Monday, April 4, 2011
A new mandate for pesticide use would require certain pesticide applicators in Georgia to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for the use of pesticides, even if the pesticide is already registered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).
The original deadline for implementation was April 9. But on March 28, a court-ordered mandate placed an extension on the new requirements, pushing them back to Oct. 31, 2011. For the agriculture community, that means there won’t be any additional red tape surrounding this year’s crops.
“Pesticides play a major role in helping to protect the nation’s food supply,” Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black said. “I welcome this decision and hope that Congress will continue looking at correcting the situation with this particular piece of legislation.”
The Environmental Protection Agency requested the extension for implementing the permit process, giving states such as Georgia, more time to prepare for it. Meanwhile, new legislation could influence the October deadline by reversing the decision for the requirement all together.
Recently approved by the U.S. House, HR 872 would adjust the Sixth Circuit Court’s ruling and remove the requirement for an NPDES permit for the use of FIFRA-registered pesticides.
“Without HR 872, the new permitting program would be extremely burdensome to Georgians, specifically for agriculture,” Commissioner Black said. “The House’s approval was a great first step, but there is much more work to be done. In today’s economy, we should be doing everything in our power to create jobs – not putting unnecessary work onto small businesses.”
Georgia Department of Agriculture co-regulates the use of pesticides in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency for the state. The Department is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the laws regulating the labeling, distribution and use of pesticides.