Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. serves small, medium, and large pesticide product registrants and other stakeholders in the agricultural and biocidal sectors, in virtually every aspect of pesticide law, policy, science, and regulation.

By James V. Aidala

On March 8, 2019, President Trump signed S. 483, the “Pesticide Registration Improvement Extension Act of 2018,” which reauthorizes the Pesticide Registration Improvement Extension Act (PRIA 4) through fiscal year 2023, updates the fee collection provisions and authorities available under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and addresses worker protection matters.  The text is available at Congress.gov, which has not yet been updated to confirm that the bill has been signed (but this appears to be the final amended text of the bill).

On February 14, 2019, the Senate approved S. 483 to reauthorize the Pesticide Registration Improvement Extension Act (PRIA 4) and the House of Representatives approved it on February 25, 2019.  Further amendments were made and the Senate approved the amended text on February 28, 2019.  More information on the PRIA 4 legislation is available on our blog under key word PRIA.  


 

By James V. Aidala

On February 14, 2019, the Senate approved S. 483 to reauthorize the Pesticide Registration Improvement Extension Act (PRIA 4).  The Senate bill did not have the specific categories and timelines of earlier reauthorization language, referring instead to more general legislative language that the Senate approved during the Farm Bill authorization in 2018.  Legislation in this new session of Congress was necessary since PRIA was not reauthorized as part of the appropriations language approved by Congress to end the government shutdown.  More information on the Senate bill is available in our blog item “PRIA Not Extended in Appropriations Bill; PRIA 4 Bill Passed by Senate.”

When, on February 25, 2019, the House of Representatives also approved S. 483, the legislation included the specific timelines and PRIA categories which appeared in the original PRIA 4 proposal.  This meant that either the different language in the legislation would need a House-Senate conference, or, the Senate could simply vote again and approve the House version of S. 483.  That is the course of action taken by the Senate, which then approved the amended text (the House approved language) of S. 483 on February 28, 2019.

The legislation now awaits signature by the President, and then PRIA 4 will become law.  It extends PRIA through fiscal year (FY) 2023.  The legislation raises the industry registration fees and refines some of the categories of actions from PRIA 3 (specific legislative text is available here).


 

By Lynn L. BergesonJames V. Aidala, and Margaret R. Graham

On February 14, 2017, in the House of Representatives, Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) introduced H.R. 1029, the “Pesticide Registration Enhancement Act of 2017,” which reauthorizes the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA).  H.R. 1029 was immediately referred to the Agriculture Committee and to the Energy and Commerce Committee; it was passed by the Agriculture Committee on February 16, 2017.  Per Agriculture Committee Chair Michael Conaway’s opening statement at the Business Meeting markup of H.R. 1029, changes to PRIA include “reasonable increases in registration fees, funding for Good Laboratory Practices, and a seven year reauthorization as opposed to the five-year reauthorizations of the past.”  H.R. 1029 would allow the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to collect up to 31 million in registration fees (up from 27.8 million) per year from fiscal years (FY) 2017-2023.  It also includes the following registration increases for FY2017 through FY2023:

  • The maximum annual fee for registrants holding 50 pesticide registrations or less would be $129,400 (up from $115,500);
  • The maximum annual fee for registrants holding over 50 pesticide registrations would be $207,000 (up from $184,800);
  • The maximum annual fee payable for a small business registrant holding 50 pesticide registrations or less would be $79,100 (up from $70,600); and
  • The maximum annual fee payable for a small business registrant holding over 50 pesticide registrations would be $136,800 (up from $122,100).

Commentary

PRIA represents a commitment by the pesticide registrants to help with the continued resource issues of the pesticide regulatory program.  This has become an issue of increased concern with the arrival of the Trump Administration after campaign rhetoric about eliminating EPA and cutting budgets.  Fees are seldom a popular topic, but an essential program component.  Without staff and resources to approve pesticide registrations, registrants would be left with new products destined to pile in EPA in-boxes.  PRIA is designed to help maintain some certainty and predictability to the review process.

Of some note is that in recent years Congress has appropriated funds at a level below the statutory minimum that originally was a line in the sand which, if breeched, would de-authorize EPA’s authority to charge application fees.  The regulated community has reluctantly supported Congressional action to lower this “minimum” level of funding to hold onto the programmatic progress which has been made since the first PRIA authorization.  This appears to be an uneasy acceptance of the budget realities surrounding federal spending on discretionary, non-defense expenditures.