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News Archive: December 2009

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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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.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
Notice of Proposal Not To Reissue NPDES General Permit for Egg Production Operations
EPA Region 6 is providing notice that the Agency does not intend to reissue the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Egg Production Operations (EPOs) in New Mexico and Oklahoma which was issued on July 18, 2002 (67 FR 47362). The permit expired on August 17, 2007 and was never reissued. At the time of permit issuance, the United Egg Producers (UEP), a farmer cooperative that represents egg producers nationwide, was in an XL Project agreement with EPA to allow eligible facilities to obtain permit coverage under a general permit. Project XL was a national pilot program that allowed state and local governments, businesses and federal facilities to develop with EPA more cost-effective ways of achieving environmental and public health protection. With this notice not to reissue the general permit, EPA is closing out this XL project as it is no longer active.

December 28
Ethylene Registration Review Docket Opened for Review and Comment
EPA has established a registration review docket for the pesticide ethylene (Docket ID# EPA–HQ–OPP–2009–0877), and is opening the public comment period for this registration review. Comments must be received on or before February 26, 2010.

December 22
Grant Opportunity: Activities that Advance Methane Recovery and Use as a Clean Energy Source
The international Methane to Markets Partnership is designed to advance cost-effective, near-term methane recovery and use as a clean energy source. It provides funding for eligible projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance economic growth, promote energy security, and improve the environment. This initiative involves collaboration among developed countries, developing countries, and countries with economies in transition, together with strong participation from the private sector. The Methane to Markets Partnership targets four major methane sources: agriculture (manure management only), landfills, underground coal mines, and oil and gas systems. This notice announces the availability of funds and solicits proposals for investigation, survey, study, training, and demonstration projects (eligible projects) that advance international near-term, cost-effective methane recovery and use as a clean energy source, and support the goals of the Methane to Markets Partnership. The total estimated funding for this competitive opportunity is approximately $5,000,000. EPA anticipates awarding up to approximately 35 cooperative agreements resulting from this announcement, subject to availability of funds, the quality of proposals received, and other applicable considerations. The closing date for applications is April 15, 2010.

EPA Seeks To Disclose Pesticide Inert Ingredients
In response to two petitions seeking disclosure of selected inert ingredients on pesticide labels, EPA is initiating rulemaking to increase public availability of the identities of the inert ingredients in pesticide products. This action would assist consumers and users of pesticides in making informed decisions and reduce the presence of potentially hazardous ingredients in pesticides. Inert ingredients are part of the end use product formulation and are not active ingredients. Pesticide manufacturers usually disclose their inert ingredients only to EPA. The agency is inviting comment on various regulatory and voluntary steps to achieve this broader disclosure. Comments on the advance notice of proposed rulemaking must be received on or before February 22, 2010.

Lavandulyl Senecioate Registration Decision Opened for Public Comment
EPA is making its proposed registration decision for a new active ingredient, lavandulyl senecioate, including preliminary risk assessment and proposed labels available for comment (Docket ID# EPA–HQ–OPP–2009–0044). Comments are due January 20, 2010.

December 21
Southwest Missouri Pet Supply Dealer To Pay $56,632 Penalty for Re-Labeling, Selling Misbranded Cattle and Hog Insecticide
A southwest Missouri pet supply dealer has agreed to pay a $56,632 civil penalty to the United States to settle allegations that it violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) by repackaging, relabeling and selling an insecticide meant for use on cattle and hogs as a flea and tick treatment for dogs. The allegations stem from findings made by the Missouri Department of Agriculture during October 2006 inspections of the company's facilities in Goodman and Buffalo, Mo. The inspections found that the company had bottled the pesticide Prolate/Lintox-HD into different packaging and sold it as another pesticide, Paramite. During the inspections, the company was ordered to immediately stop selling the repackaged pesticide. Prolate/Lintox-HD is formulated for use in the control of flies, lice, mange and ticks on cattle, and for the control of lice and mange on swine. Paramite is no longer manufactured as a flea and tick treatment for dogs.

