Washington , DC
Gary Black, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Agriculture, testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry today on the opportunities for the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA) to provide regulatory certainty for pesticide registration under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).
In his remarks, Black addressed how his department, which is one of forty-three state lead agencies with FIFRA responsibilities, serves as a co-regulator with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Georgia Department of Agriculture supports the delivery of new technologies to farmers by providing state-specific registrations to products after the rigorous EPA risk assessment process.
“It is essential for state departments of agriculture and the producers we serve to have a robust, transparent, and scientifically-sound FIFRA process to deliver new technologies and critical crop protection tools in a timely and predictable manner,” said Black.
Cooperative federalism is a NASDA priority, emphasized Commissioner Black. NASDA is calling for an institutionalizing the unique role and authorities of states as co-regulators – not simply stakeholders.
“Communication, cooperation and coordination shouldn't be a goal, they should be a given. We feel there are opportunities to strengthen this regulatory partnership between EPA and the state departments of agriculture, and we would welcome the opportunity to explore these possibilities with the Committee going forward.”
During the hearing, Black encouraged the Senate to reauthorize PRIA, which is set to expire on September 30. PRIA has attracted wide, bipartisan support due to its unique success of good government. H.R. 1029, a reauthorizing bill introduced by Representative Davis of Illinois, was recently passed by unanimous voice vote in the House of Representatives.
“PRIA provides a stable and predictable funding source for the EPA…and to the states to conduct pesticide education, training, and worker protection activities. NASDA asks that the Senate swiftly pass this important legislation and send this to the President for his signature.”
Commissioner Black administers a wide variety of important agricultural programs at the Georgia Department of Agriculture including, animal disease and pest detection and prevention, environmental protection and conservation as well as promoting agricultural products locally, nationally and throughout the world through the famed Georgia Grown program.
NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries, and directors of the departments of agriculture in all fifty states and four U.S. territories. To learn more about NASDA, please visit www.nasda.org.