Gibbs' Zika Vector Control Bill Passes House
WASHINGTON, DC – States, local governments, and mosquito control districts are a step closer to preventing a Zika outbreak in the United States after the House passed legislation suspending a duplicative and unnecessary permitting process for pesticides.
H.R. 897, the Zika Vector Control Act, clarifies that pesticides regulated and approved under the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) do not need permitting approval under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), which only adds bureaucracy and compliance costs for organizations that spray pesticides for public health.
After passage of the Zika Vector Control Act, Congressman Bob Gibbs released the following statement:
“Because of a court decision that ignores not just decades of precedent, but the intent of Congress in regulating pesticides, entities that spray for mosquitos are spending time and money on administration and compliance rather than protecting public health. EPA has appropriate authority under FIFRA to protect human health and the environment. The requirements imposed by the court do nothing to enhance the safety of pesticide use but only increase costs.
“This summer, it is becoming more and more evident the nation will be contending with the outbreak of the Zika virus. We need to be proactive and give those responsible for public health the tools to prevent an outbreak, not wait until there’s an epidemic. This is a responsible, common sense bill that will help ensure public health officials aren’t fighting Zika, a resurgent West Nile virus, or other mosquito-borne threats with their hands tied behind their backs.”
Joe Conlon of the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) also released the following statement in reaction to passage of the Zika Vector Control Act:
“The AMCA thanks Congressman Gibbs, the House Agriculture Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committees for their tireless work in seeking to address this critical issue for public health mosquito control activities. AMCA strongly supported HR 897 as originally introduced in its goal to permanently end the regulatory confusion that forced mosquito control agencies to divert taxpayer dollars away from supporting public health. The NPDES permit does nothing to enhance environmental protections, adds ongoing bureaucratic costs and increases threat of litigation to the public agencies charged with suppressing mosquito populations and preventing their mosquito-borne diseases. We thank those members who have supported the original goals of HR 897 and urge enactment of legislation to permanently clarify this issue.”