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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.

December 31
Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee Teleconference
The purpose of the FRRCC is to provide advice to the Administrator of EPA on environmental issues and programs that impact, or are of concern to, farms, ranches, and rural communities. The purpose of this teleconference is to discuss and approve the draft FRRCC recommendations on EPA's Draft Biofuels Strategy.. The public teleconference will be on Wednesday, January 14, 2009, from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. A copy of the meeting agenda is available online.

EPA is Requesting Comments on Proposed Tolerance Actions
EPA is proposing to revoke certain tolerances for the fungicides prothioconazole and thiabendazole; the herbicide primisulfuron- methyl; and the insecticides azinphos-methyl, disulfoton, esfenvalerate, fenvalerate, and phosalone; the plant growth regulator 1-naphthaleneacetic acid; and the antimicrobial/insecticidal agent ethylene oxide. Also, EPA is proposing to modify certain tolerances for the insecticides disulfoton, esfenvalerate, and phosmet; and the plant growth regulator 1-naphthaleneacetic acid. In addition, EPA is proposing to establish new tolerances for the insecticides disulfoton, esfenvalerate, and phosmet; and the antimicrobial/ insecticidal agent ethylene oxide and ethylene chlorohydrin (a reaction product formed during the fumigation/sterilization process). Comments must be received on or before March 2, 2009.

December 30
EPA Issues Administrative Complaint to Moo Town Dairy
EPA issued an administrative complaint and proposed a civil penalty of $157,500 to Moo Town Dairy, a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation, for violations of the Clean Water Act. The alleged violation is for an unauthorized discharge of pollutants to an unnamed creek, which eventually discharges to Lake Fork Reservoir. An audio file for this story is available from Region 6.

Revisions to the Clean Water Act Definition
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and EPA are promulgating a final rule to amend a Clean Water Act (CWA) section 404 regulation that defines the term "discharge of dredged material." This action conforms the Corps' and EPA's regulations to a court order invalidating the January 17, 2001, amendments to the regulatory definition. This final rule responds to the court decision by deleting language from the regulation that was invalidated.

December 24
Registration Review Established for Pesticide Atonik
EPA has established registration review docket (EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0832) for the pesticide Atonik. With this document, EPA is opening the public comment period for these registration reviews. This document also announces the Agency's intent not to open a registration review docket for Ampelomyces quisqualis and for Candia oleophila. These pesticides do not currently have any actively registered pesticide products and are not, therefore, scheduled for review under the registration review program. Comments must be received on or before February 23, 2009.

EPA Solicits Comments on Request To Voluntarily Cancel 22 Rodenticide Registrations
EPA is issuing a notice of receipt of requests by the registrants to voluntarily cancel the registrations of 22 rodenticide products containing the active ingredients bromadiolone, bromethalin, cholecalciferol, difenacoum, diphacinone (and its sodium salt), warfarin (and its sodium salt), and zinc phosphide. EPA intends to grant these requests with an effective date of June 4, 2011 at the close of the comment period for this announcement unless the Agency receives substantive comments within the comment period that would merit its further review of the request or unless a registrant withdraws its request within this period. Comments must be received on or before June 22, 2009.

December 22
$7 Million in Grants to Fuel Innovation in Methane Reduction and Clean Energy
Through the Methane to Markets partnership, EPA is making up to $7 million in Methane to Market grants available for innovative international projects and activities. The agency expects to award up to 40 cooperative grants agreements ranging from approximately $100,000 to $700,000. The Methane to Markets partnership is an international initiative to reduce global methane emissions by promoting capture-and-use projects in oil and gas systems, coal mining, landfills, and animal waste management. Proposals are due by March 5, 2009, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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December 19
Revisions to Nonattainment New Source Review
EPA is finalizing revisions to the December 31, 2002 New Source Review (NSR) Improvement rules to change the requirements of the major NSR programs regarding the treatment of fugitive emissions. This final rule requires that fugitive emissions be included in determining whether a physical or operational change results in a major modification. Also, this action elaborates on guiding principles for determining fugitive emissions for purposes of NSR and title V permitting. The final rule is effective January 20, 2009.

Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the availability of its "First External Review Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter" (EPA/600/R-08/139 and EPA/600/R-08/139A). EPA is releasing this draft document to seek review by the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) and the public (meeting date and location to be specified in a separate Federal Register notice). The draft document does not represent, and should not be construed to represent, any final EPA policy, viewpoint, or determination. EPA will consider any public comments submitted in response to this notice when revising the document. All comments must be received by March 13, 2009.

Kansas is Making Progress in Assessing and Restoring its Waters
EPA has approved Kansas' 2006/2008 list of impaired waters. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) submitted a list of impaired waters to EPA for review and approval March 31, 2008, as required by the Clean Water Act. EPA's Dec. 18, 2008, decision letter provides a more detailed description of EPA's review and the basis for this action.

