This issue rivals forest roads and actually surpasses it from the standpoint of AFA involvement Again, it originated with a court decision – this time from the 6 th Circuit We see another instance where our historically accepted silvicultural exemption is in danger – in fact it again no longer applies A legislative fix was passed in the House but could not pick up traction in the Senate The November deadline was actually moved until this past April
AFA has been very active on this issue for the past year and a-half Key here is our initial approach on maintaining the silvicultural exemption language in the permit Caught us somewhat by surprise in February when the exemption became a moot point – the language is still there, it just doesn’t mean anything Had to take a much closer look at the permit to see how we could minimize the impact on landowners
It was obvious that despite their willingness to work with us – ADEQ had little understanding of forestry herbicide applications Following the permit guidelines does not present a problem – the public filing of an NOI was cause for concern Wanted to ensure that threshold values were as broad as possible and that we could minimize the acres that must be counted Still working with ADEQ on which category we fit in to – they have differing opinions – Forest Canopy or Weed Control 6,400 acres or 100 acres Pest Management area in the Arkansas PGP is by county and the maximum size is a county
We’ve met 3-4 times with ADEQ and feel we make progress each time in broadening their understanding After our last meeting – ADEQ decided to develop a Permit By Rule – not sure what it is, but basically is requires you to follow the permit guidelines but does not require the public filing of an NOI Still working on the Canopy or Weed category – this in important in hopefully keeping our terrestrial applications out of an NOI calculation
You can ask them, but I probably don’t have the answers!
PGP Background and Timeline
The Arkansas Pesticide General Permit Background and Timeline Max Braswell Executive Vice President Arkansas Forestry Association August 14, 2012
Arkansas PGP BackgroundA January 2009 ruling by the 6th Circuit in NationalCotton Council v. EPA required an NPDES permit forcertain pesticide applications applied to, over or nearWaters of the U.S. • Court rejected a 2006 EPA ruling that said certain pesticide applications are exempt under the Clean Water Act • Industry argued that herbicide applications were exempt as a nonpoint source under the Silvicultural Rule • Forest Canopy and Weed control two of four types of applications covered • H.R. 872 – Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011 passed U.S. House 292-134 in late March 2011 • Requirement went into effect Nov. 1, 2011. EPA administers in 6 states. 44 use a general permit administered by their state • EPA has given states flexibility in administering their permits but has made it very clear that they consider forestry pesticide spraying to be a point source discharge.
Approach in ArkansasAFA began working with a core group of largelandowner members in late 2010: • Multiple meetings and comments to ADEQ • Initial strategy was to ensure the inclusion of silvicultural exemption language in the Arkansas PGP • ADEQ receptive and the language was included • February 2012 – ADEQ released final PGP. Used EPA guidance on definition of Point Source, making exemption language moot • Coalition shifted its focus to specific concerns within the PGP and on educating ADEQ on forestry herbicide applications
Approach in Arkansas Areas of ConcernForestry applicators were never worried about ourability to meet the permit guidelines. Our focus was onclarifying a number of specific permit components: • Notice of Intent • Public filing of NOI’s • Threshold Values • Almost all applications terrestrial general herbicide • Application Categories • Weed Control versus Forest Canopy makes a difference • Pest Management Areas • Clarification allows for NOI threshold planning
Approach in Arkansas The Latest• Field tour with ADEQ on June 15• Better mutual understanding of PGP requirements and forestry herbicide applications• ADEQ developing a “Permit by Rule”• PBR provides coverage of permit without worry of exceeding threshold limits for NOI• Landowners must follow current PGP for now• H.R. 872 included in House Farm Bill