Rep. Austin Scott, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture, held a public hearing to review the impact of enforcement activities by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on specialty crop growers. Specifically, Subcommittee Members addressed growing concerns that DOL is using the "Hot Goods" provision under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) in an arbitrary manner against producers of perishable agricultural commodities without regard for the inevitable destruction of the product and significant economic hardship inflicted on farmers and their employees.
The Ag Minute: H.R. 872 Needs Swift Passage in Congress
Tamara Hinton, 202.225.0184
WASHINGTON – This week during The Ag Minute, Rep. Frank Lucas, discusses the urgent need for Congress to pass H.R. 872, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011. H.R. 872 is a bipartisan bill to eliminate the requirement of a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for the use of pesticides registered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The House Agriculture Committee will consider H.R. 872 on Wednesday.
Click here to listen to The Ag Minute. The transcript is below.
"This week the Agriculture Committee will consider H.R. 872, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011. This is a bill that several of my colleagues, from both sides of the aisle, and I introduced last week. It would eliminate an additional and unnecessary permit requirement imposed by the uninformed court decision of National Cotton Council v. EPA.
"Without Congressional action, this misguided ruling would be a crushing blow to an already fragile economy. It would unleash a blitz of regulatory burdens on our farmers and ranchers starting with requiring an extra permit for pesticide applications, thousands of dollars in fines for non-compliance, and an increased risk of lawsuits down the road.
"Additionally, more than 40 states will face increased financial and administrative burdens in order to comply with the new permitting requirement process during a time when many states are already being forced to make difficult budget decisions.
"H.R. 872 is a simple fix. It eliminates the additional permit requirement for applications of FIFRA-registered pesticides, which are already highly regulated.
"We have no time to waste. The court order goes into effect on April 9. It is imperative that members of Congress work together for swift passage of H.R. 872 before the deadline. America’s farmers and ranchers are counting on us."
The Ag Minute is Chairman Lucas's weekly radio address that is released each week from the House Agriculture Committee.