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Bipartisan bill to help protect nationâ??s food, water, and natural resources

Washington, DC â??Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Larry Craig co-sponsored legislation introduced today to protect the proper use of pesticides by codifying in law that additional permitting is not needed for pesticides use in compliance with their Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved label. Recent court decisions have contradicted long-standing federal policy that the application of agricultural and other pesticides in compliance with labeling requirements do not require National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. This has created ambiguity for pesticide users. The Pest Management and Fire Suppression Act, S. 1269, would provide further clarity by ensuring that National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits would not be required if a pesticide is used to, near or over a waterway in accordance with its labeling and other federal regulations. â??Farmers, fire fighters, irrigators and mosquito abatement districts must have access to the tools necessary to manage pests and maintain public health,â?? said Crapo. â??The EPA conducts substantial testing of pesticides, and the health of Idaho families should not be compromised by additional unnecessary hurdles.â?? â??Adding yet another layer of regulation and bureaucracy onto pesticide application is not what Idaho farmers and irrigators need,â?? Craig said. â??We have an established, functioning process that tests these agents and regulates their use. Requiring NPDES permits for application is redundant, unnecessary, and ill-suited to agriculture. It is an attempt to redefine current law through lawsuits, rather than the legislative process, and we must say â??enough is enough.â??â?? The legislation was sponsored by Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman James Inhofe.