USEPA Releases NPDES Permit
Yesterday the USEPA released the draft NPDES permit that will be required for certain pesticide applications. The permit would apply to the following pesticide uses: 1) mosquito or other flying insect control; 2) aquatic weed and algae control; 3) aquatic nuisance animal control; and 4) forest canopy pest control. The permit does not cover terrestrial applications to control pests on agricultural crops or forest floors.
The USEPA is taking public comments on the draft permit until July 19th, including whether it should cover additional pesticide uses. We expect there will be strong pressure from activist groups to expand the permit to cover additional pesticide uses. USEPA estimates the permit will apply to 35,000 pesticide applicators. The permit is scheduled to become effective on April 9, 2011.
On a related note, one of the first cases of West Nile Virus was reported today in a bird in Tazewell County. A few years ago the IL Dept of Ag and IL Dept of Public Health embarked on a effort to streamline the licensing requirements for obtaining a pesticide certification for mosquito control in response to public health concerns over mosquito-borne illnesses. It's unknown how many people will remain committed to mosquito control when the federal permit kicks in with all the red tape that accompanies any federal rule.
IFCA will be submitting comments on the proposed permit and we have already met with IEPA and IL Dept of Ag to start discussing how the new permitting process will work in Illinois. We'll keep you updated. In the meantime it would be helpful to know how many IFCA members carry a mosquito or aquatic category on your pesticide license. If you do, let us know. Will you try to keep your certification even if it means getting a permit from USEPA and completing use reports? Send your thoughts to email@example.com.