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FAIRFAX, Va. – On March 29, Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) introduced legislation in Congress that would establish federal pesticide prevention as the national standard and ensure that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and lead state agency collectively regulate use of pesticides.

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) announced its full support for the bill, which will ensure unified protection of the public’s health, food supply and property from pests, stating that oversight of pest control will be carried out jointly by the lead agency in each state and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the entities that have the technical expertise and resources to best assess whether a product is safe and effective.

“As longtime advocates of pesticide elimination, we applaud Congressman Davis and the passage of this bill. Prevention is critical to ensuring safe, consistent and science-based use of pesticides and is consistent with NPMA’s overall commitment to public health,” said Ashley Amidon, NPMA’s Vice President of Public Policy.

If passed, the bill will reaffirm FIFRA’s intent that only the lead state agency act as an in-state co-regulator with the EPA, ensuring that the highly technical work of determining how pest control products and services are used is done by those with scientific backgrounds expertise is carried out. In first-line states (currently 46), the state management agency already works with the EPA on the use, sale, or distribution of pesticides. Alaska, Maine, Maryland, and Nevada do not have a pesticide prevention law, meaning localities in those states may regulate pesticides differently. This creates unequal protection for citizens based on their zip code. The NPMA supports science-based decision-making and therefore believes that the best regulators of pesticides are the lead state agencies and the EPA.

“Pesticides are already tightly regulated at the federal and state levels to ensure safety. That’s why I introduced legislation to ensure states retain their status as the sole co-regulator with the federal government, to prevent liberal cities and towns from creating a patchwork of regulations that are confusing and onerous for users and ultimately aren’t contribute to health or safety in a positive way. I look forward to working with industry advocates and my colleagues in Congress to move this legislation forward as we look toward the next Farm Bill,” Davis said.

NPMA strongly believes that with the passage of the federal pesticides waiver, the EPA and the state lead agency should be the sole regulatory agencies responsible for the registration, sale, and use of pesticides. This bill clarifies the exclusive role of state lead agencies and prevents communities from imposing a patchwork of conflicting regulatory restrictions without scientific assessment, economic analysis, consideration of property owners’ rights to control pests, or the responsibility of public health officials to control disease vectors.

For more information on the NPMA’s position on first refusal, contact Ashley Amidon, NPMA Vice President of Public Policy, at aamidon@pestworld.org.