December 18
EPA Solicits Comments on Petition Requesting Classification of all Rodenticide Products Containing Strychnine as Restricted Use Pesticides
EPA is publishing for public comment a July 9, 2009 petition from the State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group (SFIREG), available in docket number EPA–HQ–OPP–2009–0815, requesting that the Agency classify all rodenticide products containing strychnine as Restricted Use Pesticides. Restricted use pesticides may only be sold to and applied by certified applicators or persons acting under the direct supervision of certified applicators. End-use pesticide products that are not classified as restricted use pesticides are considered to be unclassified. The petitioner reports that member States have noted incidents of misuse of strychnine products, including use to control "black-tailed prairie dogs and other pests not found on the product labeling." The petitioner states that uses against prairie dogs typically consist of "broadcast applications of bait products on the soil surface" and thereby increase the likelihood of primary and secondary exposures to non-target species. Comments must be received on or before March 18, 2010.

EPA Seeks Applications for Environmental Community Grants
EPA is making $2 million available in 2010 to reduce pollution at the local level through the Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) program. CARE is a community-based program that works with county and local governments, tribes, non-profit organizations and universities to help the public understand and reduce toxic risks from numerous sources. Applications for the CARE grants are due March 9, 2010. EPA will conduct three Webcasts to answer questions from prospective applicants about the application process on Feb. 2, 23, and 26, 2010 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

EPA Releases First-Ever Baseline Study of U.S. Lakes
EPA today released its most comprehensive study of the nationís lakes to date. The draft study, which rated the condition of 56 percent of the lakes in the United States as good and the remainder as fair or poor, marked the first time EPA and its partners used a nationally consistent approach to survey the ecological and water quality of lakes. A total of 1,028 lakes were randomly sampled during 2007 by states, tribes and EPA. Nitrogen and phosphorous are found at high levels in 20 percent of lakes. Excess levels of these nutrients contribute to algae blooms, weed growth, reduced water clarity, and other lake problems. EPA is very concerned about the adverse impacts of nutrients on aquatic life, drinking water and recreation. The agency will continue to work with states to address water quality issues through effective nutrient management. EPA’s Watershed Academy will present a Webcast on the National Lakes Assessment on January 5, 2010 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST.

December 16
Five Antimicrobial Pesticide Registration Review Dockets Opened for Review and Comment
EPA has established registration review dockets for the following pesticides, and is opening the public comment period for these registration reviews:

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, the pesticide can perform its intended function without unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment. Comments must be received on or before March 16, 2010.

Nine Pesticide Registration Review Dockets Opened for Review and Comment
EPA has established registration review dockets for the following pesticides, and is opening the public comment period for these registration reviews:

Comments must be received on or before February 16, 2010.

December 15
Pesticide Registration Decisions for 2-Methyl-1-Butanol and Calcium Acetate Opened for Public Comment
EPA is making its proposed registration decisions for 2-Methyl-1-butanol and Calcium acetate available for comment (Docket ID# EPA–HQ–OPP–2009–0125). The Biopesticides Registration Action Decision (BRAD) contains EPA's proposed registration decisions and risk assessments. In addition, EPA is making the proposed product labels available for comment. Comments must be received by January 15, 2010.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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December 15
Request for Nominations to the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee (FRRCC)
EPA invites nominations from a diverse range of qualified candidates to be considered for appointment to the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Federal Advisory Committee (FRRCC). The FRRCC is a federal advisory committee chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), Public Law 92463. The FRRCC was established in 2008 and provides independent advice to the EPA Administrator on a broad range of environmental issues and policies that are of importance to agriculture and rural communities. Members serve as representatives from academia, industry (e.g., farm groups and allied industries), non-governmental organizations, and state, local, and tribal governments. Members are appointed by the EPA Administrator for two-year terms with the possibility of reappointment. Applicants are encouraged to submit all nominations materials by December 31, 2009 in order to ensure fullest consideration. Parties interested in applying to serve on the Committee should pay close attention to the paragraph entitled "Submissions Procedure" towards the end of the notice and submit all required materials. It is anticipated that vacancies will be filled by spring 2010.

