IEPA explains implementation of NPDES pesticide permits
New regulations that took effect Oct. 31 will impact pesticide application "to or over water or at water's edge" in Illinois, according to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
Published: Nov 11, 2011
IEPA officials are working to explain how they will implement the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) pesticide general permit.
Illinois Farm Bureau strongly opposed U.S. EPA’s proposal and continues to work toward passage of federal legislation to eliminate the new requirement, said Nancy Erickson, IFB director of natural and environmental resources.
Darin LaCrone with IEPA’s water pollution control division said IEPA is working to share information about the permit and the responsibilities of permit holders with agricultural and other trade groups and entities that would be impacted.
“The typical process of spraying in an agricultural field would not be required to be covered under this permit unless they are spraying over water or at (the) water’s edge. Spraying of ditches or algaecides to most water bodies” would require a permit, LaCrone said.
In general, an NPDES permit may be needed by anyone who uses a pesticide that is licensed for water and applies that product to or over water or at water’s edge to control one or more of the following: mosquitoes and other insects, weeds and algae, animal pests, forests, and other types of pests.
If a pesticide applicator is going to apply the pesticide to an area larger than specific thresholds, that person also may need to develop and submit a pesticide discharge management plan to IEPA and comply with other requirements.
However, some applicators who obtain permits may be exempt from the plan requirement, according to Erickson.
Those exemptions include: applicators who respond to declared pest emergencies, entities defined as small businesses, and applications funded by the Illinois Department of Public Health under the state Vector Control Act.
IEPA is developing fact sheet and a list of frequently asked questions and answers about the permit and plans to post that information online in the near future, according to LaCrone.
“We want to make ourselves available to answer questions, and we are willing to work with anybody in this first part of outreach effort,” LaCrone said.
IFB plans to provide members with more information through county Farm Bureaus, FarmWeek, RFD radio, and upcoming workshops and meetings, Erickson said.
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