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Bipartisan Senators Fighting To Maintain Public Health and the Environment

Tuesday, July 3, 2018   (0 Comments)
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Contact:          Angela Beehler

                        (509) 572-7864

                        angela@mosquitocontrol.org

 

Bipartisan Senators Fighting To Maintain Public Health and the Environment

Attempting to Remove Unnecessary Regulatory Burdens From Public Health Agencies

 

MT. LAUREL, N.J. – July 6, 2018 – On June 28, the U.S. Senate adopted its version of the Farm Bill, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, by a strongly bipartisan vote of 86-11. The American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) and related impacted stakeholders worked tirelessly with legislators during the Farm Bill process to eliminate duplicative regulatory burdens involving the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) that have been adversely impacting public health mosquito control programs and agriculture. “It takes considerable political courage to stand up to ill-informed demagogues, who somehow equate NPDES’ additional administrative burdens with its unforeseeable environmental benefits”, says Joe Conlon, AMCA Technical Advisor.  The fact is current regulation of public health pesticides under the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) specifically ensures that the rigorous registration evaluation process only approves products that can be utilized in a judicious manner, fully protective of our waterways, wildlife, and the environment.

 

AMCA applauds Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE), who was joined by Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), in raising the important NPDES issue during the Senate Committee mark-up, noting “As a result of costly compliance regulations and the increase in Clean Water Act liability many rural communities and small municipalities are being forced to reduce or cancel their mosquito control programs. This places families at risk for devastating mosquito borne diseases like west nile virus….”  Chairman Pat Roberts’ (R-KS) commitment to continue to work this critical issue into the Farm Bill process is also to be recognized, as he noted, “It should be an issue that is very important to all of us, it's very important to me... We will continue this discussion as the bill proceeds.”

The efforts of Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), sponsor of S.340, the Sensible Environmental Protection Act, and who filed such an amendment to the Senate Farm Bill are also to be commended. This amendment continued to highlight the need for adoption of bipartisan NPDES exemption measures for pesticides legally registered by EPA to be applied in a manner consistent with the label. The NPDES permit requirement duplicates the regulations of FIFRA and has shown no tangible benefit to the environment, while posing considerable legal, administrative, and regulatory burdens to public health mosquito control programs.

The House Farm Bill, approved on June 21, includes NPDES provisions of importance to public health and agricultural stakehoders nationwide. As the 2018 Farm Bill moves through the legislative  process, AMCA and its membership look forward to continuing to work with both branches of Congress to build upon support necessary to enact a Farm Bill that contains crucial bipartisan NPDES exemption language that will provide relief to those charged with stewarding natural resources while protecting public health.  

It’s important to remember that mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance. Their bites can spread diseases such as Zika and West Nile Virus – and more as yet to reach our shores in the future. “We already have the mosquitoes. We are continually importing the diseases they carry,” says Joe Conlon. “We must be prepared to prevent their spread throughout our public health landscape – and this requires safe, effective, sustained mosquito control and awareness in the community. The provisions of the Sensible Environmental Protection Act, S. 340 will free up considerable resources for public health and agriculture that will save lives, while protecting the health of our environment.”

 

About the American Mosquito Control Association

The American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) is an international not-for-profit public service association. With 1,600 members worldwide, AMCA services are provided mainly to public agencies and their principal staff members engaged in mosquito control, mosquito research and related activities. The membership extends to 53 countries, and includes individuals and public agencies engaged in mosquito control, mosquito research and related activities. For more information on National Mosquito Control Awareness Week, please visit AMCA online at www.mosquito.org and follow AMCA on Twitter @AMCAupdates.