Keeping Our Waters Safe: The 115th Congress Must Not Strip the EPA's Duty to Protect Our Waters from Pesticides

Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registers pesticides that can be sold and used in the United States. When the EPA approves a pesticide under FIFRA, however, it merely concludes that its use “will not generally cause unreasonable adverse effects on the environment.” As the growing evidence of pesticide-contaminated waters shows, FIFRA and its labeling requirements are insufficient to protect many waters across the country. Only the Clean Water Act specifically aims to restore the most polluted waters or protect pristine waters from contamination. Despite this, special interest efforts—pushed by the chemical companies—are underway in Congress to undermine the Clean Water Act by exempting pesticide applications from the protections and safeguards of water quality monitoring and permits.

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