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News Archive: December 2006

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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.

December 29
Pesticide Label Review Manual Updated
EPA is interested in optimizing the usefulness of the Label Review Manual (LRM) as a tool for understanding the pesticide labeling process. The LRM is also useful in understanding approaches for how labels should generally be drafted. LRM chapters "Purpose of Manual," "What Is a Pesticide," and "General Labeling Requirements" have been updated.

Reregistration Eligibility Decisions for Two Antimicrobial Pesticides Available for Comment
EPA has released its Reregistration Eligibility Decisions (REDs) for the pesticides n-alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride (ADBAC) and didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride (DDAC) and has opened a public comment period on these documents. The Agency's risk assessments and other related documents also are available in the ADBAC and DDAC dockets. ADBAC is an antimicrobial used in agricultural, food handling, commercial, institutional, industrial, residential, public access, and medical settings, and may be applied as a wood preservative. DDAC is an antimicrobial used in indoor and outdoor hard surfaces, eating utensils, laundry, carpets, agricultural tools and vehicles, egg shells, shoes, milking equipment and udders, humidifiers, medical instruments, human remains, ultrasonic tanks, reverse osmosis units, water storage tanks, and may be applied as a wood preservative. Comments must be received on or before February 27, 2007, identified by the following docket ID numbers:

Comments Invited on Draft Guidance for Registrants on Use of Antimicrobial Pesticides in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Systems
EPA is reopening the comment period and seeking additional public comment on a draft Pesticide Registration Notice (PR Notice) entitled "Use of Antimicrobial Pesticide Products in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Systems." This notice would, once final, provide guidance to registrants concerning EPA-registered sanitizer, disinfectant, and other antimicrobial products whose labels bear general directions for use on or incorporation within hard, non-porous, or porous surfaces, but which are not specifically registered for treatment of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0351, must be received on or before February 27, 2007.

December 28
Updated: Evaluating Pesticides for Carcinogenic Potential
OPP's Web page, "Evaluating Pesticides for Carcinogenic Potential," discusses how EPA reviews pesticides for potential carcinogenicity and explains the Agency's guidelines for evaluating a chemical's potential carcinogenicity. EPA's guidelines have been updated over the years to reflect increased understanding of ways chemicals may cause cancer.

December 27
Allethrins Risk Assessments Available for Comment

EPA has released its risk assessments and related documents for the allethrin series of pesticides (bioallethrin, esbiol, esbiothrin, and pynamin forte), and has opened a public comment period on these documents. The public is encouraged to suggest risk management ideas or proposals to address the risks identified. EPA is developing a Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for the allethrins through a modified, four-phase public participation process. The allethrins are synthetic pyrethroids used as insecticides on both indoor and outdoor use sites. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0986, must be received on or before February 26, 2007.

December 22
Colorado Plan for Certifying Applicators of Restricted-Use Pesticides Available for Comment
Colorado has submitted several statutory, regulatory, and programmatic amendments to its State Plan for Certification and Training of Applicators of Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs). The amended state plan provides details for the certification of both private and commercial pesticide applicators and subsequent enforcement of pesticide laws and regulations pursuant to the Colorado Pesticide Applicators' Act. EPA is currently responsible for certifying private applicators of RUPs in Colorado, while the Colorado Department of Agriculture is responsible for certifying commercial applicators of RUPs. EPA's approval of Colorado's amended plan will allow Colorado to assume regulatory authority for certification of both private and commercial applicators of RUPs. In addition, the amended state plan adds three new commercial pesticide applicator subcategories: metam-sodium for sewer root control; wood preservation and wood products treatment; and interior plant pest control. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0847, must be received on or before January 22, 2007.

December 21
EPA Fines Syngenta $1.5 Million for Distributing Unregistered Genetically Engineered Pesticide
Syngenta Seeds, Inc., of Golden Valley, Minnesota, has agreed to pay a $1.5 million penalty for selling and distributing seed corn that contained an unregistered genetically engineered pesticide called Bt 10. Late in 2004, Syngenta disclosed to EPA that it may have distributed the seed corn to the United States, Europe, and South America. Immediately following the disclosure, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and EPA began an investigation and evaluation that confirmed the distribution of unregistered seed corn on more than 1,000 occasions. A penalty was assessed by USDA and the company destroyed all the affected seed under USDA supervision.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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December 20
Deadline Extended for 2007 National Wetlands Awards Program Exit EPA
The deadline for submitting nominations for the Environmental Law Institute's 2007 National Wetlands Awards Program has been extended. The original deadline was December 15, 2006. Nomination forms are now due January 15, 2007 (postmarked). The awards program honors individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to the conservation and restoration of the nation's wetlands.

