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News Archive: August 2008

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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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.

August 29
EPA Extends Reregistration Eligibility Decision Comment Period for Four Soil Fumigant Pesticides; Provides Detailed Fact Sheets
On July 16, 2008, EPA issued a notice in the Federal Register announcing the availability of the Reregistration Eligibility Decisions (REDs) for the soil fumigant pesticides chloropicrin, dazomet, metam sodium/potassium, and methyl bromide. In response to several manufacturer's and user's requests for additional time to comment, EPA is extending the comment period for an additional 45 days, to October 30, 2008. EPA has provided detailed synopses of the suite of risk mitigation measures included in the Agency's July 2008 REDs on the Agency's Soil Fumigants Web site.

EPA Releases Final Work Plans and Proposed Registration Review Decisions for Capric Acid and Sodium Hydroxide; Solicits Comments
EPA has released Final Work Plans and Proposed Registration Review Decisions for the pesticides cases Capric (Decanoic) Acid (EPA docket #EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-1040) and Sodium Hydroxide (Mineral Bases, Strong) (EPA docket #EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-0922), and opens a public comment period on the proposed registration review decisions. Registration review is EPA's periodic review of pesticide registrations to ensure that each pesticide continues to satisfy the statutory standard for registration, that is, that the pesticide can perform its intended function without unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment. Comments must be received on or before October 28, 2008.

Revised Surface Water Exposure Assessment for Carbofuran Available for Comment
EPA has updated its drinking water exposure assessment for the pesticide carbofuran to reflect the most current soil input parameters for the surface water source drinking water exposure modeling. Soil information for 8 of the 11 scenarios has been updated to more closely resemble soils in the areas where the scenarios for these crops were modeled. While the underlying information based on soil type has been updated, the Agency's ultimate risk conclusions have not changed. The new drinking water exposure assessment dated August 20, 2008, entitled "Updated Refinements of the Drinking Water Exposure Assessment for the Use of Carbofuran on Corn and Melons," is in the carbofuran docket (EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0162). EPA is providing notice of its revised assessments to allow the public the opportunity to comment on the Agency's revisions during the comment period on its proposed tolerance revocations. Comments will accepted through September 29, 2008.

August 28
FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel Extends Public Meeting
The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) is extending a meeting to consider and review the Agency's evaluation of the toxicity profile of chlorpyrifos. This meeting, scheduled for September 16-18, 2008 in Arlington, VA, has been extended until noon on September 19, 2008.

August 27
Alaskan Seafood Processor Fined $38,000 for Polluting the Kenai River
Salamatof Seafoods Inc. (Salamatof), an Alaskan seafood processor plant located in Kenai, Alaska has agreed to pay a $38,000 penalty to settle alleged federal Clean Water Act violations. The Salamatof plant was inspected by EPA and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation in 2002, 2005 and 2006 and cited for violations of the company’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The plant discharges seafood processing wastewater into the Kenai River which flows into Cook Inlet. The alleged violations included the unauthorized discharges of seafood processing waste into the Kenai River; the failure to monitor; the failure to develop and operate in accordance with an appropriate best management practices plan; and the failure to submit annual reports.

August 26
Three Southern California Businesses Pay Over $59,000 for Distributing Unregistered Korean Pesticides
EPA recently settled with two Southern California importers and a supermarket for a total of $59,040 for the alleged sale or distribution of unregistered Korean pesticides, a violation of federal pesticide law. Jayone Foods, Inc., a kitchen goods importer and distributor, paid $10,400 for distributing "Home Clinic – Antibacterial;" Bega Trading Company, a household goods importer and distributor, paid $33,040 for importing and distributing "Bisol Kitchen and Bath Disinfectant;" and Zion Market paid $15,600 for selling "Home Clinic - Antibacterial," "Kitchen Cleaner - Antibacterial," and "Oxy Sack Sack Kitchen and Bathroom Cleaner - Antibacterial." All of the products sold were imported from Korea and made either English or Korean-language claims to disinfect or sanitize surfaces. Disinfectants and sanitizers are considered pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, and must be registered with EPA.

August 25
Wilco-Winfield LLC Agrees To Pay Over $18,000 for Violating Federal Pesticide Rules
EPA today reached an $18,400 settlement with Wilco-Winfield, LLC (WWL) for violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). WWL had been producing pesticides in an unregistered establishment and selling pesticides which were misbranded. The FIFRA violations had been occurring for at least the past three years at WWL's unregistered facility, located at 13007 Downs Road in Mt. Angel, Oregon, under an establishment number that was assigned to another facility located at 190 South Main Street in Mt. Angel, Oregon. The Main Street facility was owned by WWL, but had been inactivated since 2000.

