Senate Agriculture Committee Poised to Choose Pesticide Industry Interests Over Clean Water Act Protections

Like many people, Sue Eisenfeld once assumed that the government would protect her and her family from dangerous pesticides, in large part because of the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). But that was before last year when she sprayed her house to get rid of fleas. Today, as she battles severe autoimmune reactions caused by the pesticide spraying, she has learned the hard way that FIFRA is woefully inadequate.

But now, the Senate Agriculture Committee wants to stake all of our waters and our health on their mistaken belief that FIFRA is strong enough. The Committee plans to pass H.R. 872 without a hearing and with a voice vote as early as tomorrow.

As I’ve mentioned many times, this bill is bad for our health and bad for our environment. It will create a loophole in the Clean Water Act that will allow pesticides sprayed by irrigation control districts and other groups to legally ignore the Clean Water Act requirements before putting these poisons in our waters. In other words, the spraying of toxic chemicals into the rivers that we fish in, the lakes that we swim in, and the streams that provide our drinking water would not need to comply with the only statute that was created to protect our waterbodies and us.

FIFRA has not protected our waters or our health in the past.  The Committee wants us to believe that FIFRA will sufficiently protect our waterbodies and our health now? I bet that we would all  prefer to have the strong Clean Water Act protect us from pesticides that are dumped into our water before we take our families swimming or fishing or give them a glass of water to drink. Unfortunately, the Senate Agriculture Committee doesn’t want us to have that luxury.

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