More than 300 professionals traveled to Washington, D.C., in March to educate congressional representatives about the structural pest control industry at NPMA Legislative Day.
Ongoing efforts to raise awareness and educate congressional representatives about pollinator health and the structural pest control industry took center stage at this year’s NPMA Legislative Day, held in March. More than 300 industry professionals traveled to Washington, D.C., to promote this cause and also make their representatives aware of three other legislative/regulatory issues of importance to the pest control industry: America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2015 (H.R. 636); the Pest Management Records Modernization Act; and the Fair and Transparent Stakeholder Involvement Fee Act (H.R. 1091).
Bee Health Update.
The most significant recent development regarding the pollinator health issue was the March 4 introduction of the Saving America’s Pollinators Act of 2015 (H.R. 1284), which requires the EPA Administrator to suspend the use of neonicotinoids until the agency can review the registration and declare that such insecticides do not cause adverse effects to honey bees and other pollinators. Legislative Day attendees were asked to urge their congressional representatives to: (1) withhold support for measures that unfairly blame pesticides for the decline in bee health; and (2) monitor EPA’s proposed label language, ensuring that PMPs are permitted to legally use pesticides in structural settings.
“It’s particularly problematic because obviously our industry uses a number of neonicitinoids, and there really is no evidence that pesticides are the most important cause, or even an important cause, in pollinator decline,” said Jim Fredericks, director of technical services for the National Pest Management Association. “There are a lot of groups real interested in pointing the finger at pesticides simply because pesticides are their issue. We really believe that by villainizing pesticides it actually does pollinators a disservice. We encourage lawmakers and regulators that as they address the pollinator health issue they consider all sources, especially things like varroa mites, disease and forage.”
FMC Legislative Day Award Posthumously Presented to TERMINIX’S Darrell Ennes
Darrell Ennes, who worked as director of government affairs for Terminix International, was posthumously recognized with the FMC Legislative Day Award. Ennes, who passed away in February, was involved with regulatory issues with the National Pest Management Association, Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials, and the National Conference of State Legislators.
“FMC is proud to be the lead sponsor of Legislative Day because it epitomizes great teamwork,” said Pramod Thota, director of FMC Professional Solutions. “We all compete, and we all try to outwork, and out-innovate, and outsell each other, but make no mistake we are all on the same team [regarding legislative involvement]. And that all starts with people who make up our industry — people like our dear friend Darrell Ennes.”
Ennes spent his entire 43-year career with Terminix, beginning in 1977 as a service technician. During the next 14 years, he managed four Terminix branches in Central and Northern California which led to his promotion to region manager in 1991. He served as region manager for the Sacramento region through 2001, earning Region Manager of the Year in 1991. In 2001, Ennes was promoted to director of government affairs for Terminix in California, where he reported to Norman Goldenberg, Terminix senior vice president of government affairs, through 2013. In 2008-2009, he served as president of the Pest Control Operators of California (PCOC), and for the past five years was Chairperson of the PCOC Legislative Committee.
Accepting the award for Ennes was Dr. Stan Cope, director of entomology and regulatory services, Terminix, and Beneficial Exterminating’s Lee Whitmore, as well as Darrell’s daughter, Amanda Lindley, and sister, Janelle Spencer. Said Cope, “On behalf of Terminix President Bill Derwin and our current 8,000 or so associates – but also on behalf of the countless people for 43 years that Darrell mentored and touched their lives both personally and professionally – he’d be very proud of this award.”
Whitmore, a longtime friend and fellow PCOC member, added, “The FMC Legislative Day Award truly embodies who Darrell was as a professional and what he meant for this industry. Over the years Darrell became famous as the guy who would never volunteer for anything but would be involved in every meaningful task force and legislative agenda he could.”
The FMC Legislative Day Award is presented annually to individuals who have distinguished themselves in the pest management industry through various activities — particularly legislative involvement — and through their contributions to advancing the industry.
An important business- related issue at Legislative Day was efforts to raise support for H.R. 636, America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2015. H.R. 636 would amend the Internal Revenue Code to make permanent after 2014 the $500,000 allowance for the expensing of depreciable business property (section 179 property) and the $2 million threshold after which the amount of such allowance is reduced. Both the allowance and the threshold amount are indexed for inflation for taxable years beginning after 2015. Essentially, Section 179 of the IRS tax code allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment from gross income from the year the equipment was purchased, rather than writing off the depreciation of the equipment over several years. It’s an incentive created by the U.S. government to encourage businesses to buy equipment and invest in themselves. In early 2015 the U.S. House of Representatives acted quickly to make the $500,000 deduction permanent and forego the yearly ambiguity concerning the deduction. The U.S. Senate has yet to pass a companion bill. Without further action, the 2015 section 179 business expense deduction will revert to $25,000.
Fumigation Fee Issue.
