NPMA Policy in Progress - September 4, 2015
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Posted by: Christina Cramer
A Week in Review – 5 Things You Need to Know this Friday
1.) NPMA Submits Comments to the Department of Labor In Opposition to Proposed Overtime Changes
On Thursday September 3rd NPMA submitted comments to the Department of Labor in opposition of the Department’s flawed proposed overtime rule. NPMA along with 250 individual NPMA members submitted an extension request for the rule in early August. Unfortunately, the Department announced on Monday August 31st that they would not extend the comment period despite hundreds of thousands of requests to extend the comment period. The deadline to submit comments is 11:59 pm today. The comments submitted by NPMA respectfully requests the Department to withdraw the proposed rule, explaining:
As proposed, the Department’s proposed rule does not achieve the intended objective of protecting the American workforce through overtime protection mechanisms. Instead the Department’s unprecedented 113% raise of the minimum salary threshold for overtime pay is ill advised and does not take into account the effects this abrupt threshold increase would have on the economy and employee flexibility. The proposed rule inadequately addresses important factors such as regional cost-of-living differences and the need to account for non-discretionary bonuses. The pest management industry is additionally concerned by the Department’s attempt to subvert federal authority and legislative intent by annually indexing the minimum salary threshold and potentially altering the long used duties test for white collar exemptions from overtime pay.
To read the full comments click here.
In addition to submitting comments directly from the pest management industry, NPMA signed onto comments submitted by the Partnership to Protect Workforce Opportunity (PPWO). The PPWO is comprised of a wide range of associations and companies that represent a diverse group of industries and interests. The comments submitted by the PPWO are inclusive of a broad set of industry goals and objectives in opposition to the proposed rule. NPMA in conjunction with the PPWO will continue to raise this issue on Capitol Hill as Congress returns from August recess next week.
2.) NPMA Attends ASPCRO 2015 Annual Conference
Last week, NPMA staff attended and participated as speakers at the 2015 Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials (ASPCRO) annual conference. The meeting opened with a presentation by Dr. Jerome Goddard of Mississippi State who spoke about the vital role of pesticides and Susan Lewis, the director of EPA¹s registration division. Session topics throughout the week focused on pollinator protection, applicator certification and training, benefits and risks of pesticides, invasive species and a special session on Golden Malrin Fly Bait (methomyl). At the ASPCRO business meeting, John Scott from the Colorado Department of Agriculture and 2015 president of ASPCRO passed the torch to incoming president Liza Fleeson with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services who will now serve in the role for the next two years. We thank all the NPMA members who were in attendance and all of the conference sponsors for assisting in making this important event possible.
3.) Injunction Granted for the Implementation of EPA’s Clean Water Rule
On Thursday August 27th a federal judge in North Dakota granted an injunction blocking the implementation of the controversial Waters of the U.S. Rule (WOTUS). 13 states are parties to the suit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), while the injunction was granted only hours prior to the WOTUS rule going into effect on Friday August 28th. The thirteen states where the injunction has immediately gone into effect include: North Dakota, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, Wyoming and New Mexico. While other states also filed complaints and injunctions about the rule, EPA said it plans to enforce the WOTUS regulation on the states not covered by the injunction. Other districts courts in West Virginia and Georgia declined attempts by opponents of WOTUS for injunctive relief.
In all, there are 10 lawsuits against WOTUS representing 29 states, business interests, farmers and groups. The law suits are in several jurisdictions at the district and appellate level and both sides are attempting to consolidate the cases, with a high probability of this case eventually headed for the Supreme Court.
The WOTUS final rule specifically includes language that would maintain the current status quo concerning the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). NPDES is a national permit program that regulates the point source discharge of pollutants and chemicals into waters of the U.S. The definition of WOTUS has expanded, but the traditional practices of PMPs have not changed. NPMA is continuing to lobby against expansive regulatory overreach like WOTUS and aggressively pushing for legislation like S. 1500 which would get rid of the duplicative NPDES permitting system.
4.) OMB Completes Review of the APHIS AQI Fumigation Fee Rule
On Monday August 31st, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) completed their review of the APHIS AQI rule. Since 2014, NPMA has been leading a coalition to address changing the flawed user fees proposed by APHIS. In January 2015 NPMA met with OMB officials to address our concerns with the proposed fee raise. It is unclear exactly when the final rule will be published in the federal register and what if any changes have been made. What is known is that OMB has completed their review and this is an indication that a final rule should be published in the near future.
5.) NPMA to Host Bob Dold Event
Next year fellow PCO Bob Dold, Jr will be defending his congressional seat in one of the four most closely contested races of the 2016 election season according to the latest analysis from the Cook Report. As we’ve done in the past, NPMA will be leading the industry in an effort to come together and rally behind Bob, ensuring he has the opportunity to continue the great work he’s started in Washington, D.C. In an effort to provide a more intimate forum to catch up with Bob, NPMA Members are invited to attend a special event directly following the NPMA PesTech conference scheduled for Jan. 5-7, 2016 at the Marriott San Jose, California.
This event is only open to members of NPMA's "restricted class," as defined by the Federal Elections Commission. For additional information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a nice Labor Day weekend,
The NPMA Policy Team