Coalition Letter to House Ag Leadership on Inclusion of NPDES Fix in the Farm Bill


Date Sent
January 23, 2018
Multi Industry Coalition
Chairman Conaway and Ranking Member Peterson
Inclusion of the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act (HR 953) in the 2018 Farm Bill
31.27 KB, PDF

Dear Chairman Conaway and Ranking Member Peterson:

On behalf of the undersigned organizations, we urge your support for inclusion of critical regulatory relief legislation, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act (HR 953), in the 2018 Farm Bill. This vital measure, previously included in the House-passed version of the 2014 Farm Bill, is important for the protection of public health and our national food supply.

The bipartisan legislation, introduced by Congressman Gibbs (R-OH) and adopted by a wide margin in the House of Representatives on May 24, 2017, would provide regulatory relief to our nation’s farmers as well as foster the protection of public health and natural resources. As Congressman Gibbs stated upon introduction, “The bill removes the requirement for NPDES permitting for pesticides already approved by EPA for use under FIFRA, reducing bureaucratic burdens on farmers, ranchers.”

For almost forty years, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and pesticide applicators, operated exclusively under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). All pesticides are reviewed and regulated for use with strict instructions on the EPA approved product label. A thorough review and accounting of impacts to water quality and aquatic species is part of every EPA review. In fact, the EPA has previously testified before the House Committee on Agriculture as to the adequacy of FIFRA’s comprehensive regulatory requirements including protection of aquatic species and drinking water. (February 16, 2011).

However, pesticide users are now subjected to a court created requirement that lawful applications over, to or near “waters of the U.S.” require a Clean Water Act (CWA) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit from EPA or delegated states. Requiring these water permits for pesticide applications is redundant and provides no additional environmental benefit. HR 953 clarifies that federal law does not require this redundant permit for already regulated pesticide applications.

Though the additional NPDES permit burden lacks any further environmental benefit under these circumstances, it does impose costs on thousands of small application businesses and farms, as well as the municipal, county, state and federal agencies responsible for protecting natural resources and public health. Further, the permit exposes all pesticide users – regardless of permit eligibility – to the potential liability of CWA-based citizen lawsuits. Thus, requiring NPDES permits impacts the use of critical pesticides in protecting human health and the food supply from destructive and disease-carrying pests, and in managing invasive weeds, and in preventing damage to forests.

As the House Agriculture Committee considers the 2018 Farm Bill, we urge the inclusion of HR 953, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act, to address duplicative regulations and provide certainty to impacted natural resources, public health, and our nation’s farmers and ranchers.


Agriculture Retailers Association
American Farm Bureau Federation
American Mosquito Control Association
American Soybean Association
Arkansas Agricultural Aviation Association
Associated Executives of Mosquito Control NJ
Association of Equipment Manufacturers
Aquatic Plant Management Society
California Specialty Crops Council
Colorado Agricultural Aviation Association
Council for Producers and Distributors of Agrotechnology
CropLife America
Delaware Mosquito Control Section
Georgia Mosquito Control Association
Golf Course Superintendents Association of America
Idaho Mosquito and Vector Control Association
Illinois Agricultural Aviation Association
Illinois Mosquito & Vector Control Association
Indiana Agricultural Aviation Association
Iowa Agricultural Aviation Association
Kansas Agricultural Aviation Association
Louisiana Agricultural Aviation Association
Louisiana Mosquito Control Association
Minnesota Agricultural Aircraft Association
Mississippi Agricultural Aviation Association
Missouri Agricultural Aviation Association
Montana Mosquito and Vector Control Association
Mosquito & Vector Control Association of CA
National Agricultural Aviation Association
National Alliance of Forest Owners
National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA)
National Corn Growers Association
National Cotton Council
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
National Onion Association
National Pest Management Association
Nebraska Aviation Trades Association
New Jersey Mosquito Control Association
New Mexico Agricultural Aviation Association
North Carolina Mosquito and Vector Control Association
North Central Weed Science Society
North Dakota Agricultural Aviation Association
Northeast Agricultural Aviation Association
Northeastern Mosquito Control Association
Northeastern Weed Science Society
Northwest Mosquito and Vector Control Association
Ohio Mosquito & Vector Control Association
Oklahoma Agricultural Aviation Association
Oregon Mosquito and Vector Control Association
Pacific Northwest Aerial Applicators Alliance
Pennsylvania Vector Control Association
RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment)
South Carolina Agricultural Aviation Association
South Dakota Aviation Association
Southern Weed Science Society
Texas Agricultural Aviation Association
Texas Mosquito Control Association
Utah County Mosquito Abatement
Virginia Pest Management Association
Washington State Potato Commission
Weed Science Society of America
Western Society of Weed Science
Wisconsin Agricultural Aviation Association
Wyoming Mosquito Management Association