News Archive: December 2010
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Beef Feedlot in Sioux County, Iowa, To Pay $30,000 Civil Penalty for Unpermitted Wastewater Discharges into Otter Creek
The operator of a beef feedlot in Sioux County, Iowa, has agreed to pay a $30,000 civil penalty for unpermitted discharges of wastewater from the facility into Otter Creek. On March 11, 2010, EPA inspectors observed and sampled illegal discharges of manure, litter and process wastewater that were flowing from the feedlot into a tributary of Otter Creek. The feedlot did not have adequate waste control structures to prevent the discharge, nor did it have the required National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) wastewater permit. At the time of the inspection, the feedlot was confining approximately 2,100 cattle, including 950 in open pens and 1,150 in a deep bedded confinement building.
Action To Ensure Authority To Implement Title V Permitting Programs Under the Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule
The final greenhouse gas (GHG) Tailoring Rule includes a step-by-step implementation strategy for issuing Federally-enforceable permits to the largest, most environmentally significant sources beginning January 2, 2011. In this action, EPA is finalizing its proposed rulemaking to narrow EPA's previous approval of State title V operating permit programs that apply (or may apply) to GHG-emitting sources. Specifically, in this final rule, EPA is narrowing its previous approval of certain State permitting thresholds for GHG emissions so that only sources that equal or exceed the GHG thresholds established in the final Tailoring Rule would be covered as major sources by the Federally-approved programs in the affected States. By raising the GHG thresholds that apply title V permitting to major sources in the affected States, this final rule will reduce the number of sources that will be issued Federally-enforceable title V permits and thereby significantly reduce permitting burdens for permitting agencies and sources alike in those States. This final rule is effective on December 30, 2010.
EPA Considers Web-Distributed Labeling of Pesticides
EPA is considering an initiative to make portions of pesticide labeling for certain products available electronically. Web-distributed labeling would allow users to download streamlined labeling specific to the use and state in which the application will occur. More concise labeling should increase users' comprehension and compliance with pesticide labeling, thereby improving protection of human health and the environment from risks associated with improper pesticide use. Web distributed labeling would also allow new labeling to enter the marketplace and reach the user more quickly than the current paper based labeling thus implementing both new uses and risk mitigation in a more timely manner. This notice describes potential approaches for a web-distributed labeling system and seeks stakeholder feedback on a variety of issues. Comments must be received on or before March 29, 2011.
EPA Establishes Landmark Chesapeake Bay ‘Pollution Diet’
EPA today established a landmark “pollution diet” to restore clean water in the Chesapeake Bay and the region’s streams, creeks and rivers. The pollution diet, formally known as the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), identifies the necessary reductions of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment from Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. The TMDL is shaped by an extensive public and stakeholder involvement effort during the past two years, coupled with detailed plans by jurisdictions for how they will achieve pollution reductions. The pollution diet calls for a 25 percent reduction in nitrogen, 24 percent reduction in phosphorus and 20 percent reduction in sediment. The TMDL - which sets Bay watershed limits of 185.9 million pounds of nitrogen, 12.5 million pounds of phosphorus and 6.45 billion pounds of sediment per year – is designed to ensure that all pollution control measures to fully restore the Bay and its tidal rivers are in place by 2025, with at least 60 percent of the actions completed by 2017.
Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates
- Imazosulfuron -- establishment of tolerances for residues in or on pepper, bell; pepper, non-bell; rice, grain; and tomato (December 29)
- Pesticide products -- order for the cancellations, voluntarily requested by the registrants and accepted by the Agency, of products (December 30)
- Spirotetramat -- pesticide product registrations; conditional approval (January 5)
EPA Provides Public with Easier Access to Chemical Information
EPA has introduced a new web-based tool that will enable the public to search for and have easy access to health and safety studies on industrial chemicals. As part of Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s continued efforts to enhance EPA's chemical management program and increase transparency, the chemical data access tool allows users to conduct a chemical-specific search for health and safety studies that have been submitted to the Agency under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The tool will also be added to Data.Gov, a website developed by the Obama Administration to provide public access to important government information.
Petition for Rulemaking To Establish Procedures Consistent With Section 1010 of the 1988 Amendments to the Endangered Species Act
EPA is announcing the availability of a September 16, 2010 petition from Growers for ESA Transparency ("GET"). GET is a coalition of growers throughout the western United States. GET is committed to improving the consultation process for, the transparency of, and accessibility to the Endangered Species Act (ESA). GET is requesting EPA to take immediate action to establish, by rulemaking, clear and equitable procedures for notice and comment on the Agency's pesticide effects determinations for endangered species and subsequent actions, including draft biological opinions and potential product restrictions consistent with section 1010 of the 1988 amendments to the ESA. This petition is similar to the petition filed on January 19, 2010 by DOW AgroSciences LLC, Makhteshim Agan of North America, and Cheminova Inc. USA requesting EPA to promulgate a rule for amending Endangered Species Protection Bulletins (EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0474). Comments must be received on or before February 22, 2011.
