Source: National Association of Wheat Growers

The Environmental Protection Agency has released its proposed new general permit for pesticide applications, but it has left more questions than answers, according to the National Association of Wheat Growers.

The concept of a general permit emerged following a ruling by the Sixth Circuit Court in 2009 in the case of National Cotton Council of America v. EPA. That case concluded pesticide discharge is a point source of pollution subject to additional regulation and permitting under the Clean Water Act, meaning producers would need additional permitting for every crop protection application.

The logistics of carrying out the order — which could affect up to 5.6 million pesticide applications annually — are harrowing for EPA, state agencies and producers alike, and the general permit concept is intended to make the process easier for all involved.

Original press release