Angela Beehler is the District Manager at Benton County Mosquito Control District in West Richland, WA. She is also the Legislative & Regulatory Committee Chair with AMCA. She shares her experience of attending the AMCA Annual Washington Conference below:

Each spring a group of 100+ mosquito control professionals take to Capitol Hill to educate lawmakers and hear reports from regulatory agencies. Many of the attendees come back year after year, but there are always a few brave souls that come to take part in the democratic process for the first time, not knowing what to expect. In 2005, I attended the meeting on a Central Life Sciences travel stipend, and I was hooked. Each year my visits go more smoothly, I see our group making continuous progress, and I am reminded that the United States has a proud, successful history of mosquito control.

Ninety people registered for the May 2014 meeting, representing twenty-four states. With the help of the Regional Directors, AMCA President Steve Mulligan, the product representatives, and individuals visiting their local offices we were able to cover all the key Congressional offices.

The unnecessary regulation of pesticide applications under the Clean Water Act NPDES permitting program was once again our #1 issue. Pesticides are thoroughly regulated under FIFRA, and need not be doubly regulated under the Clean Water Act. We must continue to educate Members of Congress on the environmental and water protections provided under FIFRA, the scientific methods used by organized mosquito control, and the potentially crippling lawsuits that mosquito control programs are exposed to under the Clean Water Act.

Appropriations requests will be made again this year to fund federal and state vector-borne disease surveillance programs. Our efforts to retain some level of funding have been successful in recent years, but additional funds are needed to monitor emerging diseases and invasive mosquito species.

Pollinator protections and the use of unmanned aircraft are hot new legislative issues that we will be bringing to the table in 2015.

The regulatory portion of the program provided a unique opportunity to discuss problematic label language in the company of registrants, operations managers, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

I frequently call my Congressmen asking for their support, but the feedback I get meeting face-to-face in D.C. is always worth the trip. The AMCA works on legislative and regulatory issues year-round, but nothing is more powerful than you, the voters, speaking on your own behalf.

The 2015 AMCA Annual Washington Conference will be held May 4-6. A conference call covering what to expect in DC, getting around, and how to set up meetings on Capitol Hill will be held on March 5th. Please visit Mosquito.org for more information.

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