The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) deadline of October 31, 2011, is fast approaching for implementation of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES); a system that requires a new permitting process on already regulated practices. A vote in the Senate on H.R. 872, a bill that would eliminate excessive regulatory burdens of this type, has been stalled by Senators Boxer (D-CA) and Cardin (D-MD). Each has placed a hold on the bill which has prevented it from moving forward even after passing the Senate Agriculture Committee with strong bipartisan support this summer. This bill will affect every farmer in Colorado and the U.S. who applies herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides.
Doug Melcher, Holly area corn farmer and Chairman of the CCGA’s Public Policy committee appreciates the support received in the House and the need for the bill to make its way through the Senate. “Farmers are very conscientious about taking care of our land and water resources. We don’t need to add another layer of regulation on top of something we are already required to do – practice safe application methods on our farms.”
The Colorado Corn Growers Association (CCGA) supported the bipartisan passage of H.R. 872 by the House earlier this year. The bill clarifies that National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits are not required when applying pesticides according to their EPA approved label. This legislation was in response to the 2009 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that pesticide users would be required to apply for a NPDES permit under the Clean Water Act if the chemical is sprayed over, near or into a body of water.
If you are interested in knowing what you can do to support this effort contact the Colorado Corn office at 970.351.8201.