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H.R. 1029: Pesticide Registration Improvement Extension Act of 2017

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jun 29, 2017.

Pesticide Registration Improvement Extension Act of 2017

This bill amends the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act to revise requirements for pesticide registration applications and their corresponding registration maintenance fees and registration service fees.

(Sec. 2) The bill extends the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to collect annual fees to maintain the registration of pesticides (registration maintenance fees) through FY2020. Under current law, EPA's authority to collect those fees expires at the end of FY2017.

In addition, the bill increases the maximum: (1) amount that the EPA may collect in total registration maintenance fees from $27.8 million per fiscal year to $31 million for each of FY2018-FY2020; and (2) annual registration maintenance fees for pesticide registrants, including small business registrants.

The bill extends until the end of FY2022 a prohibition on levying pesticide registration fees not otherwise authorized as maintenance or registration fees. (Sec. 3) The bill expands the permissible uses of the fees collected and deposited in the Reregistration and Expedited Processing Fund, including by allowing the fees to be used for: (1) any review under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 required as part of the pesticide registration review; (2) the development and implementation of performance data requirements for products claiming efficacy against certain invertebrate pests of significant public importance, such as bed bugs and fire ants; and (3) monitoring good laboratory practices with respect to inspections and data audits conducted in support of pesticide product registrations.

The set aside of funds for review of inert ingredients is extended through FY2020.

(Sec. 4) Applications for an experimental use permit must conform to the requirements governing pesticide registration applications.

(Sec. 5) The bill extends through FY2020 the authority of the EPA to collect pesticide registration service fees.

No waiver or fee reduction may be provided for a letter of certification of registration, which is commonly referred to as a Gold Seal letter. The set aside of funds for worker protection, partnership grants, and pesticide safety education is extended until FY2020. Funds for worker protection must emphasize field workers. The EPA must also identify opportunities for streamlining the review of applications to register a new active ingredient in a pesticide or a new use of a pesticide and providing prompt feedback to applicants during the review process.

The bill revises reporting requirements, including by requiring the EPA to provide additional information about pesticide cases it reviewed and the number of registration review decisions it completed.

(Sec. 6) The bill adds new categories of pesticide registration applications that are subject to the registration service fees, such as applications for inert ingredients.