Reopening of Comment Period on Organic Arsenical Herbicides RED
EPA issued a notice in the Federal Register of August 9, 2006 concerning the availability of the reregistration eligibility decision for the organic arsenical herbicides MSMA, DSMA, DAMA, and cacodylic acid. The comment period, which had been extended twice, expired on December 13, 2006. EPA has now reopened the comment period for an additional 30 days, from December 20, 2006, to January 19, 2007. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0201, must be received on or before January 19, 2007.

Review of Chemical Proposals for Addition Under Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants
EPA is soliciting information relevant to the development of risk management evaluations under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) for the following chemicals that are being reviewed for possible addition to the Stockholm Convention's Annexes A, B, and/or C as POPs:

Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2006-0794, must be received on or before January 4, 2007.

December 19
Emission Solutions, Inc. Joins Blue Skyways Collaborative
The Blue Skyways Collaborative, a voluntary program to reduce air pollution, is partnering with Emission Solutions, Inc. (ESI) to help reduce air pollution in central Texas and throughout the heartland of America. ESI has set a voluntary goal to replace up to 5,000 older diesel engines (pre-2006) with their Phoenix series of gaseous-fueled engines. The new engines help reduce the amount of particulate matter, nitrous oxides, and non-methane hydrocarbon pollutants that are released into the air. The collaborative works to improve the quality of life in the central United States through diesel technology innovations in the areas of construction, agriculture, and transportation of people and goods. Blue Skyways also addresses alternative fuels production and use, renewable energy, and energy efficiency.

December 18
The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance (TPSA) Seventh Annual Working Conference Exit EPA
The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance (TPSA) seventh annual working conference will be held in Reno, Nevada, February 25-28, 2007. The plenary session sets the stage by asking "How Is the Rest of the World Handling Collection and Disposal of Obsolete Pesticides?" John Vijgen, founding President of the International HCH and Pesticides Association based in Denmark, answers with an insider's view from a European perspective. Mr. Vijgen's presentation will feature the U.S. premiere of videos and photos of pesticide cleanup and cleanup needs in Eastern Europe and the European Union. Key conference themes include:

-- Collection and disposal of obsolete pesticides in Europe, Mexico, and the U.S.
-- Recycling of pesticide containers and other agricultural plastics
-- Reducing agrochemical movement in air and water
-- Reducing potentially harmful exposure to pesticides through improvements in packaging, transportation, storage, and containment
-- New approaches to communicating about stewardship.

Comments Requested on Federal Plan for "Other" Solid Waste Incineration Units Constructed on or Before December 9, 2004
On December 16, 2005, EPA promulgated emission guidelines (EG) for existing "other'' solid waste incineration (OSWI) units. Sections 111 and 129 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) require States with existing OSWI units subject to the EG to submit plans to EPA that implement and enforce the emission guidelines. Indian Tribes may submit, but are not required to submit, Tribal plans to implement and enforce the EG in Indian country. State plans are due on December 16, 2006. If a State or Tribe does not submit an approvable plan, EPA is required to develop, implement, and enforce a federal plan for that State or Tribal area within 2 years after promulgation of the EG (December 16, 2007). This action proposes a federal plan for OSWI units not covered by effective State or Tribal plans. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OAR-2006-0364, must be received on or before February 16, 2007. If anyone contacts EPA by January 8, 2007, requesting to speak at a public hearing, EPA will hold a public hearing on January 22, 2007.

December 14
Draft Guidance Manual Offers Nutrient Criteria for Wetlands
EPA has announced the availability of a draft nutrient criteria technical guidance manual for wetlands. This document provides State and Tribal water quality managers and others with information on how to develop numeric nutrient criteria for wetlands as State or Tribal law or regulation; however, it does not contain site-specific numeric nutrient criteria. EPA is soliciting information, data, and views on issues of science pertaining to the information the Agency used to develop this document. Submissions, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OW-2006-0826, should be sent to EPA by February 12, 2007.

