WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, announced Wednesday the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works passed S. 1500, the Sensible Environmental Protection Act of 2015.
The bipartisan legislation, cosponsored by Sen. Roberts, eliminates redundant federal permitting requirements for pesticide applications.
“This duplicative pesticide permitting requirement provides no environmental protections or benefits and is only a nuisance to hard-working farmers and other pesticide applicators,” Roberts said. “I continually hear about this issue from farm country, and I hope we can finally put it to bed once and for all.”
Introduced by Sens. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., the legislation amends the Clean Water Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) to clarify Congressional intent regarding the regulation of the use of pesticides in or near navigable waters. The bill requires EPA to consult with the Secretary of Agriculture and report to Congress on streamlining data collection and use regarding water quality due to the registration and use of pesticides. The agencies will also provide recommendations on how FIFRA can better protect water quality and human health.
Chairman Roberts is an outspoken opponent of the EPA’s “burdensome and duplicative pesticide permitting requirements.” He has introduced similar legislation in the previous Congress.