DuPont Agrees To Pay $15,600 Civil Penalty for Failure To Properly Authorize Missouri Company To Repackage Herbicide
E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company, Inc., (DuPont) has agreed to pay a $15,600 civil penalty for failing to have proper written authorization for a Missouri agrichemical company to repackage and sell DuPont’s Steadfast herbicide. According to an administrative consent agreement filed by EPA Region 7 in Kansas City, Kan., DuPont, headquartered in Wilmington, Del., had a contract repackaging and label authorization agreement with Central Elevator, Inc., that was effective from November 2005 through September 2006. In May 2009, however, an inspector from the Missouri Department of Agriculture conducted an inspection of Central Elevator’s facilities at Silex and Olney, Mo., and collected documentation that the Missouri company had been repackaging Steadfast for sale to its customers, without a legally required repackaging and label authorization agreement. Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), a registrant of a pesticide such as DuPont must have written authorization with a repackager, and must meet certain other conditions, to allow the repackager to repackage pesticide products without obtaining its own new registration. Without an authorization agreement in place, repackaged products are legally considered to be unregistered. Without such agreements, a registrant cannot ensure the safety or integrity of its product.
EPA Amends Provisions to Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases
EPA is amending specific provisions in the greenhouse gas reporting rule to clarify certain provisions, to correct technical and editorial errors, and to address certain questions and issues that have arisen since promulgation. These final changes include generally providing additional information and clarity on existing requirements, allowing greater flexibility or simplified calculation methods for certain sources, amending data reporting requirements to provide additional clarity on when different types of greenhouse gas emissions need to be calculated and reported, clarifying terms and definitions in certain equations and other technical corrections and amendments. The final rule is effective on December 31, 2010.
EPA Region 10 Strategic Agricultural Initiative (SAI) Grant Program FY2011
EPA Region 10 is seeking applications from eligible organizations that will promote the transition to reduced-risk pest management practices in agriculture to protect human health and the environment. Applications must be received by February 21, 2011.
New Soil Fumigant Toolbox Available on EPA Web Page
EPA has created a new virtual toolbox for information on soil fumigation, which is available at EPA's Web page on soil fumigant pesticides. The soil fumigants toolbox now provides easy access to a variety of soil fumigant training, outreach, and other resource materials for applicators and handlers, communities, state and local agencies, and others interested in understanding and implementing the current requirements for safe use of soil fumigants. Key features of the toolbox include safety brochures for handlers of soil fumigants, training modules on the new soil fumigant requirements, templates for soil fumigant management plans, and updated fact sheets on the soil fumigant mitigation measures and implementation schedule. New materials will be added to the toolbox as they become available during 2011.
Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates
- Busan 74 (HPMTS) and Nithiazine -- availability of EPA's proposed registration review decisions and opening of public comment period on the proposed decisions (December 22)
- Flutolanil -- establishment of tolerances for residues of flutolanil in or on Brassica leafy vegetable group 5 and turnip greens (December 22)
- Pesticide chemicals -- petitions proposing the establishment or modification of regulations for residues of pesticide chemicals in or on various commodities (December 15)
- Pesticide chemicals -- extension of tolerances for emergency exemptions (December 22)
- Pesticide chemicals -- petitions proposing the establishment or modification of regulations for residues of pesticide chemicals in or on various commodities (December 22)
- Pesticide products -- applications to register pesticide products containing active ingredients not included in any previously registered pesticide products (December 22)
- Pesticide products -- pesticide dockets opened for review and comment and other docket actions (December 22)
- Propionic Acid and Salts, Urea Sulfate, Methidathion, and Methyl Parathion -- availability of EPA's final registration review decisions (December 15)
- Tetrahydro-3, 5-dimethyl-2H-1, 3, 4-thiadiazine-2-thione -- order for the amendment to terminate and/or delete certain uses, voluntarily requested by the registrant and accepted by the Agency, of products (December 20)
EPA Publishes Revisions to General Tolerance Regulations
EPA has made revisions to the current pesticide tolerance crop grouping regulations which allow establishment of tolerances for multiple related crops, based on data from a representative set of crops. The final rule creates a new crop group for oilseeds, expands existing crop groups by adding new commodities, establishes new crop subgroups, and revises the representative crops in some groups. EPA expects these revisions to promote greater use of crop groupings for tolerance-setting purposes and promote global harmonization of food safety standards. EPA anticipates that more lower-risk pesticides will be able to be utilized for registration on minor crops, including many fruits and vegetables, because of availability of crop grouping tolerances. This is the second in a series of planned crop group updates expected to be promulgated over the next several years.
