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News Archive: February 2014

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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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.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, 2014
February Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center NewsletterExit EPA
The February issue presents a webcast on gasification of manure, a new page on questions to ask before pursuing manure-to-energy technologies, biosecure manure management, and an online course on climate change and animal ag. The 'national resources' section includes an announcement on the locations of USDA's climate hubs, and a study comparing the environmental footprint of poultry production over the past 50 years. Hot topics include a beginning farmer success story, biochar scrubber for mercury, soil health, and a swine phosphorus survey. The events section grew this month and is a must-see. More...

February 28, 2014
EPA Reorganizes Pesticide Registration Information on Web
EPA has created a new area on its website that contains all of its information on pesticide registration. Pulling from existing material, the new pesticide registration area is designed to help users find what they need easily and quickly. Under clearly defined topic headings, visitors to this new Web area will have easy access to information on: pesticide registration, fees and fee waivers, how to register a pesticide, types of registrations under pesticide laws, types of pesticides that can be registered, and registration forms and guidance documents. EPA’s new pesticide registration site can be found at http://www2.epa.gov/pesticide-registration.

February 26, 2014
EPA’s Pesticide Registration Improvement Act Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2013 Now Available
The EPA’s Pesticide Registration Improvement Act Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2013 is now available. This report covers the completion of the tenth year under PRIA. Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, the EPA is required to publish an annual report describing the agency’s implementation of PRIA. The Act authorizes the agency to collect two types of fees from registrants: registration service fees and maintenance fees. It also establishes statutory time frames for completing certain actions.

February 20, 2014
EPA Proposes New Safety Measures to Protect Farm Workers from Pesticide Exposure
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced proposed revisions to the Worker Protection Standard in order to protect the nation’s two million farm workers and their families from pesticide exposure.
“Today marks an important milestone for the farm workers who plant, tend, and harvest the food that we put on our tables each day,” said Gina McCarthy, EPA Administrator. “EPA’s revised Worker Protection Standard will afford farm workers similar health protections to those already enjoyed by workers in other jobs. Protecting our nation’s farm workers from pesticide exposure is at the core of EPA’s work to ensure environmental justice.”

EPA awards $496,000 to the State of Utah to reduce diesel emissions along the Wasatch Front
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded the Utah Department of Environmental Quality a $496,000 grant to reduce diesel emissions from heavy- duty trucks based in seven counties along the Wasatch Front, an area challenged by levels of particulate matter that exceed federal air quality standards.

EPA Grant Will Help Univ. of Vermont Research on Reducing Pesticide Risks for Bees
EPA recently awarded an agricultural grant for $131,758 to the University of Vermont for a project to develop and promote Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices to reduce the use of potentially harmful pesticides and lower risk to bees all while controlling pests and saving money.
Specifically, the UVM project is designed to reduce pesticide use and improve pest control, while increasing crop yields on 75 acres of hops in the Northeast. Under this project, researchers will develop and distribute outreach materials to help farmers adopt these practices. The project’s goal is to reduce insecticide and fungicide applications by 50 percent while decreasing numerous insect pests and downy mildew, a plant disease.

Proposed Agricultural Worker Protection Standard: EPA Needs Your Input
On February 20, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency announced proposed changes to the agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) to increase protections from pesticide exposure for the nation's 2 million agricultural workers and their families. This is an important milestone for the farm workers who plant, tend, and harvest the food that we put on our tables each day.
We are seeking your input by the date specified in the Federal Register notice, which will publish within 10 days at http://www.regulations.gov identified by docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0184-0002. In the meantime, read the pre-publication copy (346 pp, 969k, About PDF). Your comments will help EPA to determine the final version of this regulation.

