January 04, 2019

Udall Statement on Commitments from EPA on Worker Protection Rules

Thanks Carper for leadership, calls for swift action on PRIA that ensures the commitment to preserve child & farmworker protections is upheld

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) applauded Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) for securing pro-worker and pro-environment commitments from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), including a written promise that the agency will preserve -- for now -- two critical rules that EPA had proposed scrapping -- the updated Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) and Certification of Pesticide Applicators (CPA) Rule, which provide key safeguards for farmworkers, and particularly child farmworkers, from toxic pesticide exposures. 

Now, Udall is again calling on the full Congress to provide long-term certainty for these critical rules, and to pass his bipartisan, compromise agreement to reauthorize the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA) while permanently maintaining the worker protection safeguards. Udall’s compromise agreement cleared the Senate unanimously in June, 2018, but the Republican House failed to act in the 115thCongress.

“I supported Senator Carper’s efforts in securing these written commitments from EPA to preserve critical rules that protect worker and child safety. Now, there is no reason Congress cannot act to provide a legally binding solution that protects these essential rules and protects the safety of farmworkers – hundreds of thousands of whom are children – who apply toxic chemicals on a daily basis. Last June, the Senate unanimously passed my bipartisan agreement to provide long-term certainty to the nation’s pesticide registration program, and to provide long-term certainty to these worker and child protection safeguards at the same time. Unfortunately, the Republican House failed to act on this bipartisan, balanced bill, even as many who rely on PRIA called on the House to act on the Senate agreement. I am hopeful that in the new Congress we will move quickly to resolve this issue and pass a common-sense, worker-friendly PRIA agreement.”