Crop protection industry officials say the 6th Circuit ruling could lead to performance, recordkeeping and reporting requirements for an estimated 1.5 million pesticide applications per year. EPA is under a court-ordered deadline of April 2011 to complete the implementation of a permitting system.

“This one decision overnight will nearly double the population of entities requiring permits under CWA and affects state agencies, local municipalities, recreation, utility rights-of-way, railroads, roads and highways, mosquito control districts, water districts, canals and other water conveyances, commercial applicators, farm, ranches, forestry, scientists, and many, many others,” said Jay Vroom, president of CropLife America. (For background information please see http://southeastfarmpress.com/government/epas-npdes-permit-plans-too-optimistic.)

“This is an enormous burden — and we see no related benefit to protection of humans or the environment.”

Vroom told a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing that many of the businesses impacted by the permit are small businesses. “The permit will threaten their economic survival, either due to the cost of obtaining a permit or due to their vulnerability to citizen law suits under CWA,” he said.

“New requirements for monitoring and surveillance, planning, recordkeeping, reporting and other tasks will create significant delays, costs, reporting burdens and legal risks from citizen suits for hundreds of thousands of newly-minted permit holders without enhancing the environmental protections already provided by FIFRA compliance.”