House Approves Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2017, Upending an EPA Pesticide Rule

Associated Press writer Michael Biesecker reported yesterday that, “The House on Wednesday passed a Republican-backed measure reversing an Environmental Protection Agency requirement that those spraying pesticides on or near rivers and lakes file for a permit.

“The chamber voted largely along party lines to approve the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2017. In the preceding floor debate, the bill’s supporters said the rule requiring a permit under the Clean Water Act before spraying pesticides is burdensome and duplicative. EPA already regulates pesticide safety under a different law that gives the agency authority to place restrictions on when and where spraying can occur.

“The current EPA rule was put in place after a lawsuit was filed by environmentalists and commercial fishermen. They claimed the agency was failing to adequately prevent pesticide contamination in protected waters. A federal appeals court agreed in 2009, forcing EPA to start requiring the permits.”

The AP article explained that, “The bill now heads to the GOP-dominated Senate, where a similar version previously failed to pass under threat of a veto by then-President Barack Obama. Supporters now hope to send the measure to the desk of Trump, a Republican who has made rolling back government regulations a focus of his administration.”

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