McCaskill Urges Colleagues to Eliminate Unnecessary EPA Rules on Farmers and Ranchers

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill is keeping up her fight to ensure Missouri's farmers and ranchers are not burdened by unnecessary and costly rules from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), urging her colleagues on the Senate Agriculture Committee to eliminate a redundant EPA regulation that would force thousands of Missouri farmers and ranchers to apply for permits in order to use already-approved pesticides on their own land.

Both the U.S. House and Senate have passed bills addressing agricultural policy, and a "conference committee" has been appointed to merge those two versions. McCaskill's bipartisan letter is addressed to Agriculture Committee heads Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), and urges them to include a provision eliminating this burdensome provision.
"If you can cut through red tape in a way that makes life easier for farmers and ranchers--all while ensuring folks are not being adversely affected--that should be a no-brainer," McCaskill said. "This duplicative regulation hasn't made sense since it was instituted, and I'm going to continuing pushing until it's eliminated."
Currently, all pesticides must undergo more than 100 different tests, as well as registration by the EPA before being certified as having no "adverse effects on the environment." In 2009, a federal court issued a decision requiring individuals who were working in or near water to acquire yet another permit in order to continue operations.
"We urge you to include a provision in the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act that specifies that these duplicative permits are not required," McCaskill's bipartisan letter reads.
McCaskill has previously supported a similar measure as an amendment to the Farm Bill that passed the Senate last year, but the amendment was not included in the final bill. Without this bill, the EPA has estimated that an additional 365,000 pesticide users, including farmers, ranchers, cities, counties, and forest managers, will be required to obtain permits.
McCaskill's advocacy on the Farm Bill was honored last year at the Golden Triangle Award Ceremony for the National Farmers Union, where she accepted the group's highest legislative honor awarded to sitting members of Congress in recognition of her leadership working on behalf of Missouri's rural communities.
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