EPA Issues Draft NPDES Pesticides General Permit

On June 4, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the availability of a draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) pesticide general permit (PGP) for point source discharges from the application of pesticides to waters of the United States. This action is in response to a decision by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in National Cotton Council, et al. v. EPA that clarified that NPDES permits are required for certain discharges from the application of pesticides.

EPA is seeking comment for 45 days (through July 19, 2010) on the draft PGP and plans to issue the final PGP in December 2010. During the public comment period EPA will hold three public meetings (Albuquerque, Boise, and Boston), a public hearing (Washington, D.C.), and a webcast to provide an overview of the PGP requirements and the basis for those requirements, and to answer questions about the draft permit and how the public can best assist EPA in the public comment process.

More information on the NPDES requirements for discharges from pesticide applications is available at www.epa.gov/npdes/pesticides. Copies of the draft PGP, PGP fact sheet, and Federal Register notice can be downloaded from that site.