Text: H.R.5015 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (02/14/2018)

[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 5015 Introduced in House (IH)]


  2d Session
                                H. R. 5015

 To direct the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to 
take certain actions related to pesticides that may affect pollinators, 
                        and for other purposes.



                           February 14, 2018

Mr. Blumenauer (for himself, Mr. McGovern, Mr. Huffman, Ms. Norton, Ms. 
Velazquez, Ms. Speier, Mr. DeFazio, Ms. Wasserman Schultz, Mrs. Carolyn 
B. Maloney of New York, Ms. McCollum, Ms. Tsongas, Ms. Schakowsky, Ms. 
  Clark of Massachusetts, Mr. Connolly, Mr. Pascrell, Mr. Polis, Mr. 
    Quigley, Mr. Nadler, Ms. Slaughter, Ms. Lofgren, Mr. Meeks, Ms. 
 Pingree, Ms. Lee, Mr. Ellison, Mrs. Watson Coleman, Mr. Grijalva, Mr. 
   Nolan, Mr. Larsen of Washington, Ms. Kuster of New Hampshire, Mr. 
 Cartwright, Mr. Cohen, Ms. DeLauro, Ms. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New 
    Mexico, Ms. Esty of Connecticut, and Ms. Kaptur) introduced the 
   following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture


                                 A BILL

 To direct the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to 
take certain actions related to pesticides that may affect pollinators, 
                        and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Saving America's Pollinators Act of 


    Congress finds the following:
            (1) Pollination services are a vital part of agricultural 
        production, valued at over $125,000,000,000 globally. According 
        to a 2014 Presidential memorandum, pollinators provide for an 
        annual amount of $24,000,000,000 to the economy of the United 
        States and honeybees account for $15,000,000,000 of such 
        amount. Similarly, pollination services of native pollinators, 
        such as bumblebees, squash bees, and mason bees, contribute 
        over $3,000,000,000 to the United States agricultural economy 
        and are estimated to contribute between $937,000,000 and 
        $2,400,000,000 to the economy of California alone.
            (2) One-third of food produced in North America--including 
        nearly 100 varieties of fruits and vegetables such as almonds, 
        avocados, cranberries, and apples--depends on pollination by 
            (3) Over the past several years, documented incidents of 
        colony collapse disorder and other forms of excess bee 
        mortality have been at a record high, with some beekeepers 
        repeatedly losing 100 percent of their operations. The national 
        honey crop reported in 2013 was the lowest in many decades.
            (4) A recent national survey sponsored by the Federal 
        Government indicates that United States beekeepers experienced 
        a 45.2 percent annual mortality rate with their hives during 
        the period beginning in April 2012 and ending in March 2013. 
        During the winter of 2013-2014, two-thirds of beekeepers 
        experienced loss rates greater than the established acceptable 
        winter mortality rate.
            (5) According to scientists at the Department of 
        Agriculture, current losses of honeybee colonies are too high 
        to confidently ensure the United States will be able to meet 
        the pollination demands for agricultural crops.
            (6) Native pollinators, such as bumblebees, have also 
        suffered alarming population declines. There are currently more 
        than 40 pollinator species federally listed as threatened or 
        endangered, and most recently, the iconic monarch butterfly has 
        declined by 90 percent.
            (7) Scientists have linked the use of a certain class of 
        systemic insecticides, known as neonicotinoids, to the rapid 
        decline of pollinators and to the deterioration of pollinator 
            (8) Neonicotinoids cause sublethal effects, including 
        impaired foraging and feeding behavior, disorientation, 
        weakened immunity, delayed larval development, and increased 
        susceptibility to viruses, diseases, and parasites. Numerous 
        reports also document acute, lethal effects from the 
        application of neonicotinoids.
            (9) Conclusions from a recent global review of the impacts 
        of systemic pesticides, primarily neonicotinoids, warn that 
        they are causing significant damage to a wide range of 
        beneficial invertebrate species, are a key factor in the 
        decline of bees, and pose a global threat to biodiversity and 
        ecosystem services. Another recent global review documented 
        high levels of freshwater contamination.
            (10) Science has demonstrated that a single corn kernel 
        coated with a neonicotinoid is toxic enough to kill a songbird. 
        Peer-reviewed research from the Netherlands has shown that the 
        most severe bird population declines occurred in those areas 
        where neonicotinoid pollution was highest. Starlings, tree 
        sparrows, and swallows were among the most affected.
            (11) In January 2013, the European Food Safety Authority 
        determined that the most widely used neonicotinoids pose 
        unacceptable hazards to bees, prompting the European Union to 
        suspend their use on agricultural crops.
            (12) In June 2013, over 50,000 bumblebees were killed as a 
        direct result of exposure to a neonicotinoid applied to linden 
        trees for cosmetic purposes.
            (13) In February 2014, Eugene, Oregon, voted to ban the use 
        of neonicotinoid pesticides on city property. Similar bans and 
        restrictions have been enacted in Thurston County, Spokane, and 
        Seattle, Washington, and Skagway, Alaska.
            (14) In June 2014, a Presidential memorandum established a 
        Pollinator Health Task Force after identifying pollinator 
        decline as a threat to the sustainability of food production 
        systems, the agricultural economy, and the health of the 
        environment in the United States.
            (15) In July 2014, the United States Fish and Wildlife 
        Service announced plans to phase out neonicotinoid pesticides 
        in all national wildlife refuges across the United States by 
        January 2016. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service 
        recognized that the prophylactic use of neonicotinoids for 
        agricultural purposes harms a wide range of nontarget species 
        and is therefore inconsistent with the management policy of the 
        United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
            (16) In October 2014, an assessment by the Environmental 
        Protection Agency found that neonicotinoid seed coatings 
        provide little benefit to overall soybean crop yield. 
        Additional studies determined that in approximately 80 to 90 
        percent of row crop uses, neonicotinoid coatings are 
        unnecessary. The prophylactic overuse of neonicotinoids 
        violates the fundamental principles of integrated pest 
            (17) In November 2014, the Province of Ontario, Canada, 
        announced the province will move to restrict the use of 
        neonicotinoid-coated corn and soybean seeds because of the 
        broad harms from their overuse, with a goal of 80 percent 
        reduction by 2017.
            (18) In September 2015, the Circuit Court of the United 
        States for the Ninth Circuit ruled to revoke the Environmental 
        Protection Agency's approval for sufloxaflor--a neonicotinoid 
            (19) In November 2016, Health Canada, the Department of the 
        Government of Canada with responsibility for national public 
        health, proposed a ban on almost all uses of the neonicotinoid 
        imidacloprid, saying it is seeping into Canadian waterways at 
        levels that can harm insects and the ecosystem.
            (20) The President's budget for fiscal year 2018 cuts 
        funding for pesticide review programs of the Environmental 
        Protection Agency by 20 percent delaying reviews of new, 
        potentially safer pesticides as well as reviews of older, more 
        dangerous pesticides such as neonicotinoids.


