Pesticide General Permit
The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has issued the General Pesticide Permit for any pesticide use in which pesticides will reach waters of the state. This permit became effective October 31, 2011.
Documents and Links:
For additional information about the pesticide general permit, please contact the Surface Water Quality Program at (605) 773-3351.
Federal pesticide legislation was first passed in the United States in 1910. The intent of the legislation was simply to reduce economic exploitation of farmers by manufacturers and distributors of ineffective pesticides. Congress did not address the potential risks to human health posed by pesticide products until it enacted Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) in 1947. Broader concerns about long- and short-term toxicity effects of pesticides on people, wildlife, food, and the environment led to a complete revision of FIFRA in 1972. The 1972 law completely replaced the original 1947 law, and is the basis of current federal policy.
In 1972, Congress also passed the federal Clean Water Act which was intended to address water quality impacts in the United States. Until 2009, FIFRA was the governing legislation over pesticide use. If pesticides were used in water bodies in accordance with FIFRA, no Clean Water Act permits were required.
However, in 2009, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the application of pesticides to water bodies in the United States required a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits issued under the federal Clean Water Act.
Initially the permit was scheduled to be issued April 9, 2011. However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) filed a request with the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals requesting an extension to the deadline for obtaining a permit. On March 28, 2011, the Court granted the extension and the pesticide permit was not required until October 31, 2011.
EPA delegated the NPDES regulatory authority within South Dakota to the State of South Dakota in 1993. Therefore, the state is responsible for issuing permits to applicators who propose to discharge pesticides to waters of the state.
South Dakota’s General Permit
DENR drafted a general permit covering any pesticide application which may reach waters of the state in South Dakota. A general permit allows DENR to cover a large number of activities with minimal delays. On January 21, 2011, DENR offered the new General Permit for the discharge of pollutants from a point source associated with the application of a pesticide to the public for review and comment. The department carefully considered each of the comments received and issued a response. A copy of the department’s response to the questions and comments is attached above.
The permit is now final. DENR has finalized the general permit before the effective date to allow applicators to become familiar with the requirements within. However, based on the court’s extension as stated above, the effective date of South Dakota's general permit was October 31, 2011.
For additional information or to organize additional presentations about the pesticide general permit, please contact the Surface Water Quality Program at (605) 773-3351.