EPA Launches New "One-Stop Shopping" Web Site for Tribes in Search of Clean Water Act Training
EPA has launched a new Web site that contains all of the EPA-sponsored Clean Water Act (CWA) training courses available to Indian tribes. The new Web site is the culmination of a larger EPA effort to provide more structured, consolidated training to assist Tribes in implementing programs under the CWA. The Web site contains listings of face-to-face training courses offered by EPA's Office of Water, links to self-paced training for CWA programs, links to relevant training courses offered by other EPA program offices (both face-to-face and self-paced), as well as links to other important resources and tools.

August 22
Science Advisory Board Ecological Processes and Effects Committee Announces Public Teleconference
EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office announces a public teleconference of the SAB Ecological Processes and Effects Committee Augmented for the Advisory on EPA's Aquatic Life Water Quality Criteria. The teleconference is being held to discuss the Committee's draft advisory report on an EPA white paper describing technical challenges and recommendations concerning derivation of aquatic life water quality criteria for contaminants of emerging concern. Additional information about this advisory activity can be found on the SAB Web site. The public teleconference will be held on September 16, 2008 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

August 21
Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee Sets Public Meeting
EPA announces a meeting of the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) Work Group on Comparative Safety Statements or Logos for Pesticide Product Labeling, whose objective is to address the interest being expressed by the public for possible development of Agency or third party endorsements/statements or logos on labels regarding comparative product safety. The work group will make recommendations as to whether the government should pursue a policy and regulatory change in order to develop or allow these types of statements or logos. The meeting will be held on September 10, 2008 in Arlington, VA.

EPA Fines Exxon Mobil $2.64 Million for PCB Release
EPA has settled with Exxon Mobil Corporation for $2.64 million for allegedly disposing of and improperly handling polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) on an offshore oil and gas platform in the Santa Barbara Channel, off the Southern California coast, in violation of the federal Toxic Substances Control Act. Between 2002 and 2005, two large electrical transformers located on Platform Hondo, part of Exxon’s Santa Ynez Unit, leaked nearly 400 gallons of PCB-contaminated fluid. Exxon allowed one of the transformers to leak for almost two years before repairing it. The leaking from the transformers constitutes illegal disposal of PCBs, a violation of the Toxic Substances Control Act. Exxon also failed to ensure that workers who cleaned up the leaked fluid were provided protective clothing or equipment to protect against direct contact with and inhalation of PCBs. Exxon replaced the two transformers with non-PCB containing transformers in 2005.

August 20
Siduron Reregistration Eligibility Decision Available for Comment
EPA announces the availability of its Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for the pesticide siduron, and opens a public comment period on this document. The Agency's risk assessments and other related documents also are available in the siduron docket. Siduron is a selective, systemic preemergence herbicide used to control annual grassy weeds in stands of cool season grasses, such as on lawns, on golf courses, and on sod farms. EPA has reviewed siduron through the public participation process that the Agency uses to involve the public in developing pesticide reregistration and tolerance reassessment decisions. Through these programs, EPA is ensuring that all pesticides meet current health and safety standards. Comments must be received on or before September 19, 2008.

EPA Solicits Public Comment on Petitions to Revoke All Tolerances for Endosulfan
EPA is seeking public comment on petitions from the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) requesting that EPA revoke all tolerances for the organochlorine pesticide endosulfan. These petitions, available in docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0615, were submitted on February 19, 2008 in response to EPA's 2007 human health and ecological effects assessment updates for endosulfan. EPA is also soliciting information from the public on endosulfan residues in or on commodities consumed by Alaska Natives, as well as additional information on endosulfan bioaccumulation, persistence, toxicity, monitoring and transport, and ecological incidents. Comments must be received on or before October 20, 2008.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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August 18
Science Advisory Board Environmental Engineering Committee Announces Public Meeting
EPA's Science Advisory Board's environmental engineering committee will hold a public meeting September 3-4, 2008, in Washington, DC, to advise on measuring new, annual, and recurring results of all pollution prevention programs within the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT). The OPPT uses a suite of measures to evaluate these programs, and would like to add measures to more fully capture economic and other benefits of pollution prevention. The committee will also discuss its advisory activities for the coming year.

