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Senate committee passes pesticides legislation

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee approved the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act (HR.872). The bill looks to stop the federal government from requiring “new and redundant regulations: on pesticides, among them the insecticides used to control mosquitoes.

Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) was among the members who voted for the bill.

HR.872 would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from requiring a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for pesticides that are already approved under Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The proposed EPA permitting process would subject pesticides to additional regulation under the Clean Water Act while providing no additional environmental protection, according to Cochran.

“The flooding this spring has heightened concerns about the public health risks associated with mosquitoes and other insect infestations,” said Cochran, who cosponsored a Senate companion measure (S.718) in April.

HR.872 is now available for consideration by the full Senate. The U.S. House of Representatives (292-130) passed the bill March 31, including the votes of all four members of the Mississippi delegation in the House.

The Delta Council, Mississippi Farm Bureau and mosquito control groups are among more than 200 agriculture and food organizations that support HR.872.

Source: Sen. Thad Cochran

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