In the summer of 1999, West Nile Virus, a mosquito-borne illness, appeared in the eastern United States and has since worked its way across the country. Thousands have been infected, and hundreds have died from the virus. Communities, struggling to protect their residents, have often been forced to employ widespread pesticide spraying to stop the virus' spread. Citizens and environmental groups, however, have expressed concern that pesticide spraying is damaging to the environment and contend that the law has been broken. They argue that when these pesticides are deposited onto water bodies, without first obtaining a permit, there is a violation of the Clean Water Act ("CWA"). Unfortunately, uncertain interpretation of the CWA's applicability by the Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") and the federal courts has left this issue unresolved. This Note suggests that, while it is possible that a permit will be required under the CWA for pesticide spraying, because the permitting process is too long and too expensive, communities should look for additional solutions for the short term. Specifically, the Note suggests that communities employ a stakeholder approach, advocated by the EPA in other forums, to develop solutions that will appease concerned citizens while ensuring communities are able to continue the necessary work of protecting the public health.
Rebecca E. Leintz,
Is FIFRA Enough Regulation? Failure to Obtain a NPDES Permit for Pesticide Applications May Violate the Clean Water Act,
Chi.-Kent L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/cklawreview/vol79/iss1/12