U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, today sent a letter to Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), regarding the increasingly negative agricultural and economic impacts that are the result of the Agency's inappropriately calculated risks and benefits analysis for certain pesticides.

"Just in the last decade, one of Louisiana's iconic peach farms has steadily watched the family orchard die thanks to EPA phasing out methyl bromide in pesticides without providing a cost-effective or equally efficient alternative," said Vitter. "With such far-reaching impacts, EPA should be looking to help American farmers get through the transition without losing their livelihoods."

In Vitter's letter, he highlights a family peach farm in Lincoln Parish, Louisiana that has been devastated as the EPA has continued to wind down the use of a critical pesticide. The orchard has shrunk by 80% over the last decade. Despite efforts to find an appropriate replacement for methyl bromide, thus far attempts have failed and both the orchard and livelihood of many Louisianians are in jeopardy. In today's letter, Vitter asks EPA to explain the process behind which they grant farmers and businesses critical use exemptions to use pesticides such as methyl bromide for which there are often no commercially or economically viable alternatives.

Click here to read today's letter.