The California Association of Sanitation Agencies, a state-wide association of publicly owned wastewater treatment agencies, sent a letter dated September 20, 2011, to Sen. Barbara Boxer, who is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.  This letter states the public owned treatment works’ opposition to the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011, H.R. 872) that is pending before the U.S. Senate.  Their letter states in part:

“Our evaluation of H.R. 872 is that the measure would preclude U.S. Environmental Protection Agency review and oversight of the manner in which pesticides, fungicides, and rodenticides are applied to lands contiguous to surface waters. H.R. 872 appears to    exclude certain pesticide application activities from the federal NPDES permit program. While CASA acknowledges that there may be circumstances within which federal permitting of these activities is unnecessary, H.R. 872 goes too far by exempting all such activities regardless of their impact on water quality.”

Their letter further claims that POTWs will have to pay to clean up pesticides in wastewater if EPA does not issue a general permit restricting the presence of pesticide runoff.

A court order requires EPA to issue a pesticide general permit by October 31, 2011. Along with the permit, EPA intends to publish a detailed fact sheet, forms to document compliance activities, an electronic notice of intent database, and an updated decision tree tool to help users determine if they need to apply for the permit.

The POTWs letter is attached below.