Thanks in part to action by many members of the Forest Landowners Association, the “Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011” (H.R. 872) found smooth passage on the U.S. House floor with a bipartisan vote, 292-130. Earlier, the legislation easily made it through the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on a 46-8 vote.
The measure, which also unanimously passed the House Agriculture Committee, deals with regulatory definitions of "water”, which can be quite contrary to what many of us would consider wet stuff. Landowners already must comply with federal pesticide label requirements, but H.R. 872 puts an end to a redundant regulatory process for pesticide use. The bill is a practical, bipartisan example of eliminating government regulations that needlessly increase land-holding costs.
“There is no reason for EPA to get involved,” Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), the ranking member of the Agriculture Committee, said in an interview. “We have a very strict regimen to register these chemicals. Water quality is one of the primary things that we take under consideration. There is no reason or no justification for the EPA to require an extra permit.”
In response to public pressure and congressional action, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently extended the effective date of its order that requires pesticide users to obtain an extra permit for pesticide applications from April 9 to October 31, 2011. This action gives the Senate ample time to consider the House measure.
We look forward to the Senate's approval of this common-sense approach to government regulations.
To learn more about this and other issues affecting private forest landowners, please contact Frank Stewart or call (703) 549-0347.