Today, Earthjustice’s Vice President of Policy and Legislation, Martin Hayden, released the following statement after the U.S. House Agriculture Committee marked up Representative Conaway’s controversial 2018 Farm Bill:
“The House Agriculture Committee has completed its markup of the 2018 Farm Bill and the end product isn’t even suitable to use as fertilizer. By including riders that gut key provisions of, or create exemptions from, the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, as well as the Pesticide Registration Improvement Enhancement Act of 2017 (PRIA 4), this Farm Bill threatens public health, workers and the environment while benefitting polluters and big corporations.
“We won’t stand by and let members of the Committee strip the legal teeth out of our bedrock conservation laws when it comes to this bill. If this legislation becomes law, it will gut environmental review of projects from the timber industry, commonsense protections regarding the dumping of pesticides into water supplies, and protection of workers and wildlife from harmful pesticides and other threats.
“This isn’t a farm bill, it’s a hyper-partisan, pollute-at-will bill and it should be stopped before taking root.”
Earthjustice objects to several provisions in the bill, including:
- Multiple provisions that allow the timber industry to bypass environmental reviews and public involvement for logging projects in our national forests.
- By-passing the Clean Water Act by allowing pesticides to be sprayed in our water supply without adequate oversight.
- Weakening the Endangered Species Act so that wildlife is not adequately protected from toxic pesticides and making it more difficult to challenge that in court.
- The inclusion of language (PRIA 4) that facilitates pesticide registration without the preservation of vital worker protections.
Sarah Saylor, Earthjustice, (212) 845-7380