Pesticide Permitting-Program History
August 13, 2003
EPA Publishes Interim Statement and Guidance and Requests Comments
February 1, 2005
EPA Publishes Interpretive Statement and Proposed Rulemaking
January 26, 2007
EPA Publishes Final Rule on Aquatic Pesticides
On November 27, 2006, EPA issued a final rule clarifying two specific circumstances in which a Clean Water Act (CWA) NPDES permit is not required for discharges from the application of pesticides to or around water:
- Pesticides are applied to control pests in the water.
- Pesticides are applied to control pests that are present over or near water, where a portion of the pesticides will unavoidably be deposited to the water to target the pests.
- Federal Register Notice (November 27, 2006) (PDF)(10 pp, 219 K, About PDF)
- Federal Register Correction Notice (December 1, 2006) (PDF)(1 pp, 150 K, About PDF)
January 19, 2007
Industry and Environmental Groups Challenge the November 2006 Rule
EPA received petitions for review of the Aquatic Pesticides rule from both environmental and industry groups. The case, National Cotton Council, et al, v. EPA, was assigned to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
January 7, 2009
Court Issues Decision, Vacates November 2006 Rule
April 9, 2009
EPA Requests Stay; Industry Requests Rehearing
The Department of Justice (DOJ) opted not to seek rehearing in National Cotton Council, et al, v. EPA and filed a motion to stay issuance of the Court's mandate for two years. This decision would provide EPA time to develop, propose, and issue a final NPDES general permit for pesticide applications, for states to develop similar permits for these types of discharges, and to provide outreach and education to the regulated community. EPA worked closely with state water permitting programs, the regulated community, and environmental organizations to develop a general permit that is protective of the environment and public health.
June 8, 2009
Court Grants EPA Two-Year Stay
The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals granted EPA a two-year stay of the mandate (until April 9, 2011) in National Cotton Council et al v. EPA.
February 22, 2010
Court Denies Industry Request for Rehearing
The Supreme Court declined industry's request to review the Sixth Circuit's decision in National Cotton Council, et al. v. EPA.
June 2, 2010
EPA Proposes Pesticide General Permit
EPA announced the public availability of a draft NPDES permit for point source discharges from the application of pesticides to waters of the U.S. This permit is also known as the Pesticide General Permit (PGP). The PGP provides coverage for discharges where EPA is the NPDES permitting authority. States authorized to administer the NPDES permitting program for pesticide discharges issue their own NPDES permits.
March 3, 2011
EPA Requests Extension on Stay
EPA requested an extension to allow more time for pesticide operators to obtain permits for pesticide discharges into U.S. waters. EPA requested the deadline be extended from April 9, 2011 to October 31, 2011.
The extension request allows sufficient time for EPA to engage in Endangered Species Act (ESA) consultation and complete the development of an electronic database to streamline requests for coverage under the Agency’s general permit. It also allows time for authorized states to finish developing state permits and permitting authorities to provide additional stakeholder outreach on pesticide permit requirements.
March 28, 2011
Court Grants Extension until October 31, 2011
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit granted EPA's request for an extension to allow more time for pesticide operators to obtain permits for pesticide discharges into U.S. waters. The court's decision extends the deadline for required permits from April 9, 2011 to October 31, 2011.
April 1, 2011
EPA Posts Draft Final Pesticide General Permit on Website
- Pre-publication Version of EPA's Draft Final Pesticide General Permit
- Questions and Answers on the Pre-publication Version of EPA's Draft Final Pesticide General Permit
July 25, 2011
EPA Sought Public Comments on NMFS Draft Reasonable and Prudent Alternative
Consistent with section 7 of the ESA, EPA prepared a Biological Evaluation (BE) to assess whether issuance of the PGP may jeopardize the continued existence of endangered or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat that has been designated for such species. EPA submitted it’s BE to both the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) on July 30, 2010.
NMFS determined that the PGP, as drafted, was likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a number of species and to result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat absent implementation of a Reasonable and Prudent Alternative (RPA) which NMFS detailed in its draft Biological Opinion (BiOp). EPA sought public comment on the RPA in the draft BiOp to better assess the appropriateness of the proposed RPA (30-day comment period ended on July 25, 2011). The draft PGP BE and draft Biological Opinion are included as part of the EPA on-line docket for the PGP. The Docket number is EPA-HQ-OW-2010-0257.
October 31, 2011
EPA Publishes Pesticide General Permit (PGP)
On October 31, 2011, the EPA’s issued its final Pesticide General Permit (PGP) to cover point source discharges to waters of the U.S. from pesticide applications in the geographic areas where the EPA is the NPDES permitting authority.
- EPA's 2011 PGP
- 2011 PGP Fact Sheet
- Federal Register Notice for Issuance of 2011 PGP (PDF) (7 pp, 171 K, About PDF)
October 31, 2012
Alaska Administers Permits for Pesticide Discharges
Alaska became the NPDES permitting authority for pesticide discharges except Indian Country lands, for which the EPA remained the permitting authority. Permittees in Alaska who were previously covered under the EPA’s 2011 PGP will continue to be covered automatically through this transfer. If these permittees are required to file annual reports, report for discharges that occurred in 2012 must be filed with the EPA. New permittees must seek coverage under the state permit.
December 20, 2012
Oklahoma Administers Permits for Pesticide Discharges
Oklahoma became the NPDES permitting authority for pesticide discharges except Indian Country lands, for which the EPA remained the permitting authority. Permittees in Oklahoma who were previously covered under the EPA’s 2011 PGP continued to be covered automatically through this transfer. If these permittees are required to file annual reports, report for discharges that occurred in 2012 must be filed with the EPA. New permittees must seek coverage under the state permit.