WASHINGTON, D.C. — RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment) cannot support the Clean Water Rule published today because it will negatively impact public health and safety significantly. The rule creates an overreach of federal power by requiring permits for pesticide application near any collected water, no matter how small or contained.

“Along with thousands of stakeholders, we asked EPA and the Corps for clarity on the definition of the waters of the U.S. What we got in return is a regulation so expansive it includes golf course ponds or water collecting in ditches,” said Aaron Hobbs, RISE president. “The sweeping redefinition impacts every pesticide treatment near water, including those to treat mosquitoes and help prevent mosquito-borne diseases; to keep power, highway, rail and shipping infrastructure safe and useable; and to eradicate invasive and non-native plant and insect species.

“Federal, state and local governments will see immediate impacts to their vector control programs and their ability to effectively protect people, pets and communities from West Nile Virus, Dengue Fever, heartworm, Eastern and Western Equine Encephalitis, and the most recent threat, Chikungunya,” said Hobbs.

“Towns in Colorado and Alabama have already had to face the decision of either protecting people by spraying for mosquitoes under the high-cost and time-consuming Clean Water Act permitting or determining the costs and liability are simply too high to control the mosquito population in spite of their obligation to protect public health. The new regulation puts every state and county in this position.

“This agency overreach, and their failure to fully consider more than 1 million public comments on the rule, does little for water quality but creates untenable choices for state and local governments trying to protect their residents, environment and infrastructure,” said Hobbs.