Update: the vote is scheduled for today, Thursday, March 31. We'll let you know the results as soon as they are available. Thanks to everyone who took action on behalf of our waterways!
The U.S. House of Representatives is now considering a bill that will overturn key protections against harmful pesticide spraying in waterways. Please act now! Send a message to your U.S Representative urging him or her to vote no on HR 872.
In 2009, San Francisco Baykeeper won an important court victory to protect aquatic life from pesticides when the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that pesticides are pollutants when applied to waterways and must be regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Clean Water Act.
Now, the agricultural industry is attempting to persuade members of the U.S. House of Representatives that regulations on aquatic pesticide spraying create an undue burden on farmers because they apply to all farming activity – when in fact the regulations specifically apply only to pesticide applications that target waterways. Additionally, EPA is preparing general regulations rather than requiring every discharger to obtain an individual permit, further easing the regulatory burden on dischargers, while allowing EPA to protect public health and water quality.
It is vital that the EPA be required to regulate pesticides as pollutants. Pesticides are manufactured to be toxic to living things and have caused harm to public health and aquatic ecosystems, particularly fish and amphibian life. They also move up the food chain and can contaminate drinking water supplies.
The House vote is now scheduled for Thursday, March 31. Please send a message to your Representative today urging a "no" vote on HR 872.
Photo credit: Chad Lane, CaliforniaHerps.com