February 12, 2014
TODAY EPA Administrator to Join San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro for Press Conference at Solar Farm and Water Treatment Facility
Today, following a tour at the Dos Rios Water Recycling Center and Centennial Solar Farms, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy will join San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro and San Antonio utility executives for a press conference to highlight San Antonio’s leadership in sustainability, water conservation and clean energy in the face of a changing climate. The energy and water recycling site is a model of how local utilities can work together to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

February 11, 2014
EPA Administrator Reaffirms Commitment to Environmental Justice on 20th Anniversary of Executive Order
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy today reaffirmed the Agency’s commitment to environmental justice in a meeting of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) held in Denver, Colorado. The meeting coincides with a Presidential Proclamation by President Obama commemorating the 20th anniversary of the February 11, 1994 signing of Executive Order 12898, “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations.”

February 10, 2014
EPA Administrator McCarthy Joins Senior Obama Administration Officials in Fort Collins to Discuss Local Climate Change Efforts
Tomorrow, Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality; and David Agnew, Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs will join Fort Collins Mayor Karen Weitkunat to tour projects to restore the Cache la Poudre River and strengthen its resilience to climate change impacts such as higher temperatures and extreme weather events. When floods struck the Front Range of Colorado in September 2013, the City’s proactive planning and river habitat conservation efforts helped mitigate the impacts on Fort Collins. Following the tour, the officials will hold a press conference at the Natural Resources Research Center in Fort Collins, which is one of seven Climate Hubs launched by the U.S. Department of Agriculture last week to offer the practical, science-based tools and strategies farmers and ranchers need to adapt and succeed in the face of a changing climate.

February 6, 2014
Pesticide News Story: EPA Announces Final Plan for Federal Certification of Pesticide Applicators within Indian Country
Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is releasing the EPA Plan for the Federal Certification of Applicators of Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs) within Indian Country. The EPA is taking this step to make RUPs available for use in Indian country where no current certification mechanisms exist. This action will give pesticide applicators who apply or seek to apply in Indian country access to the same pest control tools available elsewhere in the United States and ensure that these applicators have met competency standards.

Publicly Available Tool Reports On Different Types of Pollution
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) data is now available for the reporting year of 2012. This annual report provides citizens with critical information about their communities, including data on certain toxic chemical releases to the air, water, and land, as well as information on waste management and pollution prevention activities by facilities across the country.

February 5, 2014
Pesticide News Story: EPA Announces Improvements to Protect the Rights of Data Owners and Ensure Compliance with Data Compensation Rules

EPA is announcing a final rulemaking to improve protection for data submitters, and a new guidance for EPA risk managers to improve compliance assurance. EPA expects that these changes will lead to greater efficiencies in the registration process, allowing applicants to benefit from greater clarity regarding when data compensation procedures should apply.

Pesticide News Story: Memorandum of Understanding on the Migratory Bird Treaty Act – Now Available for Public Comment
A draft Memorandum of Understanding between the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Pesticide Programs and the Department of the Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service to protect migratory birds is now available for public comment. The comment period will end March 7, 2014. To submit comments, go to the docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0744 at www.regulations.gov. We will evaluate the comments and determine if significant changes will be made to the draft MOU. EPA anticipates signing the MOU at the annual Council for the Conservation of Migratory Birds meeting in April 2014.

February 04, 2014 
Central Data Exchange Registration Walkthrough for EDSP Test Order Recipients (Pesticides) – Tuesday, February 25, 2014 
EPA is developing a fully electronic, Web-based submission system to handle the receipt of responses to future Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP) test orders. Recipients of these orders will be required to register with and submit through the Central Data Exchange (CDX) to use this system.
On Tuesday, February 25, 2014, from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET, EPA will be conducting, for pesticide stakeholders, a Web-based walk through of the registration process in preparation for these orders.  Please note that the focus of the session is on the registration process, and that specific reporting requirements will not be discussed during the demonstration.

EPA's 2012 Toxics Release Inventory Shows Air Pollutants Continue to Decline 
Total releases of toxic chemicals decreased 12 percent from 2011-2012, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) report released today. The decrease includes an eight percent decline in total toxic air releases, primarily due to reductions in hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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