Act as of April 9, 2011. The final permit will reduce discharges of pesticides to aquatic ecosystems, thus helping to protect the nation’s waters and public health.
The extension request is important to allow sufficient time for EPA to engage in Endangered Species Act consultation and complete the development of an electronic database to streamline requests for coverage under the Agency’s general permit. It also allows time for authorized states to finish developing their state permits and for permitting authorities to provide additional outreach to stakeholders on pesticide permit requirements.
EPA’s general permit will be available to cover pesticide discharges to waters of the U.S. in MA, NH, NM, ID, OK, AK, DC, most U.S. territories and Indian country lands, and many federal facilities.