EPA accepting comments on NPDES Pesticides Permit program

The Environment Protection Agency is accepting comments on its draft National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Pesticides Permit program, which would require pesticide permits for all pesticide discharges in a U.S. body of water.  NACo reports,

This program will impact any county that uses pesticides, insecticides or herbicides to address mosquito or other flying pest control; aquatic weed and algae control; aquatic nuisance animal control; and forest canopy pest control. The permit does not currently apply to applications to agricultural crops or forest floors.

This proposal responds to a 6th U.S. Circuit Court ruling that stated the EPA must regulate all applications of pesticides to, or near waters of the U.S. The EPA expects to issue the final draft by December 2010 and implement the program no later than April 2011.

The EPA will implement the general permit plan in the six states where the agency has oversight authority over the NPDES program; the other 44 states would be required to include this permit in their state NPDES plans.

Through the comment period, the EPA is attempting to identify sectors of local government that will be affected by the rule. The new permit program is expected to impact a number of local government activities associated with public health, land use, forest and park management, flood control, air and water programs, and endangered species protection.

The EPA is also attempting to gauge levels of monitoring and reporting requirements associated with the permits. 

The EPA specifically requests information on the types of government agencies or departments that have the responsibility, or are mandated, to perform pest control.

Click here to view the proposed general permit.

Comments on the general permit draft can be emailed to  ow-docket@epa.gov on or before July 19, 2010.

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