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News Archive: December 2011

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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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.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 23
Amendments to National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Area Source Standards for Prepared Feeds Manufacturing
EPA is proposing to revise certain provisions of the area source national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) for prepared feeds manufacturing published on January 5, 2010 (final rule). These revisions will clarify the regulatory requirements for this source category and ensure that those requirements are consistent with the record. The revisions address the generally available control technology (GACT) requirements for pelleting processes at large, existing prepared feeds manufacturing facilities, specifically removal of the cyclone 95-percent design efficiency requirement, as well as associated requirements for compliance demonstration, monitoring, reporting, and recordkeeping; clarification of the requirement that doors be kept closed in areas where materials containing chromium and manganese are stored, used, or handled; and clarification of the requirement to install a device at the point of bulk loadout to minimize emissions. These amendments are not expected to result in increased emissions or in the imposition of costs beyond those described in the January 5, 2010, final rule. Written comments must be received by January 23, 2012.

Reconsideration of Final Rule and Proposed Rule - National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Area Sources: Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers
On March 21, 2011, EPA promulgated national emission standards for the control of hazardous air pollutants from two area source categories: industrial boilers, and commercial and institutional boilers. On that same date, the EPA announced that it was convening a proceeding for reconsideration of certain portions of those final emission standards. After promulgation, the Administrator received petitions for reconsideration of certain provisions in the final rule. In this action, EPA is proposing for reconsideration specific elements and accepting public comment on those elements. We are not requesting comment on any other provisions of the final rule. Comments must be received on or before February 21, 2012.

December 21
United States-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council Initiatives on Pesticides
On February 4, 2011, President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the creation of the United States-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) to increase regulatory transparency and coordination between the two countries. One of the initial areas of focus of the RCC is agricultural production, in particular further alignment of crop protection product approvals and establishment of tolerances and maximum residue limits (MRLs) for major and minor uses of pesticides in both countries. The RCC will host an initial outreach event in Washington DC, on January 30-31, 2012, to allow an opportunity for interested stakeholders to learn more about the Council and to provide input to federal regulators on work plans for the different areas of focus under the RCC.

December 19
Extension of Comment Period for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) Reporting Rule
On October 21, 2011 (76 FR 65431) (FRL-9481-7) EPA published a proposed rule entitled, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) Reporting Rule. As initially published in the Federal Register, written comments on the proposal were to be submitted to EPA on or before December 20, 2011 (a 60-day public comment period). Since publication, EPA has received several requests for additional time to submit comments. Therefore, the public comment period is being extended for 30 days and will now end on January 19, 2012.

National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPELC) January Webcast Exit EPA
The next webcast is entitled “Is Your Organization Ready? A First Step To a Playbook for Emergency Management,” and will be held on January 20, 2012. This presentation will demonstrate how Texas AgriLife Extension Service, using the organizational framework of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS) in cooperation with other state agencies, integrated into the State Emergency Management (EM) Plan to prepare and address future natural, accidental and man-made disasters. This talk will help attendees to understand the importance of assessing and determining which of the 1) 37 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Target Capabilities, 2) 15 NIMS Emergency Support Functions (ESF) are relevant to your agency/organization, and how to go about submitting “Summaries of Support…” to the appropriate state agency so that your organization becomes a player in the State EM Plan. Dr. Andy Vestal will share first hand-experience on the Emergency Management and Homeland Security program’s response and recovery efforts to the recent drought and devastating wildfires in Texas. This topic is particularly important for all organizations with expertise, physical and human resources, and relevant organizational aims to prevent, mitigate, respond or assist with recovery from disasters. It broadcasts at 2:30 Eastern (1:30 pm Central, 12:30 pm Mountain, 11:30 am Pacific). The LPELC Newsletter will return in January.

December 14
EPA Approves Streamlined Confidential Statement of Formula Process for End-Use Products and Manufacturing Use Products
On July 29, 2011, the Agency announced the availability of a guidance memo on a streamlined process for Confidential Statements of Formula, Form 8570-4, for technical grade active ingredients. The Agency is announcing today that it is releasing a similar, new guidance memo specific to end-use products and manufacturing use products and that it has updated the July 29, 2011, guidance memo for technical grade active ingredients. As part of the registration process for pesticides, registrants must submit a Confidential Statement of Formula, Form 8570-4, that lists all the components and their percentage by weight in a pesticide product, and other information about the formulation. The CSF is a crucial element of submissions related to new pesticide products. In the past, registrants may have submitted separate Confidential Statements of Formula to reflect different inert ingredient suppliers and each country in which the product is produced. New guidance to EPA reviewers allows EPA to instead accept from registrants an attachment to the Confidential Statement of Formula for end-use and manufacturing use products that lists additional inert ingredient suppliers and additional countries in which the pesticide may be produced, provided the criteria in the guidance are met. In addition, the guidance to EPA reviewers clarifies that it is acceptable for companies to list the name and address of the appropriate company contact for production-related questions in lieu of each production location. This streamlined process for end-use and manufacturing use products, along with the streamlined process for CSFs for technical grade active ingredients, will not only reduce paper and registrant burden, but it will also provide useful information to EPA staff and reduce handling and tracking of many unnecessary pages. All of the guidance memos addressing end-use products, manufacturing-use products and technical grade active ingredients are available on the Pesticide Registration Manual web page.

December 13
EPA Releases Work Plan To Improve Evaluation of Chemicals in the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program
EPA is releasing an overview summary of the Agency’s work plan to improve the scientific methods used to evaluate chemicals that may affect the endocrine system in people and animals. This work plan relies on scientific advancements in computational modeling, molecular biology, toxicology, and advanced robotics. By incorporating these scientific advancements into evaluating chemicals under the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP), EPA will prioritize and screen chemicals with greater speed, efficiency, and accuracy, while minimizing the use of laboratory animals. The work plan, referred to as EDSP21, follows recommendations made by the National Research Council (NRC) in a 2007 report on toxicity testing. Since EPA is required to complete registration review of registered pesticides by October 2022, new tools are needed to more quickly and efficiently screen and assess these pesticides. Development and validation of these new tools will be a multiyear process. As these new tools become ready for use, the EDSP will transition to rely on computational toxicology methods and high throughput screens to more quickly and cost effectively assess potential chemical toxicity while minimizing the use of conventional whole animal studies. The workplan summary describes this transition.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

December 7
Fertilizer Company Agrees To Pay $1.8 Million Penalty To Resolve Hazardous Waste Violations
EPA today announced that a former phosphoric acid and phosphate fertilizer producer has agreed to pay a $1.8 million dollar penalty and conduct an environmental project to resolve alleged violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Clean Air Act. Violations include processing and disposing of hazardous wastewater without a permit and the improper routing of effluent from a scrubber through a cooling tower. The settlement will protect public health and the environment by reducing possible releases of hazardous wastewater into area waterways. The company currently produces sulfuric acid and ammonium sulfate fertilizers.

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