Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate without amendment (10/29/2015)

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)

Sensible Environmental Protection Act of 2015

(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (commonly known as the Clean Water Act) to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or a state from requiring a permit under the Clean Water Act for a discharge from a point source into navigable waters of:

  • a pesticide authorized for sale, distribution, or use under FIFRA, or
  • a residue resulting from the application of the pesticide.

Point source pollution is waste discharged from a distinct place, such as a pipe, channel, and tunnel.

The EPA or a state may require a permit for the following discharges containing a pesticide:

  • a discharge resulting from the application of a pesticide in violation of FIFRA that is relevant to protecting water quality, if the discharge would not have occurred without the violation, or if the amount of pesticide or residue contained in the discharge is greater than would have occurred without the violation;
  • a stormwater discharge regulated under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES); and
  • a discharge of manufacturing or industrial effluent (wastewater), treatment works effluent, or a discharge incidental to the normal operation of a vessel, including discharges from ballast water operations or vessel biofouling prevention.

The EPA must report on: (1) coordination between the Office of Water and the Office of Pesticide Programs regarding streamlining information collection, standards of review, and data use relating to water quality impacts from the registration and use of pesticides; (2) the effectiveness of regulatory actions relating to pesticide registration and use aimed at protecting water quality; and (3) recommendations on modifying FIFRA in order to improve the protection of water quality and human health.