News Archive: February 2007
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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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.
Modification of Dimethoate Reregistration Eligibility Decision Available for Comment
EPA has released its intention to modify certain risk mitigation measures that were imposed as a result of the 2006 Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for the pesticide dimethoate, and has opened a public comment period on these changes. EPA conducted this reassessment of the dimethoate RED in response to public comments received. The commentors have requested that the Agency make certain modifications in the dimethoate RED label requirements including: specifying a maximum seasonal application rate, rather than a maximum number of applications per season; and increased seasonal rates for peppers and cherries. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0084, must be received on or before March 30, 2007.
- More information on dimethoate
Board of Scientific Counselors' Safe Pesticides/Safe Products (SP2) Research Program Subcommittee Schedules Teleconferences
EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) announced it will hold two meetings (via teleconference) of the Board of Scientific Counselors SP2 Subcommittee. The conference calls will be held March 22 and April 3, 2007, from noon to 2 p.m. EST. Comments and requests for the draft agenda or for making an oral presentation at the conference calls will be accepted up to one business day before the conference calls. Comments or requests can be identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-ORD-2006-0979.
- More information on the ORD SP2 subcommittee
Comments Sought on How To Regulate Repellent-Sunscreen Products
In a Federal Register notice published on February 22, 2007, EPA is seeking information to determine how insect repellent-sunscreen combination products should be regulated in order to complete the review described in the Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) document for the insect repellent DEET. The Agency is considering issues such as labeling, product performance, and applicable safety standards for all currently registered and future insect repellent-sunscreen combination products. The sunscreen components of these products are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Concurrently, FDA is requesting information and comments on these products for which FDA is considering rulemaking. Comments and information received by EPA and FDA will determine the way these products are to be regulated. Comments must be received on or before May 23, 2007.
- February 22, 2007, Federal Register Notice
- FDA notice
- DEET RED (PDF) (134 pp, 456K)
- DEET fact sheet (PDF) (5 pp, 25K)
2007 Revision of the Aquatic Life Ambient Freshwater Quality Criteria
EPA announced the availability of the 2007 revised recommended aquatic life ambient freshwater quality criteria for copper. The Clean Water Act (CWA) requires EPA to develop and publish, and from time to time revise, criteria for water accurately reflecting the latest scientific knowledge. These criteria provide EPA's recommendations to states and authorized tribes as they establish their water quality standards as state or tribal law or regulation. Copies of the criteria document, entitled "Aquatic Life Ambient Freshwater Quality Criteria -- Copper 2007 Revision" (EPA document number EPA-822-R-07-001), may be obtained from EPA's Water Resource Center.
EPA Cultivates Water-Efficient Landscapes
EPA has issued its first WaterSense label for landscape irrigation. As part of the Agency's new water-efficiency partnership program, two certification programs for landscape irrigation professionals received the WaterSense label for their adherence to water-saving techniques. The first WaterSense label has been issued to the Irrigation Association's (IA) Certified Irrigation Designer program and Certified Irrigation Contractor program. To earn the WaterSense label, IA's certification programs must test for the ability to design, install, and maintain water-efficient landscape irrigation systems, including tailoring systems to the surrounding landscape, selecting water-efficient equipment, tracking local climate conditions, and developing appropriate schedules for watering.
Administration Presses for Marine Environment Protection in Wider Caribbean
President Bush transmitted to the U.S. Senate for its advice and consent for ratification, the Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land-Based Sources and Activities to the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region (1983 Cartagena Convention). Through this important milestone, the U.S. continues to demonstrate important leadership on dealing with challenging forms of marine pollution, such as domestic wastewater and excess nutrients from non-point sources, which threaten the health of sensitive coral reefs and important commercial fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and portions of the Atlantic Ocean.
Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates
- 2-Propenoic acid, methyl ester, polymer with ethenyl acetate -- exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues when used as an inert ingredient in a pesticide chemical formulation (February 28)
- Cancellation of various pesticides -- receipt of request by registrants to voluntarily cancel 162 pesticide registrations (February 28)
- Halosulfuron-methyl -- establishes tolerances for residues in or on alfalfa forage and alfalfa hay (February 28)
- Orthosulfamuron -- establishment of a tolerance for residues in or on rice grain and straw (February 28)
- Sethoxydim -- establishment of tolerances for residues in or on buckwheat grain, buckwheat flour, okra, borage seed, borage meal, fresh dillweed leaves, radish tops, turnip greens, and group 1 root and tuber vegetables (February 28)
- Various pesticides -- filing of pesticide petitions proposing the establishment or modification of regulations for residues of pesticide chemicals in or on various commodities (February 28)
- Z-9-tetradecen-1-yl acetate, Z-11-tetradecen-1-ol, and Z- 11-tetradecenal -- receipt of an application to register a pesticide product (Isomate-CM/LR TT) containing active ingredients not included in any previously registered product (February 28)
Pine Oil and Propylene/Dipropylene Glycol REDs Available for Comment
EPA has released its Reregistration Eligibility Decisions (REDs) for the pesticides pine oil and propylene/dipropylene glycol and has opened a public comment period on these documents. The Agency's risk assessments and other related documents are available in the pine oil and propylene/dipropylene glycol dockets. Pine oil is an antimicrobial used for sanitizing and disinfecting in residential and commercial/institutional settings. Propylene glycol is used in air sanitization and hard surface disinfection, and dipropylene glycol is used in air sanitization. Comments must be received on or before April 23, 2007. Submit comments by the following docket ID numbers:
- Pine oil: docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2004-0302
- Propylene/dipropylene glycol: docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0831
Wal-Mart Hosts Blue Skyways Collaborative Biannual Meeting
The Blue Skyways Collaborative, a voluntary program to reduce air pollution, scheduled its biannual meeting in Bentonville, Arkansas, for a look at successful sustainability from Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer. The meeting encourages collaborative participants to share professional and technical expertise on air pollution control technologies. The event also features an update on the collaboratives progress to date and its goals for the future of clean air.
EPA Seeks Public Comment on U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory
EPA is seeking public comment on a draft report that analyzes sources of greenhouse gas emissions. The report, Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2005, will be open for public comment for 30 days after the Federal Register notice is published. After responding to public comments, EPA will submit, through the U.S. Department of State, the final inventory report to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), fulfilling its annual requirement as a party to this international treaty on climate change. The inventory tracks annual greenhouse gas emissions at the national level and presents historical emissions from 1990 to 2005. The inventory also calculates carbon dioxide emissions that are removed from the atmosphere by "sinks," e.g., through the uptake of carbon by forests, vegetation, and soils.
Tribal Pesticide Program Council To Meet March 7-9
The Tribal Pesticide Program Council (TPPC) will hold a two and a half-day meeting March 7-9, 2007, in Arlington, Virginia. The TPPC Tribal Caucus meeting on March 7, 10:30-noon, and the March 9 half-day meeting from 9 a.m.-noon are for TPPC members only. Tentative agenda topics are:
- TPPC State of the Council Report
- EPA/OPP, OECA, and Region Update/Report
- Pesticides and Health Impacts/Focus on Impacts on Children
- TPPC Update/Report
- Endangered Species Update
- Pesticide Labeling and Personal Protective Equipment
- Strategic Planning Discussion
- Success Story/Use of IPM in Controlling Invasives
Northeast Diesel Collaborative Announces $3.8 Million in New Clean Diesel Projects
In a ceremony at a New Haven High School construction project, EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson announced $3.8 million in funding to eight organizations in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont to help reduce pollution from diesel vehicles operating in the Northeast. The funds were made available by EPA through the Northeast Diesel Collaborative, a partnership of public and private entities in eight Northeastern states. The grants are part of EPA's National Clean Diesel Campaign, which promotes regulatory and voluntary efforts to reduce emissions from new and existing diesel engines by 2014.
Clean Diesel Agriculture Leaders Forum To Be Held in California
The Clean Diesel Agriculture Leaders Forum will be held starting at noon on Wednesday, March 28 through 5pm on Thursday, March 29, 2007 in Sacramento, CA. This forum will be a unique opportunity for diesel agriculture sector partners to come together to recognize successes, share examples of ongoing activities, and focus on future innovative solutions to minimize diesel emissions through agriculture and biofuels. The meeting will seek to accomplish the following objectives:
- Exchange information with leaders around the topics of national policy, current research, and emerging technologies of diesel emission reductions in agriculture and use of biofuels
- Foster coordination of the Clean Diesel Collaboratives across the U.S. around agriculture and biofuels issues
- Identify key programs and activities that present opportunities for collaboration and success
- educate participants through demonstration activities at local innovative diesel emission reduction projects and a press event
- Develop next steps for accelerating success for the future of the agriculture and biofuels sector
- Draft forum agenda
EPA Announces New Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Grant
EPA announced that money is available to support community-based partnerships to reduce toxic risks in local communities. EPA will award about $2.7 million in cooperative agreements at two levels through the Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) program. Level one cooperative agreements will help establish community-based partnerships and set priorities for reducing toxic risks in a community. Level two cooperative agreements are for communities that already have undertaken a comprehensive process to assess multimedia toxic risks, formed a broad-based collaborative partnership, have identified risk reduction priorities, and are ready to implement risk reduction strategies.