December 13
EPA Reaches Settlement for Federal Pesticide Rules Violations
The Seattle office of EPA announced that an agricultural operator has agreed to pay a penalty of $774.40 to settle claims for two alleged violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) on the Nez Perce Reservation in Idaho. EPA previously issued a warning letter for a drift incident in 2001. According to EPA, in July of 2005, the improper drift of pesticides occurred following aerial application of Nufarm Credit Extra Systemic Herbicide and Amine 4 2,4-D Weed Killer to fields on the Nez Perce Reservation. This drift of pesticides affected trees and shrubs on neighboring property. The labels for these pesticides contain instructions prohibiting drift onto desirable ornamental plants and vegetation.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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December 13
EPA Administrator Signs Final Rule to Amend the SPCC Rule
EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson has signed a final rule to amend the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule at 40 CFR part 112. Proposed in December 2005, the final rule amendments streamline requirements for the owners/operators of qualified facilities with aboveground oil storage capacities of 10,000 gallons or less and certain containers and equipment regulated under the rule.

EPA Proposes to Extend SPCC Compliance Dates to July 1, 2009
EPA is proposing to extend until July 1, 2009, the compliance dates for owners and operators to prepare or amend and implement SPCC plans. EPA expects to propose further revisions to the SPCC rule in 2007, and the extension would allow EPA the time to promulgate further regulatory revisions before the compliance dates. EPA is seeking comment on this proposal. To be considered for final action, any alternative approaches presented must include appropriate rationale and supporting data. Comments should be directed to docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPA-2006-0949.

FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel Public Meeting
The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) will hold a public meeting February 27-28, 2007, to consider and review the status of the in utero through lactational assay in the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP). Although the Agency encourages submission of written comments by February 13, 2007, and requests for oral comments by February 20, 2007, such comments and requests will be accepted up to the date of the meeting.

EPA Seeks Comments on 10 Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)
EPA is inviting comments on 10 Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) determinations prepared by EPA Region 6 for waters listed in the state of Arkansas under section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act (CWA). These TMDLs were completed pursuant to a consent decree entered in Sierra Club, et al. v. Browner, et al., No. LR-C-99-114. Comments must be submitted in writing to EPA on or before January 12, 2007.

Pesticide Tolerance Nomenclature Changes
EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) has developed a commodity vocabulary database entitled "Food and Feed Commodity Vocabulary.'' The database was developed to consolidate all the major OPP commodity vocabularies into one standardized vocabulary. As a result, all future pesticide tolerances issued under 40 CFR part 180 will use the "preferred commodity term'' as listed in the aforementioned database. This is the fifth in a series of documents revising the terminology of commodity terms currently in tolerances in 40 CFR part 180. This direct final rule is effective on February 26, 2007, without notice, unless EPA receives adverse comments by February 12, 2007. If EPA receives adverse comments, EPA will publish a Federal Register document to withdraw the direct final rule before the effective date. EPA has established a docket for this action under docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2002-0043. Final rules revising pesticide tolerance nomenclature were published in the Federal Register on the following dates:

December 12
EPA Authorizes Critical Uses of Methyl Bromide for 2007
In accordance with the Clean Air Act and Montreal Protocol, EPA has issued final methyl bromide production and import critical use exemptions for 2007. EPA also authorized uses that qualify for the 2007 critical use exemption. The exemptions for continued production and import of methyl bromide will honor the U.S. commitment to obtain methyl bromide for American farmers, in a manner consistent with the Montreal Protocol, while protecting the ozone layer.

December 11
FIFRA Regulatory Status Update: Ion Generating Washing Machines
EPA has informed Samsung Electronics that the silver ion generating washing machine, which Samsung was marketing with claims that it would kill bacteria on clothing, is subject to registration requirements under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The machine incorporates an electrode made of silver, which is a pesticidal substance under certain conditions. Because the machine is an article that incorporates a pesticidal substance, it is subject to registration requirements as a pesticide. EPA staff had advised the manufacturer that the silver ion generating washing machine was a "pesticidal device" and thus not required to be registered. However, upon reconsideration, it has become clear that the Samsung washing machine is a pesticide that requires registration because it is a product that incorporates a substance (silver) that is released into the laundry for the purpose of killing microbial pests.

