Bed Bug Research, Reducing Regulatory Burdens Top Items for Discussion

Sprague Pest Solutions was in Washington, D.C. this week to encourage support for two important bills impacting our industry and the communities we serve. Company owners Alfred H. Treleven III and Lawrence R. Treleven met with Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray of Washington State to discuss H.R. 872 and H.R. 967.

H.R. 872, Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011, is a bipartisan bill to reduce the regulatory burdens posed by the case National Cotton Council v. EPA (6th Cir. 2009). Under the court ruling, pesticide users, which include farmers, ranchers, forest managers, state agencies, city and county municipalities, mosquito control districts, and water districts, among others would have to obtain a duplicative permit under the Clean Water Act (CWA) for the use of pesticides. Pesticide applications are already highly regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The legislation would amend FIFRA and the CWA to clarify Congressional intent and eliminate the requirement of a NPDES permit for the use of FIFRA-registered pesticides.

H.R. 967, the Bed Bug Management, Prevention and Research Act of 2011, was introduced in response to the dramatic resurgence of bed bugs in the United States in recent years and aims to find ways to help Americans cope with this pest.

Specifically, the bill authorizes a federal bed bug research funding program to resume research that has been neglected for 50 years; requires efficacy testing for minimum risk pesticides to protect consumers from products that don’t effectively manage bed bug infestations; adds criteria the EPA must consider for the registration of a public health pesticide so as to help provide professionals and consumers more safe, affordable and effective tools; and establishes a Bed Bug Prevention and Mitigation Pilot Program to provide subsidized treatments for those on fixed and lower incomes.

The Trelevens joined pest management professionals from throughout the country to educate legislators about the importance of supporting these house bills.