OFA Bulletin Nov/Dec 2010 : Page 3

November/December 2010 • N u m b e r 9 2 4 of potential interest to greenhouse and nursery businesses. One is a major increase in Section 179 direct expensing and an expansion of that investment incentive program to certain real property. Another is an extension of bonus depreciation. The bill also establishes a small business lending fund, increases limits, and decreases fees for Small Business Administration loans. Visit www.anla.org for a more detailed summary. organizations could potentially file suit against pesticide applicators, alleging that they need permits to apply the products. The bills are not likely to move this year but could serve as markers for a solution in 2011. Election 2010 The looming elections could bring sweeping changes, including Republican control of the House of Representatives (pretty likely) and even the Senate (far less likely). That said, margins in both chambers are expected to be close, and there is plenty of time for a mood swing, or an October surprise, that alters the current momentum favoring Republicans. In any event, President Obama will hold a veto pen for at least two more years. So, the political forecast is for more grandstanding and gridlock, with all eyes quickly turning to the 2012 presidential election. One wild card, of course, is whether there will be a lame duck session, and if so, how ambitious it will be. For the green industry, this will mean a tough environment for proactive legislative efforts, a better environment for playing defense against hostile measures, and more threats emanating from the regulatory agencies rather than Congress itself. Vigilance will be key. Craig J. Regelbrugge Vice President for Government Relations American Nursery & Landscape Association 1000 Vermont Ave NW #300 Washington, DC 20005 202-789-2900 cregelbrugge@anla.org Pesticide Permits In early August, Senators Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) introduced a bill (S. 3735) clarifying that pesticides applied in accordance with FIFRA do not require Clean Water Act permits. House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK) introduced companion legislation. In introducing the bills, both Sen. Lincoln and Rep. Lucas stated that it is unfortunate that the courts have chosen to ignore congressional intent and instead order pesticide applicators to obtain these permits. Lincoln and Lucas were referencing the Clean Water Act general permit, formally known as a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permit, for pesticides applied to, over, or near waters of the United States per a January 2009, 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling. The 6th Circuit struck down a 2006 EPA rulemaking that had largely eliminated aquatic pesticide and other pesticide applications to over or near water from Clean Water Act permitting requirements. While the initial Clean Water Act permit requirements will apply primarily to forest canopy, mosquito control, and aquatic weed control treatments, we are concerned about the potential expansion of these permits to other terrestrial pesticide applications. Because the Clean Water Act allows citizen action lawsuits, there are also concerns that environmental Connect with OFA OFA Bulletin 3

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