Dear Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow:
The undersigned organizations are writing to support HR 1029, the Pesticide Registration Enhancement Act. The support for this legislation comes from a unique coalition of organizations—environmental NGOs, farmworker advocates, and pesticide companies.
This coalition first came together to support initial passage of the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act of 2003 (PRIA). The Pesticide Registration Enhancement Act is now the third reauthorization of PRIA. These same organizations continue to work with EPA to support administration of the program, to work together to develop subsequent reauthorization proposals, and to advocate for appropriated funds to further support the activities specified in the law.
Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), a pesticide cannot be legally used if it has not been approved for registration through EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs. In addition, EPA is required to review a pesticide at least every 15 years to ensure that it continues to meet the FIFRA legal standard. The key goals of PRIA have been to provide an industry-funded source of adequate funding to support these key functions of EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs in registering new pesticides and new pesticide products, and, reviewing existing pesticide products.
Prior to PRIA, the review process for new pesticides could take several years or longer. PRIA established a new section of FIFRA, which put in place a fee schedule for pesticide registration requests. PRIA also lists specific time periods for EPA to make a regulatory decision on pesticide actions.
Also, prior to PRIA, EPA had a goal, but not a mandate, to review existing pesticides on the market. Under PRIA, EPA is required to review a pesticide at least every 15 years to determine whether the pesticide should continue to be distributed in the U.S., or whether additional measures are needed for a pesticide meet the legal standard for use under FIFRA.
H.R. 1029 builds upon the win-win tradition of PRIA. The maintenance fees in H.R. 1029 provide funds to EPA to accomplish the registration review required by the law in a timely fashion. It also tracks that the risk mitigation measures are implemented by the agency. It increases and clarifies categories of EPA actions covered under the law and protects funds for research and grant programs for worker safety and training. It provides assurance that registration actions will be reviewed in a timely manner. The legislation also provides funds to address new issues, helping to ensure that companies continue to have access to export markets for their products.
This legislation will continue the positive progress that the original PRIA brought to the pesticide registration and evaluation process. We respectively urge Congress to move quickly to reauthorize this highly successful program, providing certainty to the regulated community in the review of pesticide applications, and continued scrutiny over the appropriate use of pesticides to provide assurance to the public.
American Chemistry Council Biocides Panel
Biotechnology Innovation Organization
Biopesticide Industry Alliance
Consumer Specialty Products Association
ISSA – The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
Natural Resources Defense Council
Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment