Yesterday’s embattled EPA “Waters of the U.S.” rule was met with criticism from several prominent legislative ag committee members and industry groups. Now, another group – the Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE) – has stepped up to say the Clean Water Rule will have a negative impact on public health and safety. That’s because federal, state and local governments will see immediate impacts to their vector control programs for control of invasive weeds, plus the West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses, according to Aaron Hobbs, RISE president.
“Towns in Colorado and Alabama have already had to face the decision of either protecting people by spraying for mosquitoes under the high-cost and time-consuming Clean Water Act permitting, or determining the costs and liability are simply too high to control the mosquito population in spite of their obligation to protect public health. The new regulation puts ever state and county in this position.”
According to Hobbs, this agency overreach does little for water quality but creates “untenable choices” for state and local governments.
“[The ruling] impacts every pesticide treatment near water, including those to treat mosquitos … to keep power, highway, rail and shipping infrastructure safe and usable; and to eradicate invasive and nonnative plant and insect species,” he says.
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