Every year, pest control professionals ascend on our nation’s capital to raise awareness with their legislators about important issues impacting the pest control industry. National Pest Management Association (NMPA) Legislative Day 2013, in Washington DC, offered pest control professionals the opportunity to build stronger relationships with a new-look Congress.
NMPA Legislative Day 2013 In Washington
March 17-19 2013 marked NMPA Legislative Day in Washington DC; and some 400 pest control professionals attended to make sure their voices were heard by Congress. Important business and tax issues were discussed, including issues surrounding the PESTT Act, paperless reporting, and the use of Sulfuryl Fluoride on food.
Those who attended got to listen to prominent speakers, like former Vice-Presidential candidate Paul Ryan; who spoke of trying to eliminate burdensome taxes on PCO’s. By all accounts, Ryan’s speech was the highlight Legislative Day.
New Pest Control Opportunities With A New Congress
The new Congress, which convened on January 3, 2013, is a once-in-a-generation Congress. One-third (180 new members the last two election cycles) of the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives are new; with less than three years experience. The Senate has seen similar turnover, with 25 new Senators being elected in 2012 and 2010 elections.
With this in mind, pest control professionals had a once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity to forge relationships with tomorrow’s leaders during NMPA Legislative Day 2013. These relationships can establish partnerships with a new generation of federal lawmakers, which will ultimately benefit the entire professional pest management industry for generations. The impact of this change in Congress is difficult to overstate.
Topics Of Discussion At Legislative Day
While much discussion at NMPA Legislative Day focused on pest control business and tax issues; there were also three critical issues that were addressed with the new Congress.
Legislative Day attendees asked their legislators to support the Pest Elimination Services Transparency and Terminology Act (PESTT Act) which aims to limit USDA-Wildlife Services competition with the private sector for rodent, nuisance bird and wildlife work. Essentially, PCO’s don’t want to have to compete against USDA Wildlife Services for pest control.
The two key components of the PESTT Act are: (1) to define the term “urban rodent control”; and (2) to direct the U.S. Government Accountability Office to write a report identifying activities that Wildlife Services performs that the private sector has the capability and capacity to perform; and to make further recommendations. Another issue the PESTT Act is trying to correct is that USDA Wildlife Services is authorized to work at non-agricultural settings.
The NMPA’s ultimate goal is to get this legislation inserted into the farm bill, so PCO’s have less competition with the government for pest control services.
Sulfuryl Fluoride Food Usage
Pest control professionals involved in fumigation work wanted to make sure their voices were heard at Legislative Day; regarding the proposed cancelling of Sulfuryl Fluoride usage on food.
Sulfuryl Fluoride has come under attack from activist groups which have a waged a lengthy war on the pesticide, demanding the stoppage of Sulfuryl Fluoride usage in food-processing facilities. The EPA began listening to these demands in 2011 and began phasing out the pesticide, even though Sulfuryl Fluoride contributes no more that 2-3% of the public’s exposure to fluoride. PCO’s wish to continue using Sulfuryl Fluoride for pest control because some groups in the food sector are now completely reliant on it.
Many pest control companies have gone paperless in order to save costs, go greener, boost efficiency, and promote professionalism. Unfortunately, a barricade that PCOs have run into is that some states mandate pest control operators keep hard copies of pesticide records, use reports, and consumer info sheets—Even if a pest control company has invested a large sum of money to go paperless. Many of these requirements were written in the 1970s and 1980s before people could imagine today’s technology.
Pest control professionals lobbied Congress at Legislative Day to introduce legislation that would allow PCO’s to keep records and reports electronically. Since each State’s laws are different, the issue needs to be addressed on the Federal level.
We Want To Hear From You
If you were able to attend NMPA Legislative Day 2013 In Washington DC, we’d love to hear about your experience.
We’d also love to hear your thoughts on the proposed legislation (i.e. Sulfuryl Fluoride usage, paperless reporting, and the PESTT Act).
Read more about NMPA Legislative Day 2013 at pctonline.com