Pest management professionals from around the country descended on our nation’s capitol on Tuesday to lobby their congressional representatives to consider the pest control industry’s position on a pair of important bills: H.R. 72, “Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011”; and H.R. 967, the newly introduced “Bed Bug Management, Prevention, and Research Act of 2011.”
|Rep. Robert Dold speaks at NPMA Legislative Day.
WASHINGTON — Pest management professionals from around the country descended on our nation’s capitol on Tuesday to lobby their congressional representatives to consider the pest control industry’s position on a pair of important bills: H.R. 72, “Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011”; and H.R. 967, the newly introduced “Bed Bug Management, Prevention, and Research Act of 2011.” Legislative Day was sponsored by FMC Professional Solutions and Dow AgroSciences.
H.R. 872. Also known as “Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011,” H.R. 872 would amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to clarify Congressional intent regarding the regulation of the use of pesticides in or near navigable waters.
The bill was introduced in response to a January, 2009 Federal Appeals Court ruling that requires costly and burdensome Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge and Elimination System (NPDES) permits for millions of pesticide applications. This ruling is scheduled to go into effect April 9, and may impact many pest management professionals, especially those performing mosquito and aquatic weed treatments.
H.R. 872. will exempt lawful pesticide applications from the requirement to obtain an NPDES permit. The bill cleared an important hurdle on March 16 when the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee voted 46-8 in support of the bill.
NPMA’s Bob Rosenberg and Gene Harrington believe that the March 16 outcome would not have as good if not for Legislative Day visits. Members voting against the measure were: Elijah Cummings (MD), Peter DeFazio (OR), Donna Edwards (MD), Bob Filner (CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX), Daniel Lipinski (IL), and Grace Napolitano (CA).
H.R. 967. Also known as the “Bed Bug Management, Prevention and Research Act of 2011,” H.R. 967 was introduced by Representative Jean Schmidt (R-OH) in response to the dramatic resurgence of bed bugs in the United States in recent years and aims to find ways to help Americans cope with this pest.
Specifically, the bill initiates and directs a commonsense strategic federal response to the bed bug pandemic, including:
• Authorizing a federal bed bug research funding program to resume research that has been neglected for 50 years;
• Requiring efficacy testing for minimum risk pesticides to protect consumers from products that don’t effectively manage bed bug infestations
• Adding “quality of life” criteria the EPA must consider when registering a public health pesticide so as to help provide professionals and consumers with safe, affordable and effective tools
• Establishing a Bed Bug Mitigation Pilot Program to provide subsidized treatments for those on fixed and low incomes
“The bed bug invasion of America is real and severe and many Americans are turning to the government for help,” said Bob Rosenberg, NPMA’s senior vice president. “NPMA is pleased Representative Schmidt is taking a strong lead to assist the public in managing this pest. Our members will visit their Congressional representatives this week to encourage support for this important legislation.”
Rosenberg added, “Pest management professionals are on the front lines of the bed bug war, but cannot go at it alone. It is important the government, the public and the pest control industry work together to minimize infestations through education, building awareness and assistance. This bill sets the stage for this crucial cooperation.”
According to NPMA, 95 percent of pest professionals reported treating bed bugs over the past year, up from 25 percent of professionals in 2000. Moreover, bed bugs have been identified as the single most difficult pest to treat by the pest control industry.
Other highlights from Legislative Day included:
Luncheon Keynote Speech by Congressman Robert Dold
One of the highlight of Legislative Day was the luncheon keynote address, sponsored by FMC Professionals, given by congressman Robert Dold (R-Ill.), who represents Illinois’ 10th district. Dold is the former president of Rose Pest Solutions, who won election last fall with support of many pest management professionals from across the U.S.
Dold ran his campaign on a pro-business platform and his first act after being sworn into Congress on Jan. 5, 2011, was co-signing Bill H.R. 4, “The Small Business Paperwork Reduction Act.” This bill fights to defeat a part of the recent health care reform law - a provision that would directly businesses of all sizes, but would be particularly painful for small and medium-sized businesses, which includes the majority of pest management businesses throughout the country.
At Legislative Day, Dold said he’s proud to be a part of a freshman group of congressmen who are “pressuring leadership” to act pro-business and fiscally responsible. “Our job is not to create jobs, but to create an environment that allows you to create jobs,” he said.
|Karl Rove speaks at Legislative Day.
Keynote Speech from Karl Rove
Karl Rove, former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush, gave the afternoon keynote speech, sponsored by Dow AgroSciences. Rove expressed dismay at Congress for not passing a budget resolution. “Imagine if you were six months into your fiscal year and not having a blueprint for your fiscal year,” he said.
Gorecki Receives Legislative Day Award
In a career that spans 23 years, Orkin’s Chris Gorecki has been one the pest control industry’s most active members when it comes to regulatory issues – not only at Orkin, but for NPMA, where he currently chairs NPMA’s Government Affairs Committee. For these and other contributions Gorecki, Orkin’s vice president of quality assurance, government and environmental affairs and termite claims, was presented with the annual FMC Legislative Day Award. (Click here to read the entire story.)
Technicians of the Year Honored
NPMA Legislative Day 2011 was an opportunity for PCT to recognize the 2010 Service Technicians of the Year. For the past 15 years PCT has recognized a trio of standout service professionals in the residential, commercial and termite categories.
This year’s winners were:
Residential Technician of the Year — Mariano Acosta, Arrow Exterminating, Lynnbrook, N.Y.
Commercial Technician of the Year — Jim Bailey, Orkin Pest Control, Columbus, Ohio
Termite Technician of the Year — Todd Walker, B&B Exterminating, Jacksonville, Fla.
Click here to read more about this year's winners.