We must stop the pesticide industry from viewing the Clean Water Act as nothing more than a nuisance.
Did you know that the House Rules Committee recently passed a controversial and dangerous piece of legislation that will now move to the floor of House of Representatives for a vote. H.R. 953, better understood as the “Poison Our Waters Act,” would amend the federal Clean Water Act to exempt pesticide applicators from the requirement that they first obtain coverage under a Clean Water Act discharge permit before spraying poisons over and into our waters.
The “Pesticide General Permit” targeted in H.R. 953 requires common sense application practices for spraying pesticides directly over and into waters. It provides necessary protection to U.S. waterways, nearly 2,000 of which are impaired by pesticide contamination.
H.R. 953 is nothing more than a giveaway to the pesticide industry, with its true intent being to increase chemical sales for corporations like Monsanto at the expense of public health and the environment. This is not the first time the pesticide industry and its cronies in Washington D.C. have attempted to avoid compliance with federal law. In 2006, chemical industry lobbyists convinced the Bush EPA to give it a regulatory exemption from the Clean Water Act permit requirement. Waterkeepers and partners sued to challenge this dangerous industry give-away of vital protections of our health and environment, and we won! In Montana we recently worked to improve our state’s Pesticide Permit – learn more here!
Since 2006, spraying pesticides into waters has required permit coverage, which requires pesticide applicators to use the smallest amounts of these poisons necessary to kill target pests and provides the public access to information about the types and amounts of pesticides being discharged into their local ponds, lakes, and rivers. All across the country, pesticide applicators have been complying with this permit for many years, helping to protect water quality while also allowing the government to appropriately address disease vectors such as mosquitoes.
We must remain vigilant tracking bills like H.R. 953 and other legislation that undermines Clean Water Act safeguards that protect our waterways and communities from excessive pollution.
But we can’t do it without you. Will you stand with us today and provide a generous gift to continue this fight for fishable, swimmable, drinkable water?
We must stop the industry from viewing the Clean Water Act as nothing more than a nuisance. Please donate today and help us fight for clean water and healthy life for all.