On March 28th, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals granted EPA an extension to the original April 9, 2011 deadline to implement a NPDES permitting system for pesticide applications in, over, or near water. This order will effectively delay the federal requirement for NPDES permits for pesticide applications until at least October 31, 2011.
In light of the Court's decision, DEQ has decided to delay the planned issuance of both the Pesticide General Permit (PGP) and the Irrigation District General Permit. DEQ has been developing these permits in response to the Sixth Circuit court decision that required the EPA to develop permits for certain pesticide applications in, over and near water (National Cotton Council, et al. v. EPA).
The public comment period for the General Pesticide Permit (2300A) closed on March 7, 2011. The public comment period and public hearings for the Irrigation District General Permit (2000J) is now underway and will close on April 15, 2011. See DEQ’s web site for more information on these general permits.
In addition, a federal bill (HR. 872) exists that would eliminate or substantially change the requirement to have an NPDES permit. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill, also known as the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011, to amend FIFRA and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Clean Water Act). This bill may be found here:
DEQ and ODA will continue to track developments with the EPA final permit and DEQ will not issue the general permits before EPA has a final permit in place. If H.R. 872 passes the U.S. Senate and is signed by the President, the impact will be reviewed regarding the necessity of a NPDES-PGP permit.