EPA Settles With Burlingame Company for Allegedly Selling Improperly Labeled Pesticides
EPA fined a Burlingame, California water treatment company $111,488 for selling pesticides that were missing critical label information. Garratt-Callahan manufactures disinfectants for use in cooling towers, boilers, and water treatment equipment. According to the administrative complaint that EPA filed against Garratt-Callahan, the products in question were missing various portions of the label text, including directions for proper use. One of the products, Formula 305, was missing text regarding the dangers of mixing the product with ammonia. In addition, it was lacking information on the reuse of the container and first-aid instructions.
Exposure Modeling Public Meeting To Be Held February 27, 2007
An Exposure Modeling Public Meeting will be held on February 27, 2007, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Presenters from government, industry, and academia will cover current issues in modeling pesticide fate, transport, and exposure in support of risk assessment in a regulatory context during this one-day event. The meeting will be held at the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs in Arlington, Virginia.
Three PPDC Workgroups to Meet March 6 - 8
EPA's Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) will hold public meetings for three PPDC workgroups in early March 2007: Azinphos-Methyl (AZM) Transition Issues Workgroup, Spray Drift Workgroup, and Registration Review Implementation Workgroup. The meetings will all be held at EPA's offices in Arlington, Virginia. Each meeting is open to the public.
- AZM Transition Issues Workgroup - In light of the recent EPA decision to phase out remaining uses of the organophosphate pesticide azinphos-methyl over the next few years, the AZM Transition Issues Workgroup is being created to help advise EPA and USDA on AZM transition planning and implementation. This workgroup will meet on Tuesday, March 6, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Spray Drift Workgroup - Co-chaired by EPA's Office of Water and Office of Pesticide Programs, the Spray Drift Workgroup is improving understanding of the perspectives of all stakeholders regarding spray drift and will provide recommendations on ways to mitigate spray drift. This workgroup will meet on Wednesday, March 7, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Thursday, March 8, from 8:45 a.m. to noon.
- Registration Review Implementation - This workgroup is developing recommendations for the registration review initial docket opening process. It will meet on Thursday, March 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Response to Television Show Depicting Illegal Pesticide Human Study
A "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" episode with a story line about pesticide testing aired on February 6, 2007. The story depicted "research" involving intentional dosing of uninformed individuals, who were harmed by their exposure to an unregistered pesticide. The show was filled with factual inaccuracies. The kind of testing depicted on the show violates multiple requirements in EPA's regulations designed to protect all people from unethical research.
- Human Studies Web page
- The Common Rule - a set of existing requirements that govern the conduct of all human research performed by EPA and 18 other federal departments and agencies
Modification of Ethofumesate RED Available for Comment
EPA has released its intention to modify certain risk mitigation measures that were imposed as a result of the 2005 Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for the pesticide ethofumesate, and has opened a public comment period on these changes. EPA conducted this reassessment of the ethofumesate RED in response to new dermal absorption data submitted by the technical registrant, Bayer CropScience, Inc. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2004-0346, must be received on or before March 9, 2007.
Extension of Comment Period for Chloropicrin Risk Assessments
EPA issued a notice in the Federal Register of November 29, 2006, announcing the availability of EPA's human health and environmental fate and effects risk assessments and related documents for the fumigant chloropicrin. The comment period for the notice ended on January 29, 2007. On January 24, 2007, EPA extended the comment period until February 23, 2007. With this action, EPA is extending the comment period for an additional five days. Comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0661, must be received on or before February 28, 2007.
- November 29, 2006, Federal Register notice
- January 24, 2007, Federal Register notice
- More information on chloropicrin
National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center February Newsletter and Webcast
The February edition of the National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPE) newsletter is available. Topics include: Nitrogen Availability from Organic Sources is the Topic of March Webcast; LPE Webcasts Approved for Continuing Education Units; Ag Research Service (ARS) Web site Offers Many Resources; and LPE Learning Center Web site Adds Nutrient Resources, Expands the Pathogen Section, and Offers an Archive of Past Webcasts. The February 16 Webcast features Dr. James Baker and Dr. Matt Helmers of Iowa State University, Dr. Charles Shapiro of University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Dr. Stephen Herbert of University of Massachusetts, speaking on "Manure Application to Legumes."