EPA Solicits Comments on Request To Voluntarily Cancel Carbofuran Pesticide Registrations
EPA is issuing a notice of receipt of a request dated September 29, 2008 by the registrant to voluntarily cancel some registrations and amend other registrations to terminate uses of certain end-use products containing the pesticide carbofuran. The request would terminate flowable carbofuran use in or on alfalfa, cotton, ornamentals, popcorn, small grains (wheat, oats and barley) soybeans, sugarcane, sweet corn, and tobacco. The request would also terminate all carbofuran products registered under FIFRA section 24 Special Local Need Labels for use in or on corn (field), CRP acres, cucumbers, grapes, melons, ornamentals (container and field production), peppers (including Chiles and bell), sorghum, squash, sugar beets, sugarcane (soil applied), tobacco, and small grains (wheat, oats, and barley). The request would also terminate, subject to a two-year phase-out period, the use of flowable carbofuran as a post-plant application to artichokes. The request proposes to cancel the use of granular carbofuran on bananas, coffee, cucumbers, melons, and squash. The request would not terminate the last carbofuran products registered for use in the US. Comments must be received on or before January 20, 2009.

Registration Review Open for 2-((hydroxymethyl)-amino)ethanol
EPA has established a registration review docket(EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0879) for the pesticide, 2-((hydroxymethyl)-amino)ethanol. Comments must be received on or before March 19, 2009.

Registration Review Open for 3H-1,2-Dithiol-3-one, 4,5-dichloro
EPA has established registration review docket (EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0767) for the pesticide 3H-1,2-Dithiol-3-one, 4,5-dichloro. Comments must be received on or before March 19, 2009.

December 17
National CARE Grant Application
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is accepting applications for grants from the national Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) program. EPA will accept proposals to support community-based partnerships to reduce pollution at the local level. EPA will host several free informational webcast seminars, online registration available. Deadline for receipt of hard copy proposals is 4 p.m. Eastern Time on March 16, 2009.

Pesticide Registration Review for Various Pesticides Open for Comment
EPA has established registration review dockets for 2-EEEBC (EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0802), Chlorethoxyfos (EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0843), Ethoprop (EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0560), Imidacloprid (EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0844), Iron salts (EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0626), Methamidophos (EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0842), Oxytetracycline (EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0686), Streptomycin (EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0687), and Tebufenozide (EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0824). Comments must be received on or before March 17, 2009.

Registration Review for Citric Acid Open for Comments
EPA has established registration review dockets for the pesticide citric acid, docket ID: EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0855. Comments must be received on or before March 17, 2009.

December 16
EPA Files Complaint Against Oregon Pest Control Company After Illegal Use of Pesticides Leads to Homeowner Death
Stemming from a pesticide exposure event that led to a Florence, Oregon woman’s death, EPA has issued an Administrative Complaint to Swanson’s Pest Management, Inc. (Swanson’s) of Eugene, Oregon. Allegedly on June 29, 2005, Swanson’s illegally used the pesticides, Conquer Residential Insecticide Concentrate (EPA Reg. # 1021-1641-57076) and ULD BP-100 Contact Insecticide (EPA Reg. No. 499-452). The alleged illegal actions included: 1) failing to properly ventilate the homes prior to the occupants re-entering, 2) applying Conquer improperly as a “space spray,” and 3) improperly applying Conquer at nearly three times the allowable rate. Swanson’s has thirty days from the day they receive the Complaint to either arrange a settlement conference, file an answer to the Complaint, or pay the proposed penalty.

December 15
EPA Orders Cleanup of the Former Chem-Wood Site in Oahu, Hawaii
EPA has issued an order to the Estate of James Campbell and Sogo Hawaii, Inc., to cleanup and secure the former Chem-Wood wood treatment site in Ewa, Oahu. The order requires the removal of equipment, tanks, and containers that contain hazardous materials and increased efforts to further secure the property. Chem-Wood operated from 1973 to 1988 and used copper chromate arsenic and pentachlorophenol to treat wood.

New Water Quality Standards are Necessary To Protect the Mississippi River for Recreation
EPA has determined that new or revised water quality standards are necessary to protect the Mississippi River in Missouri. Missouri designated about 3,600 stream segments and all of its lakes for recreational uses in March 2006. This EPA action directs the state to address approximately 160 miles of the Mississippi River to ensure that swimming, water-skiing and other recreational uses are protected. The Decision Letter is available from EPA Region 7.

EPA Orders Restoration of Damaged Section of Left Hand Creek in Longmont
EPA issued a compliance order to Lawrence Germann for violations of the Clean Water Act in Longmont, Colorado for allegedly excavating and placing material in Left Hand Creek without a permit. The order requires Germann to correct the environmental damage resulting from these unauthorized activities. Left Hand Creek flows perennially and is a tributary to St. Vrain Creek.

