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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.

February 28
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative 2011 Request for Applications
EPA is soliciting applications for grants and cooperative agreements to be awarded as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Up to $40 million may be awarded under this Request for Applications for about 150 projects, contingent on the availability of appropriations, the quality of applications received, and other applicable considerations. This RFA is EPA’s major competitive grant funding opportunity under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) for FY2011 and is one of several funding opportunities available through federal agencies under the GLRI. The RFA requests applications for projects in the following categories: Toxic Substances; Invasive Species; Nearshore Health and Nonpoint Source Pollution; Accountability, Education, Monitoring, Evaluation, Communication and Partnerships. Closing Date for Applications: April 11, 2011.

February 23
Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2009 Available for Comment
The Draft Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2009 is available for public review. Annual U.S. emissions for the period of time from 1990 through 2009 are summarized and presented by source category and sector. The inventory contains estimates of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), perfluorocarbons (PFC), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) emissions. The inventory also includes estimates of carbon fluxes in U.S. agricultural and forest lands. To ensure your comments are considered for the final version of the document, please submit your comments within 30 days of the appearance of this notice.

Registration Review Schedule/Program Update Information Available
EPA has issued an updated schedule for the registration review program, the periodic review of all registered pesticides mandated by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. The updated schedule provides the timetable for opening dockets for the next four years of the registration review program, from fiscal year (FY) 2011 to 2014, and includes information on dockets that opened in FY 2007 through FY 2010. The schedule reflects the Agency’s plan to continue to open about 70 new dockets each year through 2017. Following this schedule, EPA will complete the first 15-year cycle of registration review by October 1, 2022, for all pesticides registered as of October 1, 2007.

February 22
Missouri Firm Agrees To Pay $12,480 Penalty for Failure To Have Proper Authorization To Repackage Herbicide
An agrichemical firm in Lincoln County, Mo., has agreed to pay a $12,480 civil penalty for failing to have proper written authorization from E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company, Inc., (DuPont) to repackage and sell DuPont’s Steadfast herbicide. According to an administrative consent agreement filed by EPA Region 7 in Kansas City, Kan., DuPont had a contract repackaging and label authorization agreement with the firm, 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 the firm's facilities 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. Without an authorization agreement in place, repackaged products are legally considered to be unregistered. Unregistered and misbranded pesticide products may pose risks to human health and the environment, because neither the safety of the product nor directions for its safe and proper use has been verified.

Southeast Missouri Farm Supply Retailer To Pay $54,922 Civil Penalty for Chemical Risk Management Program Violations
A southeast Missouri farm supply retailer has agreed to pay a $54,922 civil penalty to the United States for chemical Risk Management Program violations at its retail facility which sells liquid fertilizer made with anhydrous ammonia. EPA Region 7 issued an administrative compliance order to the facility in July 2010, after an inspection noted eight violations of the chemical Risk Management Program regulations contained in the federal Clean Air Act. Specifically, the facility failed to establish and implement maintenance procedures to ensure the ongoing integrity of its anhydrous ammonia process equipment, and failed to document that the equipment complied with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices, among other violations. The facility is subject to the Risk Management Program regulations because it uses, stores, manufactures or handles the on-site movement of 10,000 pounds or more of anhydrous ammonia in its fertilizer production process, the agreement says. Anhydrous ammonia is corrosive, and exposure to it may result in chemical-type burns to skin, eyes and lungs.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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February 18
EPA Seeks Public Comment on Plan To Review Regulations
EPA is inviting the public to provide input on a plan that will guide EPA’s retrospective reviews of regulations as part of the Agency’s response to President Obama’s January 18, 2011 Executive Order (EO) 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.” EO 13563 directs each federal agency to consider “how best to promote retrospective analysis of rules that may be outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome.” Specifically, the EO calls on every agency to develop “a preliminary plan, consistent with law and its resources and regulatory priorities, under which the agency will periodically review its existing significant regulations to determine whether such regulations should be modified, streamlined, expanded or repealed to make the agency’s regulatory program more effective and or less burdensome in achieving its regulatory objectives.” EPA shares President Obama’s commitment to using common sense and transparency to review federal regulations and will solicit public input regarding the design of its plan via the EPA website through March 20, 2011. EPA will also provide opportunities for input through a public meeting in Washington, D.C. on March 14, and listening sessions in other parts of the country. These outreach efforts will allow the public to provide EPA with feedback on specific issues, impacts or programs. By late May, EPA will provide the public with its retrospective review plan, as well as the initial list of regulations it plans to review.

February 17
EPA Releases Report Containing Latest Estimates of Pesticide Use in the United States
EPA's report, Pesticides Industry Sales and Usage: 2006 and 2007 Market Estimates, is now available. This report contains the latest estimates of agricultural and nonagricultural pesticide use in the United States. It illustrates graphically historical trends and levels of use over the last 20 years. Also included are data on imports, exports, and pesticide producers and users. The report contains statistics on pesticide sales and usage based on available information taken from Agency records of registrations, USDA surveys of pesticide use, and other public and proprietary sources. The last report on pesticides industry sales and usage was published in 2001.

