May 11, 2017
EPA slows implementation of pesticide applicators rule

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on May 11 announced a 12-month extension for implementation of the revised final Certification and Training of Pesticide Applicators (C&T) rule.

According to a news release, EPA received feedback from states and stakeholders that more time and resources are needed to prepare for compliance with the rule. The extended timeline will enable EPA to work with states and provide adequate compliance and training resources.

“In order to achieve both environmental protection and economic prosperity, we must give the regulated community, which includes farmers and ranchers, adequate time to come into compliance with regulations. Extending the timeline for implementation of this rule will enable EPA to consult with states, assist with education, training and guidance, and prevent unnecessary burdens from overshadowing the rule’s intended benefits,” said Pruitt.

Last month, Pruitt met with Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens to discuss the C&T rule, among other issues.

“Administrator Pruitt proved today that the old way of doing business at the EPA is over and done with. We presented them with a problem, and they took quick action to begin fixing it. Missouri farmers have waited a long time for common sense government, and now it’s on its way. I’m grateful for this new leadership, and look forward to continuing to work with this administration to curb regulations that are killing jobs and hurting our farmers. It’s time for government to get out of the way and let our farmers farm,” Greitens said.

“We greatly appreciate EPA extending the effective date of this rule. While we are supportive of the improved final rule released in January, states are facing a range of on-going logistical, resource, and capacity challenges. These challenges are amplified as they also implement other recent EPA requirements, such as the Worker Protection Standard. Extending the certification timeline will help alleviate some of those challenges by allowing states to work with our EPA partners to ensure adequate training resources and compliance assistance activities,” said Barbara P. Glenn, CEO of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.

Pruitt recently launched his Back-to-Basics agenda for returning EPA to its core mission: protecting the environment by engaging with state, local, and tribal partners to create sensible regulations that enhance economic growth.

“Today’s action is the latest evidence of Administrator Pruitt’s commitment to cooperative federalism and getting the EPA back to basics,” the news release stated.

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