Registration Review Final Decision Available for Citric Acid
This notice announces the availability of EPA's final registration review decision for citric acid, case 4024. Citric acid is a food-contact and non-food contact antimicrobial pesticide used in many products for residential and public access premises. It is used as a disinfectant, fruit and vegetable wash, sanitizer, virucide, and germicide; and is an inert ingredient in other pesticide products. Citric acid is characterized by low toxicity, is biodegradable, and is found extensively in nature. A registration review decision is the Agency's determination whether a pesticide meets or does not meet the standard for registration under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

December 10
EPA Reaches Agreement with Pesticide Production Facility on Clean Air Violations
EPA Region 5 has reached an agreement with a Michigan pesticide production plant for alleged Clean Air Act violations. The agreement, which includes a $70,000 penalty, resolves EPA allegations that the facility violated national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants. The company generates methanol and uses xylene, both hazardous air pollutants, in making pesticide active ingredients at the plant.

December 9
Comment Period Extended for Pesticide Drift Labeling Guidance and Petition To Protect Children from Pesticide Spray Drift
EPA issued two related notices in the Federal Register of November 4, 2009, one concerning draft guidance on pesticide drift labeling, and one on a petition submitted to the Agency for protecting children from pesticide drift. Both notices announced the availability of the source documents and opened public comment periods of 60 days (until January 4, 2010). Today's notice extends the comment period on both notices for an additional 60 days, from January 4, 2010 to March 5, 2010.

December 8
EPA To Strengthen Oversight of Pesticideís Impact on Children and Farmworkers
EPA has released a policy paper that describes how the Agency plans to use revised methods in conducting risk assessments for pesticide uses and exposures not governed by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). Implementing this policy will increase protections, especially for agricultural workers and children of workers in agricultural fields. The agency is asking the public to comment on the new approach and how best to implement the improvements. Under the policy, EPA risk assessments for children, farmworkers and others, would consider aggregate pesticide exposures from all sources in addition to the cumulative effects from multiple pesticides that have similar toxicity. EPA would apply an additional safety factor to protect infants and children from the risks of pesticides where the available data are incomplete. Comments must be received on or before February 8, 2010.

2008 TRI Analysis Shows Reduction in Toxic Chemical Releases
EPA is releasing its annual national analysis of the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). The TRI database contains information on chemical releases into the air, land and water, as well as waste management and pollution prevention activities. The analysis of the 2008 data, the most recent data set available, shows that 3.86 billion pounds of toxic chemicals were released into the environment, a 6 percent decrease from 2007.

December 7
EPA Finds That Greenhouse Gases Threaten Public Health and the Environment
After a thorough examination of the scientific evidence and careful consideration of public comments, EPA announced today that greenhouse gases (GHGs) threaten the public health and welfare of the American people. EPA also finds that GHG emissions from on-road vehicles contribute to that threat. EPA’s final findings respond to the 2007 U.S. Supreme Court decision that GHGs fit within the Clean Air Act definition of air pollutants. The findings do not in and of themselves impose any emission reduction requirements but rather allow EPA to finalize the GHG standards proposed earlier this year for new light-duty vehicles as part of the joint rulemaking with the Department of Transportation. EPA’s endangerment finding covers emissions of six key greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride – that have been the subject of scrutiny and intense analysis for decades by scientists in the United States and around the world.

December 5
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 (LPELC) newsletter is available. Topics include: December Webcast: Air Quality Regulations Update Focused on Greenhouse Gas Emissions; January Webcast: Using Rye Cover Crops to Preserve Nutrients after Manure Application; New Information on Solid Manure Transport Available on Website; Several Funding Opportunities Available; Research Examines Effectiveness of Nutrient Management Plans; and Call for Abstracts for 2010 Soil & Water Conservation Society Annual Conference. The next live webcast, scheduled for December 18, 2009, is entitled “Greenhouse Gas Emissions Estimation and Reporting.” This webcast will include an update on the manure management section of the newly released Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting rule, with an industry perspective. The webcast will also highlight a USDA ARS model on calculating greenhouse gas emissions and plans to develop resources to help affected producers comply with the EPA rule. The speakers are Rick Stowell, University of Nebraska, Al Rotz, USDA ARS and a third speaker to be announced.

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