On October 31, 2011, EPA issued its final NPDES Pesticide General Permit for point source discharges from the application of pesticides to waters of the United States. EPA issued this PGP in response to a 2009 decision by the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (National Cotton Council, et al. v. EPA). As a result of the court’s decision, NPDES permits are generally required for these types of discharges as of October 31, 2011.

While the permit requirements must be met as of October 31, Operators will be covered automatically under the PGP without submitting a Notice of Intent for any discharges before January 12, 2012. To continue coverage after January 12, 2012, those Operators who are required to submit NOIs will need to do so at least 10 days (or 30 days for discharges to National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Listed Resources of Concern) prior to January 12.

The Agency’s final PGP covers Operators that apply pesticides that result in discharges from the following use patterns: (1) mosquito and other flying insect pest control; (2) weed and algae control; (3) animal pest control; and (4) forest canopy pest control. The permit requires permittees to minimize pesticide discharges through the use of pest management measures and monitor for and report any adverse incidents. Some permittees are also required to submit NOIs prior to beginning to discharge and implement integrated pest management-like practices.

EPA’s website for its PGP may be found here.