Jul 1, 2009Irrigators Have Two Years to Prepare for Pollution Permits
U.S. growers who apply pesticides via spray nozzle will need National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits starting April 9, 2011.
On June 8, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals granted EPA a two-year stay before the permit rule has to be enforced. The stay will give EPA and state agencies time to develop a final NPDES general permit for pesticide applications and to provide outreach and education to those affected, according to EPA.
On Jan. 7, the Sixth Circuit Court overturned the EPA regulation that exempted pesticides applied in accordance with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act” from needing NPDES permits. According to the federal Clean Water Act, NPDES permits must be obtained by entities that emit pollutants into national waters.
Starting in two years, NPDES permits will be required for pesticides applied directly to water to control pests and/or applied to control pests that are present in, over or near waters. Irrigation return flows and agricultural runoff will not require NPDES permits, as they are specifically exempted from the Clean Water Act, according to EPA.