Public Meeting of the FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel
There will be a 4-day meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) to consider and review the Chlorpyrifos Physiologically-Based Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic (PBPK/PD) Modeling linked to the Cumulative and Aggregate Risk Evaluation System (CARES). The meeting will be held on February 15-18, 2011, from 9 a.m. to approximately 5:30 p.m., in Arlington, VA.
EPA Announces 2010 Enforcement and Compliance Results
EPA announced today the release of its annual enforcement and compliance results. In fiscal year (FY) 2010, EPA took enforcement and compliance actions that require polluters to pay more than $110 million in civil penalties and commit to spend an estimated $12 billion on pollution controls, cleanup, and environmental projects that benefit communities. These actions when completed will reduce pollution by more than 1.4 billion pounds and protect businesses that comply with regulations by holding non-compliant businesses accountable when environmental laws are violated.
National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center December Newsletter and Webcast
The December edition of the National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPELC) newsletter is now available. Topics include: January webcast on manure application to wheat and side dressing in corn; Small farm manure storage video; CIG Grants available; Manure Foaming Video; USDA Grassland Reserve Program; and Manure Spill Toolkit. The next webcast is scheduled for December 17, 2010 and is entitled "Controlling Ammonia Emissions from Poultry Operations." Interested in knowing more about air emissions from poultry operations and why there is growing interest in reducing ammonia emission? What are current ammonia mitigation options at poultry facilities? What promising options are being developed? Join us for a webinar aimed to address these questions as we explore ammonia mitigation options in broiler chicken and laying hen housing systems. Presenters will be: Dr. Eileen Wheeler, Pennsylvania State University; Dr. Hongwei Xin, Iowa State University; and Dr. Robert T. Burns, University of Tennessee. It broadcasts at 2:30 Eastern (1:30 pm Central, 12:30 pm Mountain, 11:30 am Pacific).
EPA Orders Vermont Farmer To Restore Damaged Wetlands
A Vermont farmer has been ordered to restore about three acres of freshwater wetlands in Swanton, Vermont that he altered in order to expand a corn field. According to EPA’s complaint, the farmer began in 2006 to clear, grade, fill, and generally alter wetlands at his farm. The farmer failed to obtain a federal permit under the federal Clean Water Act authorizing the discharges of dredged and fill material into the wetlands. According to the law, the farmer was required to get this federal permit from the Army Corps of Engineers. According to the order issued recently by EPA’s New England office, the farmer must restore the disturbed wetlands to their previous state.
New Online Discussion Forum Topic: Label Review Manual Chapter 5 – Ingredient Statement
EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs has posted an update to Enable the Label, our online discussion forum that’s used to improve clarity and usefulness for Label Review Manual users. Chapter 5 is the discussion topic for December, with a particular focus on criteria for determination of pesticidal activity, statement of concentrations, and inert ingredients. After the discussion thread closes at the end of December, we will review comments received and incorporate useful ones into future revisions of the Label Review Manual.
Notice of Draft Regulation To Clarify Labeling of Pesticides for Export
The Administrator of EPA has forwarded to the Secretary of Agriculture a draft proposed rule as required by section 25(a) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). As described in the Agency's semi-annual Regulatory Agenda, the draft proposed rule intends to clarify, restructure, and add specificity to existing labeling regulations for the export of unregistered pesticide products and devices. EPA is also considering a minor new requirement for the labeling of unregistered pesticide products and devices shipped between establishments operated by the same producer to ensure that they are clearly marked as unregistered products intended for export in order to prevent them from inadvertently entering the U.S. market.
Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates
- DCNA (dicloran), Ziram, Diquat dibromide, and Chloropicrin -- requests to voluntarily amend registrations to terminate certain uses (December 1)
- Ethofumesate and Monosodium methanearsonate (MSMA) -- corrections to cancellation orders for certain pesticide registrations (December 13)
- Methomyl -- order for the amendments to terminate use, voluntarily requested by the registrant and accepted by the Agency, of products containing methomyl on grapes (December 8)
- Metrafenone -- establishment of tolerances for residues in or on grapes (December 3)
- Pesticide products -- correction to cancellation order for certain pesticide registrations (December 1)
- Pesticide products -- applications to register new uses for pesticide products containing currently registered active ingredients (December 8)
- Spiroxamine -- establishment of tolerances for residues in or on artichoke, globe, import at 0.7 parts per million (ppm) asparagus, import at 0.05 ppm; and vegetables, fruiting, crop group 8, import at 1.2 ppm (December 1)
- Triclosan -- petition to regulate triclosan available for review and comment (December 8)
- Tristyrylphenol ethoxylates -- exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues when used as an inert ingredient post-harvest as a surfactant under 40 CFR 180.910 with a maximum of 15 percent by weight in pesticide formulations (December 1)
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