Chambliss appeals for passage of H.B. 872

Published 9:51 am Thursday, April 14, 2011

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., sent a letter to Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Deborah Stabenow last Wednesday, calling on her to bring up and have the Senate Agriculture Committee approve the House-passed bipartisan pesticide regulation bill, H.R. 872.

H.R. 872, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011, was agreed to in the House on March 31 with a vote of 292-130. It was then referred to the Senate Agriculture Committee on April 4.

In addition to Chambliss, nine other Senators signed the letter, which in part said, “We write to address the continued regulatory overreach by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that is a growing concern of farmers, ranchers, foresters and agribusinesses throughout the nation.”

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“Given the bipartisan support for H.R. 872, we request the Senate Agriculture Committee take immediate action on this critical legislation. Specifically, we ask that the Committee approve H.R. 872 as soon as possible when the Senate returns from the Easter recess. We also request that you schedule an oversight hearing for the wide range of environmental regulatory actions impacting agriculture.”

One of the top issues in need of action, Chambliss said, is the requirement that a significant number of pesticide applications will soon need a permit under the Clean Water Act (CWA). This permit is in addition to compliance requirements already mandated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the letter states.

Last week, committee members introduced S. 718, which would eliminate “this costly, duplicative and ineffective administrative burden. At the same time, the House of Representatives passed legislation clarifying that no additional permitting is needed.”