Pesticide Appliers Will Need CWA Permits in 2011

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that residuals of chemical pesticides and biological pesticides are pollutants regulated under the Clean Water Act (CWA) and has recently stayed the effective date of its decision until April 9, 2011.

As a result of the ruling, anyone who applies a pesticide in, over, or near waters of the United States will need to be covered by a permit issued under the Clean Water Act after this effective date.

Irrigation return flows and agricultural runoff will not require Clean Water Act permits as they are specifically exempted. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans, before the ruling takes effect, to issue general permits under the Clean Water Act for covered pesticide applications, to assist authorized states to develop their permits, and to provide outreach and education to the regulated community. EPA will work closely with state water permitting programs, the regulated community and environmental organizations in developing general permits that are protective of the environment and public health. For more information go to

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