Nov. 1, 2011: Markey Statement on New EPA Pesticide Rules

WASHINGTON (November 1, 2011) -- Today, Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee and senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, released the following statement in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement that it has issued the pesticide general permit (PGP) for operators who spray pesticides that may discharge into U.S. waterways. The PGP will ensure that pesticide applicators abide by the requirements of the Clean Water Act and includes common-sense measures, recommended by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), to protect endangered aquatic species, including killer whales, Atlantic sturgeon and commercially-important salmon and steelhead stocks.
 
Today’s action shows that the EPA can work with other agencies like the Fisheries Service to meet its obligations under both the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act without imposing onerous burdens on industry,” said Rep. Markey. “For the first time ever, the EPA will begin to track the amount of pesticides that are applied to our nation’s waters each year. This step is long overdue and will lead to improvements in the quality of our drinking water, and reduce threats to human health.”
 
During the development of the PGP, the NMFS completed a consultation on the draft permit, as required by the Endangered Species Act. The consultation concluded that the draft permit was likely to jeopardize 33 endangered species because the permit contained no monitoring or reporting requirements that would allow either the EPA or NMFS to track the amount of pesticides that were applied each year. In August, Rep. Markey sent a letter to the EPA requesting that the EPA adopt the conservation measures recommended by the NMFS to address the shortcomings in the draft permit. The PGP that was issued by EPA included all of these recommended measures.
 
# # #