The U.S. House of Representatives voted, 292-130, for a measure (H.R. 872) designed to block a federal, court-ordered regulation of pesticides. The bill would bar the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from requiring a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit under the Clean Water Act (CWA) for the application of a pesticide to or over navigable waters when applied according to the pesticide label.
The permit requirement is the result of a lawsuit decided by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals two years ago with a deadline for implementation of April 2011. On Monday, the same appellate court pushed its deadline to October for the permitting rules to take effect.
USA Rice Federation opposed the NPDES permit requirement for the application of pesticides to rice fields on the basis that rice field waters are statutorily exempt under the CWA as irrigation return flow. USA Rice worked to secure the support of rice-district representatives for H.R. 872 and all lawmakers representing major rice-growing districts voted in support of the bill.