Act Now: Your Health and Environment Under Attack in the Farm Bill
Tell Your U.S. Senators to Oppose the Amendments To Weaken Clean Water Act
Before the Senate Acts the Week of June 18
It's summer and many of us enjoy lazy days at our local lakes and rivers. But, according to North Carolina Democratic U.S. Senator Kay Hagan and Idaho Republican U.S. Senator Mike Crapo, pesticides should be allowed into these water bodies without any oversight, leaving you to swim, fish and boat on waters that are contaminated with endocrine disruptors, carcinogens and neurological toxicants that are not monitored by federal or state officials.
Seeking to add to the Farm Bill the provisions of H.R. 872, Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act, earlier introduced by Sens. Hagan and Crapo, the Farm Bill amendment (Amendment 2367) would reverse the 2009 ruling in National Cotton Council v. EPA that requires Clean Water Act permits from pesticide users who spray over waterways. Permits are now required for spraying activities like mosquito spraying, treatment of algal blooms or invasive species. The permit lets authorities know what is sprayed and when it is sprayed, so that the public may know what chemicals are used in their waterways, and requires monitoring for any downstream effects.
Unfortunately, this amendment is now receiving bipartisan support in the Senate. The measure counts among its co-sponsors six other Democrats --Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Tom Carper and Chris Coons of Delaware, and three Republicans --James Risch of Idaho, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and David Vitter of Louisiana. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), a former Agriculture secretary under President George W. Bush who introduced a similar amendment (Amendment 2210) to the Farm Bill, also supports the measure.
Tell your Senators today to NOT support these amendments to the Farm Bill.
Because of the short time frame, it is most important that you call your Senators offices. You can also send an email using the form below.
The amendments would:
(1) undermine federal authority to protect U.S. waters under the Clean Water Act,
(2) allow spraying of toxic chemicals into waterways without local and state oversight,
(3) not reduce claimed burdens to farmers since there is no burden as there is no real economic cost and agricultural activities are exempt, and
(4) contaminate drinking water sources and harm aquatic life.