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News Archive: August 2013

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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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.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 30, 2013
EPA, OSHA and ATF Provide Information and Lessons Learned About the Safe Storage, Handling and Management of Ammonium Nitrate
Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) issued a chemical advisory that provides information on the hazards of ammonium nitrate (AN) storage, handling and management. This action supports the goals of President Obama's August 2013 executive order on "Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security." The advisory provides lessons learned for facility owners and operators, emergency planners and first responders from recent incidents, including the explosion in West, Texas, involving AN in order to prevent similar incidents.

August 27, 2013
EPA Proposes Registration of Nanosilver Pesticide Product
On August 27, 2013, the EPA announced a proposed decision to register a nanosilver-containing antimicrobial pesticide product named "Nanosilva." This silver-based product is used as a non-food-contact preservative to protect plastics and textiles (e.g., in household items, electronics, sports gear, hospital equipment, bathroom fixtures and accessories) from odor and stain causing bacteria, fungi, mold and mildew. The EPA evaluated the exposure to nanosilver from Nanosilva using data showing that plastics and textiles treated with the product released, at most, exceedingly small amounts of silver. The EPA reviewed other information on the product submitted by the applicant. We also used data from the scientific literature to evaluate the hazard of nanosilver. Based on this evaluation, the agency determined that Nanosilva will not cause unreasonable adverse effects on people, including children, or the environment. As a condition of registration, the EPA is requiring the company to generate additional data, for example, to confirm the agency's understanding of the size of nanosilver particles in the product.

Family Dollar, Inc., Pays $602,438 Penalty for Distribution of Misbranded Pesticides
Family Dollar, Inc., headquartered in Matthews, NC, has paid a $602,438 civil penalty to the United States to resolve alleged violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) for misbranded pesticides.
The penalty stems from the sale or distribution of two misbranded or mislabeled antimicrobial bleach products on numerous occasions. The labels for the bleach products were not identical to the EPA approved label. Labels must be identical to the EPA approved label and may not have any additions or omit any label language as required by FIFRA. 

August 26, 2013
Local and Industrial Emergency Planners Recognized for Chemical Emergency Planning Achievements throughout EPA Region 7
Awards were presented to local emergency planning committees and industries for their outstanding achievements in planning for chemical emergencies at an Emergency Planning and Preparedness Conference July 25-27, 2013, in Overland Park, Kan. The conference was hosted by EPA Region 7, FEMA Region 7 and the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
Steve Taylor, executive director of the Missouri Agribusiness Association, served on a panel about fertilizer safety with EPA Region 7 staff. His main focus was the role of agricultural retailers and local emergency responders in preventing and reducing the risk from chemical accidents such as anhydrous ammonia releases.

EPA Releases New Climate Change Video Series
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released a new series of short public service videos on climate change. The videos cover a range of topics related to climate change, including its causes and impacts, actions Americans can take to reduce their impact, and the benefits to the economy of addressing climate change. The new video series supports the President's Climate Action Plan by encouraging American families to reduce the amount of energy they consume, cutting down on their utility bills and protecting people's health.

August 21, 2013
Update of Human Health Benchmarks for Pesticides in Water
The EPA has updated its list of human health benchmarks for pesticides. The EPA develops these benchmarks as screening levels for use by states and water systems in determining whether the detection of a pesticide in drinking water or a drinking water source may indicate a potential health risk. This year, the EPA added 11 new benchmarks to the list, revised 10 of the benchmarks published in 2012 to reflect new scientific information and added cancer effects benchmarks for 40 of the pesticides. To view the revised list of human health benchmarks for pesticides, visit www.epa.gov/pesticides/hhbp.

August 19, 2013
Companies in Illinois, Nebraska to Pay Settlements Totaling $84,387 for Distribution of Misbranded or Mislabeled Pesticides
An Illinois pesticide manufacturer and a Nebraska company that sold some of its fly control products have agreed to pay civil penalties totaling $84,387 to EPA to settle allegations related to their roles in the distribution or sale of misbranded pesticides.
In separate administrative settlement agreements filed by EPA Region 7 in Lenexa, Kan.:

EPA alleged that the two fly control products were either misbranded with labels that did not include required cautionary language, or were distributed in conjunction with claims that differed from the pesticide registration information filed with EPA.

August 15, 2013
New Pesticide Labels Will Better Protect Bees and Other Pollinators
In an ongoing effort to protect bees and other pollinators, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed new pesticide labels that prohibit use of some neonicotinoid pesticide products where bees are present. "Multiple factors play a role in bee colony declines, including pesticides. The Environmental Protection Agency is taking action to protect bees from pesticide exposure and these label changes will further our efforts," said Jim Jones, assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.

EPA Requests Applications for the National Pesticide Information Center Cooperative Agreement
The EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs is announcing the availability of funds and soliciting applications for a cooperative agreement to support the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC). Updates to the NPIC Request for Applications are available in the RFA Amendment (PDF) (3 pp 16.90k about PDF)
Through this longstanding partnership program, a grantee provides objective, science-based information on a wide variety of pesticide-related subjects to anyone within the United States and its territories and supports public health surveillance of pesticide exposures.

FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel; Notice of Public Meeting
There will be a 1-day meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) to consider and review RNAi Technology as a Pesticide: Problem Formulation for Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment.
DATES: The meeting will be held on October 29, 2013, from 9 a.m. to approximately 6 p.m.

August 13, 2013
THURSDAY: EPA Chief Gina McCarthy to Deliver Remarks at Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Awards Luncheon in Des Moines
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will be in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday, August 15, to speak with farmers at the Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Awards ceremony at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.
Administrator McCarthy will discuss EPA's role in rural America and the Agency's partnership with the agricultural community to protect our water, land, and air. She will also highlight EPA's commitment to carrying out President Obama's Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon pollution, and the new environmental challenges that agriculture and rural communities face. During her visit, McCarthy will also meet with farmers and other members of the agricultural community.

August 9, 2013
Updated Label Review Manual Chapter on Pesticide Storage and Disposal Available
The Office of Pesticide Programs' Labeling Consistency Committee has completed revisions and updates to Chapter 13 of the Label Review Manual. The Label Review Manual provides guidance to both EPA reviewers and the pesticide industry on what is required and recommended for each part of a pesticide product label in order for the agency to approve the label. This chapter, dealing with storage and disposal statements on labels, has been updated to clearly reflect the requirements of the 2006 "container-containment" rule, which specified improvements to storage and disposal practices. Prior to revising the chapter, the committee collected comments from the public - primarily the pesticide industry - and state regulators. The revised chapter is posted on our website at http://www.epa.gov/oppfead1/labeling/lrm/chap-13.pdf. Four chapters remain to be edited before this phase of updating the 18-chapter LRM is complete.

August 6, 2013
EPA Finalizes 2013 Renewable Fuel Standards to Help Promote American Energy Independence, Reduce Carbon Pollution/EPA also announces steps to address concerns about the E10 blend wall
As part of an ongoing effort to enhance energy security and reduce carbon pollution, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today finalized the 2013 percentage standards for four fuel categories that are part of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program established by Congress. Most of these fuels are produced by American farmers and growers domestically and help reduce the carbon pollution that contributes to climate change.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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