    (a) In General.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Environmental 
Protection Agency shall suspend the registration of imidacloprid, 
clothianidin, thiamethoxam, dinotafuran, and any other members of the 
nitro group of neonicotinoid insecticides to the extent such 
insecticide is registered, conditionally or otherwise, under the 
Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (7 U.S.C. 136 et 
seq.) for use in seed treatment, soil application, or foliar treatment 
on bee-attractive plants, trees, and cereals until the Administrator 
has made a determination that such insecticide will not cause 
unreasonable adverse effects on pollinators based on--
            (1) an evaluation of the published and peer-reviewed 
        scientific evidence on whether the use or uses of such 
        neonicotinoids cause unreasonable adverse effects on 
        pollinators, including native bees, honeybees, birds, bats, and 
        other species of beneficial insects; and
            (2) a completed field study that meets the criteria 
        required by the Administrator and evaluates residues, including 
        residue buildup after repeated annual application, chronic low-
        dose exposure, cumulative effects of multiple chemical 
        exposures, and any other protocol determined to be necessary by 
        the Administrator to protect managed and native pollinators.
    (b) Conditions on Certain Pesticides Registrations.--
Notwithstanding section 3 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and 
Rodenticide Act (7 U.S.C. 136a), for purposes of the protection of 
honeybees, other pollinators, and beneficial insects, the Administrator 
of the Environmental Protection Agency shall not issue any new 
registrations, conditional or otherwise, for any seed treatment, soil 
application, and foliar treatment on bee-attractive plants, trees, and 
cereals under such Act until the Administrator has made the 
determination described in subsection (a), based on an evaluation 
described in subsection (a)(1) and a completed field study described in 
subsection (a)(2), with respect to such insecticide.
    (c) Monitoring of Native Bees.--The Secretary of the Interior, in 
coordination with the Administrator of the Environmental Protection 
Agency, shall, for purposes of protecting and ensuring the long-term 
viability of native bees and other pollinators of agricultural crops, 
horticultural plants, wild plants, and other plants--
            (1) regularly monitor the health and population status of 
        native bees, including the status of native bees in 
        agricultural and nonagricultural habitats and areas of 
        ornamental plants, residential areas, and landscaped areas;
            (2) identify the scope and likely causes of unusual native 
        bee mortality; and
            (3) beginning not later than 180 days after the date of the 
        enactment of this Act and each year thereafter, submit to 
        Congress, and make available to the public, a report on such 
        health and population status.

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