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RISE: Proposed Clean Water Act rule could affect applications

April 21, 2014 -  By

A new proposed rule published in the Federal Register April 21 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers could significantly affect homeowners’ and professionals’ ability to treat property near any water with fertilizers and pesticides, according to Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE). Washington, D.C.-based RISE is the national association representing the manufacturers, formulators and distributors of pesticide and fertilizer products.

The proposed rule is open for public comment until July 21.

The proposed expansion of the definition “waters of the U.S.” under the Clean Water Act would subject all waters to regulation, including man-made water bodies, rights-of-way, golf course ponds, ditches and flood plains. As written, the rule would impact every pesticide and fertilizer application, RISE said. Is also would require permits for professionals and homeowners, even on private property.

“Homeowners would no longer be able to treat their own property under the Clean Water Act if they live near any waters, unless they obtained a permit,” said Aaron Hobbs, RISE president. Permitting issues could adversely affect public health and safety applications, such as treating for vector-borne diseases and invasive pests, he said.

“Applicators would have to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit to treat residential communities and private properties with any water body nearby,” Hobbs said. “Many communities have man-made lakes and small drainage ditches. Requiring permits for these standing waters makes it much more difficult to control mosquitoes and ticks that carry harmful diseases like West Nile and Lyme disease. We are concerned with the lack of clarity and ambiguity of the EPA and the Corps’ proposed rule.”

LM Staff

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