EPA, Interior, Commerce to cooperate on FIFRA, ESA | TheFencePost.com

EPA, Interior, Commerce to cooperate on FIFRA, ESA

Obama-era WOTUS rule officially eliminated

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt told the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture that he will sign a new version of the Waters of the United States or Clean Water Rule today, Bloomberg reported.

Signing the new rule will mean there is no possibility that the Obama-era rule will go into effect.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a memorandum of agreement establishing an Interagency Working Group to coordinate and support EPA, the Interior Department and the Commerce Department on Jan. 31 in meeting their obligations for pesticide consultation at the nexus of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act and the Endangered Species Act.

NASDA CEO Barbara Glenn and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway, R-Texas, praised the agreement.

“As co-regulatory partners in environmental protection, we appreciate the administration’s efforts to address some of the challenges on the intersection between ESA and FIFRA. We are encouraged by the steps this administration has taken to promote cooperation between agencies to provide farmers with the tools they need,” Glenn said. “Doing this ensures we are doing our due diligence to identify best practices, and find better ways of working together.”

In 43 states and Puerto Rico, the state Department of Agriculture is a co-regulator with EPA and responsible for administering, implementing and enforcing the production, labeling, distribution, sale, use and disposal of pesticides under FIFRA, Glenn noted.

“America’s farmers face an endless maze of red tape, approvals, permits and expensive regulations — all of which make their jobs more difficult and drive up food costs for consumers,” Conaway said. “I applaud the Trump administration’s work to strike a balance between oversight and common-sense regulatory processes that don’t place unnecessary burdens on our farmers. This is an important first step, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to evaluate legislative options.”

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