A new issue that has arisen for PCOs involved in fumigation work is recent rulemaking proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service establishing a $375 fee for export fumigations. NPMA and others believe this is an exorbitant and costly fee and the association has been working with other groups — and with congressional members — in efforts to make the rulemaking more reasonable and workable. NPMA has joined with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, American Trucking Associations, American Association of Port Authorities, World Shipping Council, National Grain and Feed Association and many other organizations in calling for APHIS to withdraw the rulemaking and instead meet with affected stakeholders to develop a more reasonable AQI fee rulemaking. These groups have already gained support in Congress. On Feb. 25, 2015, Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL), introduced H.R. 1091, the Fair and Transparent Stakeholder Involvement Fee Act, which would require APHIS to use negotiated rule making concerning the AQI fees rule.
PCT Technicians of the Year Recognized
As part of NPMA Legislative Day, PCT presented its 18th annual Technician of the Year Awards, sponsored by BASF, to our winners: Scott Lupo, Batzner Pest Management, New Berlin, Wis. – residential category; Randy Jahnke, Beaver Dam, Wis. – commercial category; and Morris Myles, Terminix, Memphis, Tenn. – termite category.
The annual awards recognize standout service professionals for contributions to their companies, communities and the pest control industry.
“PCT was honored to present these awards to Scott, Randy and Morris — all of whom represent the best the pest control industry has to offer,” said PCT Internet Editor Brad Harbison.
The 2014 winners were profiled in the December 2014 issue of PCT, which can be accessed at http://bit.ly/1Dk4t3N
A Recurring Issue.
NPMA and its members once again asked Congress to pass the The Pest Management Records Modernization Act, which would permit pest management professionals to electronically convey information to consumers and state agencies. The legislation, which passed the House last year but failed to pass the Senate just prior to the session ending in December, addresses the problem of certain states mandating pest control operators provide a hard copy consumer information sheet (e.g., pesticide records, use reports, consumer info sheets, etc.) at the time of service, or after service. Legislative Day attendees were asked to thank House members for their support and urge Senate members to support and pass the Pest Management Records Modernization Act.
Other NPMA Legislative Day highlights included:
- The Monday luncheon keynote presentation given by General Stanley McChrystal, former Commander of U.S. and International Forces in Afghanistan. In his presentation, McChrystal noted that many of the tactics he used to command troops can be applied business management. His presentation was sponsored by FMC Professional Solutions.
- Noted television journalist Chris Wallace, host of FOX News Sunday, recapped the mid-term congressional and gubernatorial elections and provided insights and a historian’s perspective into the race for the White House in 2016. His presentation was sponsored by Dow AgroSciences.
- Reid Wilson, editor of The Washington Post’s Read In edition and former editor-in-chief of National Journal’s The Hotline, gave the Tuesday morning session, which was sponsored by Control Solutions, Inc. Wilson provided an overview of Capitol Hill and reviewed major trends that will affect the 2016 Presidential election, as well as future elections.
FMC was the primary sponsor of NPMA Legislative Day. Co-sponsors included: Bayer, Control Solutions, Inc., and Dow AgroSciences.
Copesan Raises more than $9,500 for Scholarships and Research
Copesan and Syngenta teamed up to raise funds for two nationally recognized, organizations providing scholarship funds and research support to the industry during Copesan’s annual conference held Feb. 10-12, in St. Augustine, Fla.
Conference attendees, including members of Copesan’s Partner network and pest management suppliers, raised $3,719 to support the Pest Management Foundation for research and Pi Chi Omega for scholarships. Copesan matched this amount for a total donation of $7,438 to be equally divided between the two organizations.
Additionally, a unique “Arthropod of the Hour” clock entitled “Beetlemania,” featuring preserved insects on each hour of the face, was auctioned off, raising a record $2,150 which will be added to the donation amount for
Pi Chi Omega. The clock was created and donated by Dr. Gerry Wegner, retired technical director and staff entomologist, ProGuard Commercial Pest Solutions of Columbus, Ohio, a Copesan Partner. Pi Chi Omega, a pest management professional fraternity, provides a number of $2,000 scholarships each year to deserving entomology students at universities across the country and around the world. The Pest Management Foundation has been providing grants for the research, development and refinement of pest management tools and techniques for over 30 years.
“Copesan is once again pleased to support both Pi Chi Omega and the Pest Management Foundation,” said Deni Naumann, president. “The dollars raised reflect the investment of our attendees and the Copesan network to growth in our industry. We believe strong, future leaders and scientific developments are essential to providing the best service to our clients now and in the years to come.”
Sponsored by Syngenta, a longtime supporter of Copesan and this fundraiser, 2015 marked the fourteenth anniversary of Copesan’s Annual Charity Raffle. In addition to the raffle, Copesan further supports industry research with an annual $10,000 contribution to the Norman Goldenberg Research Fund.