Seven Eastern Washington Facilities Face EPA Penalties for Risk Management Program Violations
Six food-processing and storage facilities and one wastewater treatment facility in Eastern Washington have been issued EPA penalties for federal Clean Air Act Risk Management Program violations. The penalties, ranging from $2,208 to $7,488, were levied against facilities that utilize toxic chemicals. The penalties were assessed under Section 112(r) of the federal Clean Air Act. This section requires the development of Risk Management Plans (RMPs) and programs for all public and private facilities that manufacture, process, use, store, or otherwise handle flammable and toxic chemicals such as chlorine, sulfur dioxide, and anhydrous ammonia. Facilities' Risk Management Programs are important to local emergency planners and responders to protect the public from accidental releases of flammable gases and/or toxic chemicals.
Five More Nonpoint Source Success Stories Posted on EPA Web Site
Five new stories focusing on restoring primarily nonpoint source impaired streams have been posted on the Clean Water Act Section 319 Nonpoint Source Success Story Web site. The states of Vermont, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan contributed stories involving erosion and sediment control, dam and livestock removal, streambank stabilization, riparian enhancements, and other best management practices. In most cases, stream segments were removed from the state's 303(d) impaired waters list.
Webcast on "Implementing Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) and Trading Through the National Estuary Program"
On Feb. 21, EPA's Watershed Academy will host a free Webcast entitled "Implementing TMDLs and Trading through the National Estuary Program," featuring Darrell Brown, chief of EPA's Coastal Management Branch; Mark Tedesco, director of EPA's Long Island Sound Office; and Gary Johnson, senior environmental engineer for the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. The Webcast will provide an overview of the National Estuary Program (NEP) and highlight how the Long Island Sound NEP is successfully using its Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan as the basis for developing a total maximum daily load. The Webcast will also discuss the innovative trading program used in Long Island Sound that is reducing nitrogen loads faster and more cost effectively. Registration for this Webcast opens on February 14.
EPA Withdraws Direct Final Rule on Pesticide-Treated Food Packaging
Because EPA has received adverse comments, the Agency is withdrawing the direct final rule excepting pesticide-treated food packaging from the definitions of "pesticide chemical'' and "pesticide chemical residue'' under section 201(q) of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). In the rule, which was published on December 6, 2006 (71 FR 70667), the Agency stated that if adverse comments were received by January 5, 2007, it would publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register. EPA subsequently received adverse comment on the direct final rule and is therefore withdrawing the rule, effective January 25, 2007. EPA may issue a notice of proposed rulemaking in a future edition of the Federal Register to initiate action to repromulgate the rule provisions that are being withdrawn. In any such action, EPA would address the adverse comments it received on the direct final rule.
First Dockets in EPA's New Pesticide Registration Review Program Open for Comment
EPA has established dockets for the first pesticides to be reviewed under the Agency's new Registration Review Program. Dockets for the pesticides clomazone, hexythiazox, and lactofen are open for public comment until May 3, 2007. The Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 requires EPA to implement a new program with the goal of reviewing all pesticides every 15 years for the purpose of ensuring that each EPA-registered pesticide performs its intended function without unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment. The Registration Review Program will ensure that as science, policies, and practices change, pesticide products in the marketplace can still be used safely.
EPA Applauds Victory in Case Against Puerto Rico Company for Pesticide Worker Safety Violations
EPA applauds a legal victory against Martex Farms, a Puerto Rico company, for violating the worker protection provisions of U.S. pesticide laws. The company has been ordered to pay a total penalty of $92,620, which is the second highest penalty ever assessed under EPA's worker protection standard, which is authorized by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). On Jan. 19, EPA's Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) office found Martex liable for 170 alleged violations of EPA's worker protection standards, and ruled that Martex failed to display specific pesticide application information for its agricultural workers and pesticide handlers, failed to provide them with decontamination materials, and failed to provide handlers with personal protective equipment.
Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates
- Acetochlor and glyphosate -- establishment or amendment of regulations for residues in or on various commodities (February 7)
- Avermectin -- establishment of a time-limited tolerance for residues in or on bulb onions under an emergency exemption for control of thrips in Colorado. The tolerance is effective February 7, 2007, and expires on December 31, 2009. (February 7)
- Quinoclamine -- exemption request from the Oregon Department of Agriculture to use the pesticide to treat up to 600 acres of ornamental plants grown in containers in commercial greenhouses to control liverwort (February 7)
- Tris (2-ethylhexyl) phosphate -- exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues when used as an inert ingredient in pesticide formulations with the active ingredients pinoxaden, clodinafop- propargyl, and tralkoxydium, with no more than two applications per season when applied to wheat and barley up to the pre-boot stage (February 7)
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