Senate Ag Committee reauthorizes pesticide act

By Jennifer Dorsett

The U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry last week unanimously passed HR 1029, a bill to reauthorize the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA).

The action took place after the Senate passed its version of the farm bill.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2004 established a new system for registering pesticides. The act was intended to create a registration service fee system for registration service fee system for registration of pesticides.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was tasked with overseeing this system, called PRIA.

PRIA provided funding for farm worker protection activities, including training programs to reduce risks of pesticide use. It also established fee waivers for small businesses based on size and sales.

Reauthorizations by Congress in 2007 and 2012 kept PRIA active. These reauthorizations expanded the number of fee categories of registration applications, established funding for partnership grants and funded technology enhancements, such as electronic tracking of registration submissions and review of labels.

In March, PRIA was again authorized for fiscal year 2018, but the reauthorization was set to end Sept. 30. The latest reauthorization will extend PRIA through 2023.

“The U.S. Senate just passed a bipartisan farm bill to provide farmers and ranchers with certainty in a tough farm economy,” Chairman Pat Roberts said in a news release. “We can add to this certainty for producers and many other stakeholders with the approval of long-delayed PRIA.”

A variety of organizations—including agriculture, environmental and labor interests—support the legislation.

The House passed HR 1029 in March. The Senate bill now returns to the House for approval on the changes made in the Senate version.

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