U.S. Senator Kay Hagan is leading a bipartisan group of 12 senators in urging the Senate Agriculture Committee to include a provision in the 2013 Farm Bill that eliminates a duplicative Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation on pesticides. A copy of the letter to Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow and Ranking Member Cochran is available here.

"This redundant regulation creates unnecessary liability and paperwork burdens on farmers, state and local governments, public health officials and small businesses," Hagan said. "This is not about whether pesticides should be regulated, but rather it is about eliminating an unnecessary and duplicative regulation that wastes taxpayer dollars and provides little to no environmental or public health benefits.

Agriculture is our state's largest industry, and we need to be breaking down barriers that keep farmers from growing jobs, not adding more paperwork. I am hopeful that Agriculture Committee leaders in both the Senate and the House will remove this burdensome requirement in the final 2013 Farm Bill."

Until recently, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) required EPA to conduct a comprehensive review of pesticides before they could enter the market. However, in 2011 the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Clean Water Act permits are also required for aquatic application of pesticides.

"We urge you to include a provision in the final version of the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act that specifies that these duplicative permits are not required for the lawful application of FIFRA approved pesticides," the Senators concluded.

Hagan previously introduced a bipartisan bill to eliminate this redundant regulation. The House included similar language in their version of the Farm Bill, but the Senate farm bill did not include the measure. The Senate and House are now in a conference committee to work out the details on a new Farm Bill to reauthorize the current law.

Agriculture is the largest industry in North Carolina with a $77 billion impact on the state's economy, and Hagan will continue to oppose redundant regulations that impose unnecessary costs on farmers and associated industries during these difficult economic times. The industry employs one-fifth of North Carolina's workers.

162 organizations, representing a diverse group of stakeholders from across the country, signed a letter this week that expresses strong support for eliminating this redundant and burdensome regulation in the 2013 Farm Bill.