President Donald Trump signed the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA) into law, bringing certainty to the agriculture industry and other stakeholders.
PRIA established a framework for the Environmental Protection Agency when registering pesticides. The original intent of PRIA was to establish a more predictable and effective registration and evaluation process for pesticide decisions. The law couples the collection of fees with specific decision review periods. This reauthorization includes technical changes and extends authority for EPA to collect updated pesticide registration and maintenance fees through 2023.
Senate Agriculture Committee chairman Pat Roberts (R., Kan.) and ranking member Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.) praised the final step in legislation they both worked to advance. Senate passage occurred on Feb. 28. The House passed this version of the legislation on Feb. 25.
“This law will ensure farmers, consumers and others have an improved process when registering and evaluating the use of pesticides,” Roberts said. “The bill was approved by the Senate unanimously and represents the concerns of all stakeholders.”
“PRIA means certainty for agriculture, farmworkers and consumers,” Stabenow added. “I’m pleased the President acted to sign this long-overdue legislation into law to help farmers protect their crops while also providing important protections for farmworkers and their families.”
After House passage, pesticide industry group CropLife America welcomed the approval, with president and chief executive officer Chris Novak saying, “PRIA represents a collaborative effort between a diverse group of organizations ranging from agriculture, commercial pesticide users, state and federal regulators and environmental advocacy groups. This law provides certainty for consumers, farmers and our members, ensuring pesticides are reviewed and re-reviewed in a thorough and timely manner.”
EPA Office of Chemical Safety & Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) assistant administrator Alexandra Dapolito Dunn welcomed the passage. “Since 2004, PRIA has been a key statute to ensuring timely review by EPA of pesticide registrations," Dunn said. "PRIA 4 is supported by farmers and ranchers, environmental justice and worker protection organizations and a broad array of manufacturers. EPA looks forward to implementing the new law to further the agency’s mission of protecting human health and the environment.”
PRIA reauthorizes and updates the fee collection provisions and authorities available under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide & Rodenticide Act and addresses worker protection matters. Key elements of PRIA include the following:
- Registration fees and maintenance fees that supplement appropriations to provide resources necessary for the timely review of new pesticide tools and re-evaluation of currently registered pesticides;
- Elimination of the appropriations constraint on spending maintenance fees (“1-to-1” provision), which has resulted in an inability of EPA to fully spend maintenance fees collected from the industry to support critical activities;
- Expedited review time frames and additional financial incentives for the development and submission of reduced-risk pesticides;
- Registration service fee set-asides of $2 million for worker protection activities, partnership grants and pesticide safety education programs;
- Establishment of new maintenance fee set-asides, including:
- $500,000 annually to develop and finalize rule-making and guidance for product performance data requirements for certain invertebrate pests of significant public importance. The guidelines will benefit companies developing new public health and consumer pest control products by giving them clear guidance on how to conduct efficacy testing to satisfy registration requirements, and
- $500,000 annually to support Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) audits of laboratories that conduct studies in support of pesticide product registrations.
- Reporting requirements on the effectiveness of worker protection and pesticide safety education activities, the number of GLP inspections conducted and progress in priority review and approval of new pesticides to control public health pests that may transmit vector-borne disease, among other reporting requirements.