EPA Responds to Chairman Davis’ Letter with a Detailed Analysis of the Impact of a Lapse in PRIA
On March 7, 2018, EPA responded to Chairman Davis (see previous story) with a detailed analysis of what the impact would be on the Agency under three scenarios including a lapse in PRIA, a continuation of authority under the existing PRIA 3, and the passage and enactment of PRIA 4.
Approximately 33% of the funding of the Agency’s pesticide program activities comes from PRIA in the form of registration service fees for new product submissions and annual maintenance fees for products currently in the marketplace. The bulk of maintenance fees collected is used to support EPA’s implementation of registration review which has a statutory deadline for completion of October 1, 2022.
EPA’s analysis indicates that a lapse in PRIA would ultimately result in the loss of some 166 FTEs at the end of the statute’s two-year phase out period during which the Agency would be allowed to collect registration service fees but at a reduced rate (i.e., fees would be reduced 40% in FY 2018 and 70% in FY 2019). In addition, EPA would no longer have the authority to collect maintenance fees which, according to the Agency, would severely impact its ability to conduct registration review and other maintenance-fee supported activities such as the processing of fast-track amendments and notifications.
In contrast, PRIA 4 is projected to generate an additional $1 million in registration service fees due to the establishment of new fee categories and changes to existing fees. Maintenance fees collected under PRIA 4 would increase $3.2 million annually above the $27.8 million/year authorized under law for a projected total of $31 million/year. Moreover, PRIA 4 would remove the existing matching appropriations constraint under current law thus freeing up EPA’s ability to spend collected maintenance fees that now remain frozen on pesticide review activities. EPA states, “The provision in section 4(k)(2) [of PRIA] prohibiting EPA from spending maintenance fee dollars without matching with appropriation dollars would be removed with enactment of PRIA 4, allowing EPA to better access carryover maintenance fee funds that have built up partially as a result of this provision. This would provide additional resources to the activities for which these funds can be spent, foremost of which is meeting the statutory obligation under registration review to complete decisions on 725 chemical cases by October 1, 2022.” The Agency signals that the additional registration service fees and maintenance fees anticipated under PRIA 4 would allow EPA to retain current staffing levels and possibly hire additional FTEs in support of pesticide registration, registration review, inert ingredient review, and expedited processing of substantially similar product submissions and amendments.
As a member of the Pesticide Policy Coalition (PPC), CPDA is working closely with Chairman Davis and other members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees in an effort to secure a permanent, long-term reauthorization of PRIA. CPDA applauds Chairman Davis for recognizing the importance of PRIA and for his leadership as he works to secure the continuation of the statute. CPDA will keep its members informed of further developments on PRIA and the federal budget process as they occur.