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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 897 - Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2015

May 23, 2016


(House Rules)

(Rep. Gibbs, R-OH, and two cosponsors)

The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 897, Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2015, recently rebranded as the Zika Vector Control Act. H.R. 897 would weaken environmental protections under the Clean Water Act by exempting pesticide spraying from the currently required Pesticide General Permit. Creating a new statutory exemption to the Permit is unnecessary, as it was explicitly crafted to allow immediate responses to declared pest emergencies, thereby allowing vector control methods to be applied to the possible influx of disease-carrying mosquitos.

In fact, most mosquito control districts and Federal and State agencies already have authority under the Pesticide General Permit to apply mosquitocides as needed to respond to Zika virus concerns and do not require any additional authorization under the Permit. In rare circumstances where a mosquito control district did not seek prior coverage under the Permit, emergency provisions of the Permit are available that allow instant authorization to spray without the need for prior notification.

The Administration is committed to taking necessary steps, as quickly as possible, to protect the American people from the Zika virus. Rebranding legislation that removes important Clean Water Act protections for public health and water quality is not an appropriate avenue for addressing the serious threat to the Nation that the Zika virus poses.

Barack Obama, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 897 - Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2015 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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