December 12
Iowa State University Selected to Receive $600,000 in Grants to Reduce Upstream Pollution Impacting Gulf of Mexico
Iowa State University has been selected to receive $600,000 in grants from EPA's Targeted Watersheds Grant Program to reduce upstream pollutants that contribute to an oxygen-depleted hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Iowa State's three proposals for watershed projects will support agricultural conservation measures and create a variety of innovative, market-based programs to reduce water pollution.

Better Approach to Reporting Hazardous Substances from Farm Animal Waste
EPA is announcing a final rule providing an administrative reporting exemption for air releases of hazardous substances from animal waste at farms. This rule will enable response authorities to better focus their attention on hazardous substance releases that require a response, while reducing reporting burdens on America’s farms. Notifications must still be made to response authorities when hazardous substances are released to the air from sources other than animal waste (e.g., ammonia tanks), and when hazardous substances are released to soil and water.

The limited exemption under EPCRA resulted from EPA receiving comments on the proposed rule from state and local officials indicating that, although they did not expect to respond to notifications of air releases of hazardous substances from animal waste at farms, some still wished to receive notifications from large concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). EPA has addressed these comments by requiring large CAFOs to continue submitting emergency notification reports under EPCRA.

Comment Period Extended for Antimicrobial Pesticides
EPA issued a proposed rule in the Federal Register of October 8, 2008 proposing data requirements for antimicrobial pesticides. EPA received two requests to extend the comment period on the proposed rule. Today's document extends the comment period for 90 days, from January 6, 2009 to April 6, 2009.

December 11
Projects That Go Native Get Kudos from EPA and Chicago Wilderness
Conservation and native landscaping honors were recently awarded to 22 Chicago region organizations for outstanding green projects. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 and Chicago Wilderness recognized park districts, local governments and corporations.

December 10
FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel Meeting
There will be a 3-day meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) to consider and review a set of scientific issues being considered by the Agency pertaining an Evaluation of the Resistance Risks from Using a Seed Mix Refuge with Pioneer's Optimum[reg] AcreMaxTM 1 Corn Rootworm-Protected Corn. The meeting will be held February 23-25, 2009 (corrected dates). The Agency encourages that written comments be submitted by February 9, 2009 and requests for oral comments be submitted by February 16, 2009.

December 8
Total Maximum Daily Loads Available for Los Cerritos Channel
EPA proposed total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) for the freshwater portion of Los Cerritos Channel to address elevated metals concentrations pursuant to Clean Water Act section 303(d)(1), and requests public comment. EPA will prepare a responsiveness summary that demonstrates how public comments were considered in the final TMDL decisions. The responsiveness document will be available when the TMDLs are established. Comments must be submitted to EPA on or before January 22, 2009.

Final Risk and Exposure Assessment Report for Nitrogen Dioxide
On November 21, 2008, the Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS) of EPA made available a final report titled, Risk and Exposure Assessment to Support the Review of the NO2 Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard: Final Report. This final report has two primary purposes. The first is to convey the approaches taken to characterize human exposures and health risks associated with ambient NO2 and to present the results of these analyses. The second is to present a discussion of the NO2 scientific evidence and the exposure- and risk-based information specifically as it relates to the current and potential alternative NO2 standards.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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December 5
Finalized Amendments to the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Rule
EPA is amending the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule to provide increased clarity, to tailor requirements to particular industry sectors, and to streamline certain requirements for those facility owners or operators subject to the rule, which should result in greater protection to human health and the environment. The final rule is effective February 3, 2009.

December 3
Wetlands and Stream Project Grants Available
Grants are available through the Five Star Restoration Program, which brings together citizen groups, corporations, youth organizations, landowners and government agencies to undertake projects that restore streams and wetlands. The application deadline for the 2009 grants is February 16, 2009. Additional information is available on the Five Star Restoration Grant Program and grant application materials.Exit EPA

Agencies Revise Guidance to Protect Wetlands and Streams
EPA and the Department of the Army are issuing revised guidance to ensure America’s wetlands, streams and other waters are better protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The guidance clarifies the geographic scope of jurisdiction under the CWA. The revised guidance replaces previous policy issued in June 2007 and clarifies a June 2006 Supreme Court decision in Rapanos v. United States regarding the scope of the agencies’ jurisdiction under the CWA. For more information on the guidance, visit the Clean Water Act Definition website.

December 2
Amendment to the Universal Waste Rule
EPA is proposing to add hazardous pharmaceutical wastes to the Universal Waste Rule. This proposed rule would facilitate better management of pharmaceutical wastes by streamlining the generator requirements and encouraging generators of hazardous pharmaceutical wastes to manage them under the provisions of the Universal Waste Rule, which ensures that these hazardous pharmaceutical wastes are properly disposed of and treated as hazardous wastes. Comments must be received on or before February 2, 2009.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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