The US House of Representatives Agriculture Committee recently introduced language for the 2018 Farm Bill. According to the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), this is an important development for landscape professionals because the Farm Bill is the vehicle that provides the best opportunity to amend FIFRA, the law that governs pesticide use. The proposed Farm Bill includes several provisions that help to preserve the right of landscape professionals to use the tools that best work for the job. Specifically, the legislation:
- Codifies pesticide preemption at the state level, preventing localities from regulating the sale and use of pesticides and solidifying the ability of State Lead Agencies to regulate pesticide use.
- Fixes the current disconnect in the pesticide consultation process between FIFRA and the Endangered Species Act.
- Eliminates the redundant need for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permits (NPDES) when using pesticides on or near a body of water.
NALP asks you to contact your U.S. Representative to urge them to support this important measure. That is because the bill is currently the focus of partisan bickering over revisions to the federal food stamp program and that disagreement places the entire Farm Bill at risk. According to NALP, it is imperative for you to let your elected representative understand your support of the Farm Bill and the negative ramifications for professional landscape businesses if they fail to act.