August 14
EPA Watershed Academy Web Offers New Training Module
EPA's Watershed Academy Web site offers a variety of self-paced training modules that represent a basic and broad introduction to the watershed management field. A new training module, "Key Concepts of Water Quality Standards," focuses on key aspects of the water quality standards program and other related Clean Water Act programs. A comprehensive list of online training modules may be found on the Watershed Academy Web site.

National Marine Fisheries Service Drafts Endangered Species Act Biological Opinions
EPA has received and posted to its Web site a draft biological opinion from the National Marine Fisheries Service responding to requests for consultation under the Endangered Species Act for the potential effects of three pesticides on Pacific salmon and steelhead. EPA initiated consultation for diazinon, malathion, and chlorpyrifos on November 29, 2002, May 29, 2002, and April 14, 2003, respectively. EPA has also established a public docket [EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0654] for this and future draft biological opinions related to pesticides and Pacific salmon and steelhead. Once NMFS develops any alternatives or measures it believes are necessary to reduce risk, EPA will request public input on those alternatives and measures. Comments on other aspects of the draft will be forwarded to NMFS for its consideration.

August 12
EPA Solicits Comments on Study of Unused Pharmaceuticals from Medical, Veterinary Facilities
As part of its strategy to address the risks associated with emerging contaminants, EPA is proposing an information collection activity regarding the disposal of unused pharmaceuticals. To better understand current management practices and the magnitude of discharges to waters of the United States, EPA has developed two questionnaires, one for medical facilities and one for veterinary facilities. EPA is soliciting comments about the questions in each questionnaire and their applicability to the targeted industry; suggestions on how the questions could be changed to be more understandable and to appropriately address facility operations; and the scope of the ICR and whether EPA has adequately described the industry sectors that would be subject to the data collection. Comments must be submitted on or before November 10, 2008.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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August 8
Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee To Meet September 8 and 10, 2008
The Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee will hold an open meeting on Monday, September 8 and Wednesday, September 10, 2008, in Kansas City, Missouri. The purpose of the meeting is to initiate discussion of the impacts of Agency agriculture-related programs, policies, and regulations regarding climate change and renewable energy; identification and development of a comprehensive environmental strategy for livestock operations; and development of a constructive approach or framework to address areas of common interest between sustainable agriculture and protection of the environment. The meeting will also include a public comment session.

August 7
EPA Orders Texas Feeding Operation To Stop Discharge of Pollutants
EPA has issued a cease and desist administrative order to Mark Allen and Vernon Feeders in Vernon, Texas, for violations of the federal Clean Water Act. The cattle feeding operation, a non-permitted Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO), has been ordered to immediately stop all discharges of pollutants in stormwater runoff from its animal confinement areas to Paradise Creek. The cattle feeding operation has been given 45 days to provide to EPA documentation that it has adequate capacity to contain all waste and process-generated wastewater plus stormwater generated during a 25-year, 24-hour storm event. The facility has also been given 45 days to develop and implement a pollution prevention plan that includes procedures specifically designed to minimize the discharge of pollutants from its animal confinement areas.

National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center August Newsletter Exit EPA
The August edition of the National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPELC) newsletter is available. Topics include: September Webcast To Cover Hydrogen Sulfide; Research Summaries Now Available on LPE Learning Center Website; Phosphorus and Nitrogen Availability in Manure From Pigs Fed Low-Phytate Corn; and Report Concludes That Air Pollution Is Degrading Natural Resources. The webcast series will resume in September with a presentation on hydrogen sulfide.

EPA Orders Texas Dairy To Stop Unauthorized Discharges
EPA has issued a cease and desist administrative order to Ray Hoffman, Jr. Dairy in Windthorst, Texas, for violations of the federal Clean Water Act. The dairy, an unpermitted Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO), has been ordered to immediately stop all discharges of pollutants from its lagoon to waters of the United States. The dairy has been given 45 days to provide to EPA documentation that the facility has adequate lagoon capacity to contain all waste and process-generated wastewater plus stormwater runoff during a 25-year, 24-hour storm event. The facility has also been given 45 days to develop and implement a pollution prevention plan that will include procedures for the proper utilization of nutrients generated by the dairy, proper disposal of dead animals, and the proper maintenance of records, especially records documenting wastewater levels in the lagoon to minimize lagoon overflows.

