On August 5, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed S.1500. The bill, introduced by Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), and others, would specify that federal clean water, or NPDES, permits are not needed for pesticide applications.
During the markup session, Senator Boxer (D-CA) objected that the committee has not held any hearings on this bill and an electric utility bill. Democrats then walked out of the committee room and no action was taken on the bill. Later, committee Republicans held a rare "off the floor meeting" and voted the NPDES bill out of committee. While it is good news that the NPDES bill passed the committee, there are still no commitments or current plans to bring the bill to the Senate floor for a vote.
The House Agriculture Committee passed the bill earlier this year. The same legislation has passed the U.S. House on several occasions during past Congressional sessions.
Source: Craig Regelbrugge, AmericanHort