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News Archive: April 2011

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This information is provided for reference. Over time, links to news items may become unavailable, in these cases the item will remain listed, but no link will be provided. Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.

April 28
EPA Proposes the 2011 Critical Use Exemption From the Phaseout of Methyl Bromide
EPA is proposing uses that qualify for the 2011 critical use exemption and the amount of methyl bromide that may be produced, imported, or supplied from existing pre-phaseout inventory for those uses in 2011. EPA is taking action under the authority of the Clean Air Act to reflect a recent consensus decision taken by the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer at the Twenty-First Meeting of the Parties. EPA is seeking comment on the list of critical uses and on EPA's determination of the amounts of methyl bromide needed to satisfy those uses. Comments must be submitted by May 31, 2011.

April 27
Federal Jury Finds that Massachusetts Cranberry Growers’ Filling Wetlands was Subject to Clean Water Act
A federal jury this week found that the Clean Water Act applied to the filling of wetlands and other waters at two properties in Carver, Mass. The property owners filled and altered approximately 46.1 acres of wetlands and other waters in order to construct cranberry bogs and associated structures. The suit was originally brought by the United States in 1999 at the request of EPA to enforce a provision of the Clean Water Act which prohibits the discharge of dredged and fill material into waters of the United States, which include certain wetlands, without first obtaining a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In 2004, the U.S. District Court ruled that the property owners had filled the wetlands and other waters without obtaining a permit. After two appeals and a change in law resulting from a 2006 Supreme Court ruling, the case was given to a jury to decide whether the Clean Water Act applied to the wetlands and other waters at the owners’ properties under new standards set out by the Supreme Court’s 2006 ruling in Rapanos v. United States. On Monday, April 25, 2011, the jury upheld the government’s assertion of jurisdiction.

April 19
EPA Administrator Jackson and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Meet with Farmers, Ranchers, and Renewable Energy Leaders in Iowa
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack met with farmers and ranchers in Iowa to discuss EPA and USDA’s joint efforts to ensure that American agriculture continues to be productive. Jackson and Vilsack highlighted the cutting-edge conservation measures producers have pioneered over the past decades and met with renewable energy leaders to discuss agriculture’s role in making the nation more energy secure. Jackson and Vilsack toured a livestock farm in Pleasantville, Iowa and a 1,600 acre row crop farm in Prairie City, Iowa. They also toured REG Newton, LLC, a biodiesel plant in Newton, Iowa, to discuss agriculture’s role in renewable energy development.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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April 18
EPA Publishes National U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory
EPA has released the 16th annual U.S. greenhouse gas inventory. The final report shows overall emissions during 2009 decreased by 6.1 percent from the previous year. This downward trend was attributed to a decrease in fuel and electricity consumption across all U.S. economic sectors.

April 12
EPA Updates SPCC Regulation To Exclude Milk and Milk Products
As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to make regulations more effective and eliminate unnecessary burdens, EPA today exempted milk and milk product containers from the Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule, potentially saving the milk and dairy industries more than $140 million per year. This regulation has been in place since the 1970s, and with this action, EPA for the first time will ensure that all milk and milk products will be formally exempted. The final exemption applies to milk, milk product containers, and milk production equipment. In addition, because some of these facilities may still have oil storage subject to the spill prevention regulations, EPA is also amending the rule to exclude milk storage capacity from a facility’s total oil storage capacity calculation. The agency is also removing the compliance date requirements for the exempted containers.

April 7
National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center April Newsletter and Webcast Exit EPA
The April edition of the National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPELC) newsletter is now available. Topics include: May Webcast - "Anaerobically Digested Manure;" Beginning Farmer Stewardship Resources; Biosecure Nutrient Management; Modeling stocking rate based on predicted weather; Charcoal in poultry feed = reduced ammonia; Cryptosporidium webinar; Plant buffers reduce runoff of veterinary antibiotics; Manure Management in No-Till & Forages; and Manure Solids. The next webcast is scheduled for May 20, 2011, and is entitled "Anaerobically Digested Manures." This webcast will share information on: monitoring protocols for anaerobic digesters, fate of nitrogen from manure after it has been anaerobically digested (AD), effect of AD manure on grass yield and nitrogen uptake, the fate of bacteria from manure after it has been AD, and the fate of bacteria after land application of AD manure. Presenters will be Dr. John Gay, Dr. Joe Harrison, and Liz Whitefield of Washington State University; and Allison Costa of EPA. It broadcasts at 2:30 Eastern (1:30 pm Central, 12:30 pm Mountain, 11:30 am Pacific).

