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The House of Representatives passed a Farm Bill last week by just two votes. While many objected to its work requirements for recipients of food assistance, others were critical for its effects on the environment. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, the bill repeals clean water safeguards and exempts companies that spray pesticides into waterways. It also exempts chemical makers from enforcement when pesticides harm or kill endangered species including some bees, and it prohibits local communities from adopting their own pesticide laws, if they are more strict than federal standards. Further, the House bill would exempt public lands from wildlife and water conservation safeguards. And EcoWatch reports that it would allow mining and logging in Alaskan forests.
A spokesperson for the Center for Biological Diversity said in a release that the act is a “stunning gift” to the pesticide industry with staggeringly harmful implications for wildlife. The House bill now goes to the Senate, which may vote on it next week.