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Don't Give in to Fear: Tell Your Representative to Protect Our Nation's Waterways from Pesticides

Yet again, a select few members of Congress are attempting to push through HR 897, Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2015, which has been deceptively renamed as the Zika Vector Control Act. However, despite the name, this legislation does nothing to control Zika or reduce regulatory burdens, but instead would eliminate critical Clean Water Act protections for our nation's waterways.

This bill would:
(1) undermine federal authority to protect U.S. waters under the Clean Water Act,
(2) allow spraying of toxic chemicals into waterways without local and state oversight,
(3) not reduce claimed burdens to farmers since there is no burden as there is no real economic cost and agricultural activities are exempt, and
(4) contaminate drinking water sources and harm aquatic life.

Already nearly 2,000 waterways are impaired for pesticide contamination, and likely many more have simply not been tested.We can't allow a regressive slide away from public health and environmental safety for our nation's waterways.

After you've sent a letter to your U.S. Representative, take further action by giving them a call. (Once you input your zip code, your U.S. Represenative's phone number should show up. There will also be a link to find their number on the Thank You page.)


Background:

HR 897, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2015, was recently renamed as the “Zika Vector Control Act,” on despite the fact that the bill does not actually do anything to address the threat of Zika. The legislation was defeated Tuesday, May 17, 2016 however the bill will be brought up again today for another vote in the House. The legislation actually reverses the 2009 ruling in National Cotton Council v. EPA that requires Clean Water Act permits for pesticide users who spray over waterways. The permit lets authorities know what is sprayed and when it is sprayed, so that the public may know what chemicals are used in their waterways and the potential dangers to sensitive aquatic ecosystems. Existing pesticide regulations do not achieve these protections and most agricultural pesticide applications are exempt from CWA permit requirements.

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