February 16
President Obama Announces Plan for Community-Based Conservation through the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative
President Barack Obama today announced the administration’s action plan, under the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, to achieve lasting conservation of the outdoor spaces that power our nation’s economy, shape our culture, and build our outdoor traditions. This initiative seeks to reinvigorate our approach to conservation and reconnect Americans, especially young people, with the lands and waters that are used for farming and ranching, hunting and fishing, and for families to spend quality time together. Recognizing that many of these places and resources are under intense pressure, the president established the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative last April to work with the American people in developing a conservation and recreation agenda that makes sense for the 21st century.

EPA Seeks Public Comment on the 16th Annual U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory
EPA is seeking public comment on the annual Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2009 draft report. This report will be open for public comment for 30 days after the Federal Register notice is published. The draft report shows that in 2009, overall greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions decreased by 6 percent since 2008. This downward trend was attributed to a decrease in fuel and electricity consumption across all U.S. economic sectors. Total emissions from GHGs were about 6,640 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent. Overall, emissions have grown by 7.4 percent from 1990 to 2009. Emissions in 2009 represent the lowest total U.S. annual GHG emissions since 1995.

February 14
Large Fine for Hawaii Corporation for Pesticide Violations
EPA recently fined a corporation in Honolulu $222,030 for selling and distributing unregistered pesticides and improperly labeled pesticide devices. EPA found that the corporation sold 37 different household products at the company’s retail outlets including kitchen and bathroom cleaners, detergents, and other home care products that claim to kill insects, germs or bacteria and were not registered. In addition, two roach trap products were mislabeled and did not have directions for use. The violations were discovered through an inspection conducted by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s Pesticides Branch in 2008. The company will also be required to have its managers, supervisors and purchasing agents at all stores complete a basic training course covering all of EPA’s pesticide rules and regulations and after completing the initial training, receive yearly refresher training once a year. The company will also need to certify to the EPA that the employees have successfully completed the training and refresher courses.

February 9
NAFTA Biopesticide Registration Improvement Course April 13-15, 2011
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Technical Working Group on Pesticides will hold a Biopesticide Registration Improvement Course (BRIC) April 13-15 at the USEPA Offices at Potomac Yard in Arlington, VA. The course will focus on ways to make the biopesticide application process more efficient by increasing registrant and industry understanding of and confidence in the biopesticide regulatory processes, defining the national and international criteria for biopesticide regulatory assessments, clarifying misconceptions on the differences between the NAFTA regulatory processes, and updating registrants and manufacturers on emerging issues.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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February 7
National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center February Newsletter and Webcast Exit EPA
The February edition of the National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPELC) newsletter is now available. Topics include: February webcast "Chesapeake TMDL;" March webcast "How Nature, the Supreme Farmer, Manages Manure;" Two new videos on the LPELC YouTube channel: Odor from Livestock Farms - A Case Study from Nebraska, and Ammonia Deposition in Rocky Mountain National Park; EPA Permit Writer's Course now online; New publication "Revision of the 590 Nutrient Management Standard: SERA-17 Recommendations;" and NAEMS data released. The next webcast is scheduled for February 18, 2011, and is entitled "Changing Management of Nutrients in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed." The objective of this webcast will be to outline highlights of water quality data and political drivers that will shape the future of agricultural nutrient management in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Presenters will be: Robb Meinen from Pennsylvania State University, Matt Ehrhart of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Marel Raub of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, and Kelly Shenk of EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program Office. It broadcasts at 2:30 Eastern (1:30 pm Central, 12:30 pm Mountain, 11:30 am Pacific).

February 2
EPA Proposes Revisions to Rule on Protections for Subjects in Human Research Involving Pesticides
EPA proposes to amend the portions of its rules for the protection of human subjects of research applying to third parties who conduct or support research with pesticides involving intentional exposure of human subjects and to persons who submit the results of human research with pesticides to EPA. The proposed amendments would broaden the applicability of the rules to cover human testing with pesticides submitted to EPA under any regulatory statute it administers. They would also disallow participation in third-party pesticide studies by subjects who cannot consent for themselves. Finally the proposed amendments would identify specific considerations to be addressed in EPA science and ethics reviews of proposed and completed human research with pesticides, drawn from the recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). EPA seeks comments on the need for and value of the proposed changes. Comments must be received on or before April 4, 2011.

New Enable the Label On-line Discussion Forum Topic: LRM Chapter 8 – Environmental Hazards Statements
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. The discussion topic for February is Chapter 8, which describes environmental hazard statements including when the use of these statements is appropriate, general statements used, and statements used in specific circumstances. The focus areas are on general statements, honeybee hazard statements, and statements for mosquito control products. After the discussion thread closes at the end of February, we will review comments received and incorporate useful ones into future revisions of the Label Review Manual. As a reminder, for discussions focusing on the Label Review Manual, the Agency is not asking for general discussions on pesticide policy issues.

February 1
Region 2 Wetland Program Development Grants
The Wetland Program Development Grants (WPDGs) for Regions, initiated in FY90, provide applicants an opportunity to carry out projects to develop and refine comprehensive wetland programs. The authority for the grant program is Section 104(b)(3) of the Clean Water Act (CWA) which restricts the use of these grant funds to improving wetland programs by conducting or promoting the coordination and acceleration of research, investigations, experiments, training, demonstrations, surveys, and studies relating to the causes, effects, extent, prevention, reduction, and elimination of water pollution. All proposed projects must be linked to environmental results and demonstrate how they will contribute to the ultimate goals of healthy communities and ecosystems. Closing Date for Applications: March 28, 2011.

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