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Date: February 01, 2005
Contact: Steve Miller, 317-580-8198,
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A Statement from SePRO Corporation Regarding EPA's Release of a Final Interpretive Statement on Pesticides and NPDES Permits, and Proposed Rulemaking
Carmel, IN - You may have heard that this past Friday, January 28th, the US EPA took some critical steps that represent important developments for our industry. These were:
  1. Issuance of a Final Interpretive Statement on NPDES Permits and Pesticides that makes it absolutely clear that EPA believes NPDES permits are NOT needed for the use of pesticides applied according to their FIFRA labels into, on or near water.
  2. Their intention to initiate a formal rulemaking to codify this position.
Please go to to see the documents issued.

Ever since the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision in the Talent Case in 2001 our industry has been engaged in an effort to reverse that decision, limit the damages that it causes and otherwise stop its application wherever possible. SePRO has been proud to be part of these efforts through its leadership of the Aquatics Working Group, Chaired by SePRO President William H. Culpepper, and active participation through our industry's trade association, RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment). The EPA's actions this past Friday represent an important step forward on these issues.

The Final Interpretative Statement is important because it is the most authoritative, documented position that EPA has ever taken that supports our long held view that NPDES permits are not needed for the proper use of aquatic pesticides. The EPA has issued earlier statements to this effect, but the January 28th statement is notable as it is no longer considered interim or otherwise "unfinished". And the fact that EPA wants to also do a formal federal "rulemaking" to codify this position further will only strengthen this position. The bottom line for our industry was and remains that when it comes to the proper use of aquatic pesticides, NPDES permits not only add nothing to the protection of the environment, they can easily create environmental damages that otherwise would not occur.

Unfortunately, EPA's action on the 28th will not undo the Talent decision in the 9th Circuit jurisdiction, and we will have to wait to see how the states out West that have issued NPDES permits for aquatic pesticide use will react. Certainly, the EPA action will reinforce the fact that these states should make these NPDES requirements as minimal as possible. Hopefully they will go further than this, but we cannot count on this out west. Those of you on the front lines out West can take heart that this latest step has been taken to protect your interests.

There are still Federal court cases in New York involving mosquito control products that have yet to be decided and their outcomes could prove critical to our efforts to overturn the Talent decision. SePRO will continue to support efforts to closely monitor those situations and to support the right decisions in any way possible. We will also need review and comment on the proposed rule that EPA is issuing and SePRO will work through RISE to do that.

SePRO welcomes this latest step by EPA. It was the right and sensible thing to do for the environment and the proper management of aquatic pests. The job is not yet finished and much remains to be done. SePRO will continue to work to see that this happens. We appreciate the continued support of our industry partners and in particular your efforts with these issues. Our congratulations go out to all those involved.
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