The House Agriculture Committee unanimously approved legislation (HR 872) to block a pesticide regulation the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required to issue in April under a court-ordered deadline.  The bill would exempt commercial pesticides registered and licensed under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) from duplicative permitting requirements under the Clean Water Act.  The court decision requires a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit under the Clean Water Act for pesticides legally applied to water and would open up any permittee to costs, paperwork burdens, and activist lawsuits.

With the final permit being constantly delayed and consultation with wildlife agencies over the permit still ongoing, last week EPA asked the court for a delay in the April deadline.

Next week, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which has joint jurisdiction, is expected to consider the bill.