Growers Frustrated Over NPDES

Indiana Corn Growers Association and Indiana Soybean Alliance farmer members are frustrated in the Senate’s lack of movement on H.R. 872 legislation that would have clarified that federal permits are not required when applying pesticides according to their EPA-approved label.

For the past four decades, water quality issues from pesticide applications have been addressed within the pesticide registration process under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). However, a federal court ruling in 2009 stated that certain pesticide applicators would have to apply for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit (NPDES) if the chemical reaches a body of water, which could include ditches and culverts. These complex new requirements make routine pesticide applications, that have been clarified as safe for application by the EPA, no longer valid.

H.R. 872 would amend both the Clean Water Act and FIFRA in order to restore the previous regulatory framework.

“Protecting our water supply is a top priority of Indiana corn and soybean farmers and we need to have clearly defined rules when it comes to regulations that affect the way we farm,” said ICGA President Gary Lamie. “It is disappointing that the Senate did not approve H.R. 872 prior to the October 31 deadline when the NPDES pesticide permitting program became a reality.”

There was broad bipartisan support for the proposal, but lawmakers were unable to identify a path forward for this important legislation.

“We hope that our Indiana Congressmen take another look at this issue and help clear up what could be an undue regulatory burden on Indiana’s farmers,” said ISA President Lynn Teel. “We work hard to be good stewards of our land, water and natural resources and we need Senate Republicans and Democrats to remember this as they work to resolve this issue in the coming days.”

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