April 6
EPA Moves to Electronic Reporting of New Chemical Notices
As part of EPA’s commitment to promote transparency and eliminate paperwork burden, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will require electronic submissions for new chemical notices under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Beginning today, companies can no longer submit their new chemical notices and support documents on paper for EPA’s review. Under TSCA, companies are required to submit new chemical notices, including pre-manufacture notices (PMNs), to EPA at least 90 days (in the case of PMNs) prior to the manufacture or import of the chemical. EPA reviews the notice and can set conditions to be placed on the use of a new chemical before it enters into commerce. EPA typically receives 1,000 new chemical notices each year, which can include hundreds of pages of supporting material. Companies are required to submit these notices using EPA's electronic PMN software either on optical disk (for one more year) or via EPA’s Central Data Exchange (CDX).

EPA Proposes Regulation To Clarify Labeling of Pesticides for Export
EPA is proposing to revise the regulations on labeling of pesticides and devices intended for export. Internal review of the regulations revealed that the current regulations needed clarification and restructuring to increase understandability and ease of use. Comments must be received on or before June 6, 2011.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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April 4
Second Comment Period Planned for NMFS’ Draft Measures To Protect Endangered Pacific Salmon from Six Pesticides
Since early March, EPA has been seeking comments from pesticide users, registrants, and other interested parties on draft Reasonable and Prudent Measures (RPMs) and Alternatives (RPAs) included in the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS’) March 1, 2011, draft Biological Opinion addressing the effects of six pesticides on Pacific salmon and steelhead listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The six pesticides are captan, chlorothalonil, 2,4-D, diuron, linuron, and triclopyr BEE. Those comments were due to EPA by April 5, 2011. EPA will provide NMFS with all comments received on the current draft Biological Opinion. Recently, NMFS negotiated an extension to its court-ordered deadline for issuing the final Biological Opinion for these pesticides. NMFS will issue a revised draft Biological Opinion no later than May 13, 2011. When NMFS provides the revised draft Biological Opinion to EPA in mid-May, EPA will make that document available and will seek comment on the draft RPMs and RPAs, and will announce the new comment period. Interested persons may then submit comments on the newly revised sections or on the entire revised draft document. EPA will forward all comments it receives on either draft of the opinion to NMFS for consideration. The revised draft Biological Opinion is expected to provide more information than the current draft, reflecting NMFS’ more complete analyses and conclusions based on comments and input received from the applicants and others during the comment period closing on April 5.

April 1
EPA Posts Pre-publication Version of Draft Final Pesticide General Permit (PGP)
On April 1, 2011, EPA posted a pre-publication version of its draft final pesticide general permit for discharges of pesticide applications to U.S. waters. The provisions of this permit are designed to improve protection of public health and our nation’s water quality. This draft final permit is not considered a “final agency action.” While legislation passed the House of Representatives on March 31, 2011 that would remove the need for this permit, EPA is still providing a preview of the draft final permit to assist states in developing their own permits and for the regulated community to become familiar with the permit’s requirements before it becomes effective. This reflects EPA’s commitment to transparency and responding to the needs of stakeholders.

New Enable the Label On-line Discussion Forum Topic: LRM Chapter 10: Worker Protection Labeling
EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs has posted an update to Enable the Label, our online discussion forum that's used to improve clarity and usefulness for Label Review Manual users. The discussion topic for April is Chapter 10, which provides guidance for reviewing statements required to protect occupational users of pesticides, including agricultural workers and handlers. We are focusing on clarifying the criteria used to determine if a product is subject to the Worker Protection Standard, precautionary statements related to personal protective equipment, and the Directions for Use section of the label. After the discussion thread closes at the end of April, we will review comments received and incorporate useful ones into future revisions of the Label Review Manual.

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