EPA Announces Web-Based System for Companies To Self-Disclose Environmental Violations
EPA today announced a pilot project that allows regulated facilities nationwide to self-disclose environmental violations in a secure environment on EPA's Website under the Agency's audit policy. This electronic self-disclosure system, or eDisclosure, should reduce transaction costs for companies by ensuring that each disclosure contains complete information. Under the pilot, regulated facilities nationwide will be able to use eDisclosure to disclose violations of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (for example, failure to submit toxic chemical release forms to EPA's Toxic Release Inventory). Regulated facilities located in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas will be able to disclose violations of all environmental laws. Based on the results of the pilot, EPA will consider expanding eDisclosure to other states in the near future.

August 6
Cancellation of Pesticides for Non-Payment of Year 2008 Registration Maintenance Fees
Since the amendments of October 1988, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) has required payment of an annual maintenance fee to keep pesticide registrations in effect. The fee due last January 15 has gone unpaid for 221 registrations. Section 4(i)(5)(G) of FIFRA provides that the Administrator may cancel these registrations by order and without a hearing; orders to cancel all 221 of these registrations have been issued within the past few days.

EPA Opens Pesticide Registration Review Dockets for Chitin/Chitosan and Farnesol/Nerolidol
EPA has released proposed registration review decisions for the pesticides chitin/chitosan (docket ID# EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-0566) and farnesol/nerolidol (docket ID# EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-0569) and has opened a public comment period on the proposed registration review decisions. Registration review is EPA's periodic review of pesticide registrations to ensure that each pesticide continues to satisfy the statutory standard for registration. Comments must be received on or before October 6, 2008.

August 5
Landowner Faces Penalties for Damaging Alaskan Wetlands and Streams
An Anchorage, Alaska, landowner is facing penalties from EPA for illegally filling wetlands and streams on his property. In July 2003 the landowner used heavy equipment to clear, grade, and fill wetlands and streams to create a pond on his property without first obtaining a required Clean Water Act Section 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. These actions seriously damaged 300 linear feet of nearby stream channels and 0.5 acres of wetlands on his property adjacent to Craig Creek, which drains into Cook Inlet. In May 2005, EPA issued a compliance order requiring the owner to restore the streams and wetlands on site. Since 2005, the landowner has refused to restore the streams and wetlands, even after multiple attempts by EPA to comply and repair the damage. EPA is therefore seeking penalties of up to $32,500 per day of violation and administrative penalties of up to $11,000 per day for each violation.

Clean Water State Revolving Fund Marks 20 Years of Progress
EPA has released the 2007 Annual Report on the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) Programs. The report, "Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow: 20 Years of Progress," marks the 20th anniversary of the largest federal funding program for wastewater infrastructure projects. Since its inception, the CWSRF has funded $63 billion in projects to meet water quality needs ranging from wastewater treatment plant rehabilitation and nonpoint source pollution control, to estuary and watershed management. In 2007, the programs reached a new high, providing nearly $5.3 billion in assistance to communities of all sizes as well as farmers, small businesses, non-profits, and individuals. That includes $240 million for nonpoint source projects. The report includes information about new initiatives and recognizes the winners of the 2007 Performance and Innovation in the SRF Creating Environmental Success (PISCES) Awards.

EPA Publishes Revised Fee Schedule for Registration Applications
EPA is publishing a revised list of pesticide registration service fees applicable to specified pesticide applications and tolerance actions. Under the Pesticide Registration Improvement Renewal Act, the registration service fees for covered pesticide registration applications received on or after October 1, 2008, increase by 5 percent, rounding up to the nearest dollar from the fees published for fiscal year 2008, and certain decision review periods have been reduced. The new fees and decision review periods become effective on October 1, 2008. Additional information may be found in the Federal Register notice.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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August 4
EPA Releases Status of Revoked Inert Ingredient Tolerance Exemptions
In a final rule published in the Federal Register on August 9, 2006, EPA revoked inert ingredient tolerance exemptions because insufficient data were available to the Agency to make the safety determination required by Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) section 408(c). The Federal Register notice provides the current status of these pesticide inert ingredient tolerance exemptions.

August 1
New Web Site Helps Kids Identify the Healthiest Fish To Eat
EPA launched a new Web site to help children and their parents choose the healthiest fish to eat, using interactive stories and games. The site has been selected as the August site of the month by kids.gov, the official kids’ portal for the U.S. government. Whether they catch their own fish or buy it at a store, children and their parents can use the Web site to learn how to select fish that are low in contaminants. The Web site includes stories focusing on different methods of obtaining fish, along with interactive games, to teach children ages 8-12 how to recognize common fish species and use fish advisories.

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