December 8
EPA Files Complaint, Seeks Civil Penalties Against Bruneau Cattle Company
As part of an ongoing campaign to protect human health and water quality in Idaho's Snake River, EPA has filed a complaint against the Bruneau Cattle Company of Owyhee County, Idaho, for unauthorized discharges of pollutants from a confined animal feeding operation (CAFO) to the South Side Canal. The canal flows to the Snake River and C.J. Strike Reservoir near Bruneau, Idaho. At the time of the inspection, there were approximately 4,000 head of cattle at the company's site, which has a capacity of approximately 7,000 head. During the inspection, EPA inspectors observed past evidence of discharges and documented that the facility did not have any wastewater containment systems to prevent wastewater runoff from cattle pens.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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December 6
EPA to Examine Condition of Nation's Lakes
EPA is embarking on a three-year study to determine the state of America's lakes. The "Survey of the Nation's Lakes" is the first-ever attempt to assess real-world conditions by studying 909 lakes, ponds, and reservoirs whose profiles are representative of all lakes in the United States. The survey, a joint effort among EPA, the states, and some tribes, will determine the ecology of the lakes and the factors that influence their condition; stimulate and implement ideas within all levels of government -- federal, state, regional, and local; build state and tribal capacity for monitoring and analyzing lake water quality data; collect a set of lake data for better management of lakes; and develop baseline information to evaluate progress.

National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center December Newsletter and Webcast Exit EPA
The December edition of the National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPE) newsletter is available. Topics include: Integrated Nutrient Management and Limits of the P-Index; Pathogen Resources Available on the LPE Web site; Quick Start A Search With Dynamic Bibliographies; and Environmental Management Systems for Agriculture. The next LPE Webcast is scheduled for December 15, 2006 at 2:30 pm EST. This is part two of a two-part Webcast on "Pathogens in Animal Manure - Should We Be Concerned?” The first part of this Webcast is available at the LPE Webcast archive Web page.

Pesticide Product Information System Update
The Pesticide Product Information System (PPIS) contains information concerning all pesticide products registered in the United States. The system was updated on December 1, 2006.

Reopening of Comment Period on Petition to Amend FIFRA Section 25(b)
EPA issued a notice in the Federal Register of September 13, 2006, concerning a petition filed by the Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA) requesting that the Agency modify minimum risk regulations at 40 CFR 152.25(f) to require that products claiming to control public health pests be subject to EPA registration requirements as a precondition of their sale. This document reopens the comment period for an additional 30 days. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0687 must be received on or before January 5, 2007.

New Rule on Pesticide-Treated Food Packaging
This rule provides that pesticide-treated food packaging (e.g., paper and paperboard, coatings, adhesives, and polymers) is exempt from regulation as pesticide residues under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act section 408. This direct final rule is effective February 5, 2007, without further notice unless EPA receives adverse comments in writing. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0175, must be received on or before January 5, 2007.

December 5
NAFTA Technical Working Group on Pesticides Meets December 7, 2006
The North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) Technical Working Group on Pesticides (TWG) will hold its annual stakeholder meeting on December 7, 2006, in Montreal, Canada. This meeting provides an opportunity for the three participating NAFTA countries to raise public awareness of successes in the joint review process, data harmonization, and other achievements under the group's current five-year strategy, as well as discuss topics of mutual interest. Issues relating to Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) and the technology gap will be discussed, as well as the group's efforts to address trade irritants and other non-agricultural matters. Three breakout groups will give stakeholders the opportunity to provide input and raise questions.

December 1
Correction: Application of Pesticides to Waters of the United States in Compliance With FIFRA
The rule on the application of pesticides to waters of the U.S. in compliance with FIFRA was published in the Federal Register (FR) on November 27, 2006. The FR stated that this was effective on January 26, 2006. The effective date should have been January 26, 2007.

EPA Soliciting Proposals for 2007 State Innovation Grant Program
EPA's National Center for Environmental Innovation (NCEI) is soliciting pre-proposals for the 2007 "State Innovation Grant Program,'' an assistance agreement program to support innovation by state environmental regulatory agencies. Only the principal environmental regulatory agency within each state, U.S. territory, or the District of Columbia is eligible to receive funding under this solicitation. Eligible agencies will have until January 18, 2007, to respond with a pre-proposal, budget, and project narrative.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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