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In May 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers released the final Clean Water rule (final rule). The final rule broadly defines waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) and expands those waters that fall within the federal government’s regulatory jurisdiction pursuant to the Clean Water Act (CWA).
The requirement for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits is a result of a 2009 U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Nat’l Cotton Council v. EPA. The court determined that under the Clean Water Act (CWA) discharges of pollutants (chemical pesticides) into Waters of the United States (WOTUS) require an NPDES permit. The ruling came despite EPA’s opposition and argument that pesticides applied in accordance with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) are exempt from CWA’s permitting requirements.
The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) was signed into law on December 28, 1973, and provides for the conservation of species that are endangered or threatened and the conservation of the ecosystems on which they depend. ESA’s intent to protect and preserve species and their habitats is vital and necessary to conserve American ecosystems and our tremendous natural resources.
Over the past 5 years there has been specific attention as to Pollinator Health and steps that industry can take to promote good practices when performing pest management services near places that pollinators live and forage. These efforts have included multiple webinars, the publication of the structural pest management industry’s best management practices (BMPS) for pollinators, a professional and consumer website focused on pollinator health and a full set of resources that depict new labels, information on product use and free online education courses designed for technicians. As pollinator health continues to be an important focus over the next decade, NPMA will continually post information on regulatory, training, and use decisions as they are developed.