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The news releases, reports, and other documents listed below have been selected by the Ag Center because they are of direct importance to the environmental compliance efforts of the agricultural community. The items are in chronological order, with the most recent listed first.

December, 2014
December Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center Newsletter
The December webcast is on engaging youth in manure management. The last newsletter of 2014changes the format by having an "around the horns" section where stories are sorted by topic. Check it out and let us know if you like it! We include manure to energy, soils, biosecurity & PEDv, nutrient management, climate change, winter manure spreading and much more...

December 18, 2014
EPA Announces 2014 Annual Environmental Enforcement Results
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released its annual enforcement and compliance results reflecting a focus on large cases driving industry compliance and that have a high impact on protecting public health and the environment. “By taking on large, high impact enforcement cases, EPA is helping to level the playing field for companies that play by the rules, while maximizing our ability to protect the communities we serve across the country,” said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Despite challenges posed by budget cuts and a government shutdown, we secured major settlements in key industry sectors and brought criminal violators to justice. This work resulted in critical investments in advanced technologies and innovative approaches to reduce pollution and improve compliance.”

December 17, 2014
EPA Prevents Harmful Chemicals from Entering the Marketplace
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking action to protect the public from certain chemicals that have the potential to cause a range of health effects from cancer to reproductive and developmental harm to people and aquatic organisms. “We are committed to protecting all Americans from exposure to harmful chemicals used in domestic and imported products,” said Jim Jones, assistant administrator for chemical safety and pollution prevention. “There must be a level playing field for U.S. businesses – which is why we’re targeting harmful chemicals no longer used in the U.S. that find their way into commerce, sometimes through imported products. This final action will give EPA the opportunity to restrict or limit any new uses of these chemicals, including imported goods with these chemicals.”

December 16, 2014
TODAY: EPA, USDA and White House to Highlight New Market-Based Water Quality Trading Program in Virginia
On Tuesday, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy will hold a press conference with U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary (USDA) Tom Vilsack, Mike Boots of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Commonwealth of Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a private investor and an Appomattox, VA farmer to recognize an innovative, market-based nutrient trading program that Virginia has embraced to encourage economic investments and reduce phosphorus pollution to local waterways in order to meet water quality goals for the Chesapeake Bay.

Pesticide News Story: Upgrades to Endangered Species Web Tool: Bulletins Live! Two
EPA is releasing Bulletins Live! Two, an upgraded version of Bulletins Live!, a web-based map application used to access geographically-specific threatened and endangered species protection Bulletins. This system is an important tool for pesticide users since it makes it easier to find pesticide use limitations for specific areas. Go to www.epa.gov/oppfead1/endanger/bulletins.htm to view the new application. Please note, if you are using Internet Explorer and have accessed Bulletins Live! in the past, you will need to clear your history or set your browser to check for newer versions of stored pages. Bulletins generated by the application contain enforceable, geographically-specific pesticide use limitations that are necessary to ensure using a pesticide will not harm a threatened or endangered species or their critical habitat designated under the Endangered Species Act. A reference to Bulletins on a pesticide label ensures that the Bulletin’s pesticide use limitations are enforceable under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

December 15, 2014
Status Report to Congress on Endangered Species Act Implementation in Pesticide Regulation
The EPA and its federal partners, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), have written a report to Congress on the status of Endangered Species Act implementation in pesticide regulation. The EPA and its federal partners are committed to refining their approach to pesticide consultations to protect endangered and threatened species.
This report was required by the 2014 Farm Bill and summarizes actions carried out by the agencies since receiving the April 2013, National Academy of Sciences’ report, entitled “Assessing Risks to Endangered and Threatened Species from Pesticides.”

December 9, 2014
Guidance for Disinfectant Product Advertising and other Non-label Communication Referring to Enterovirus D68
EPA has established guidance for companies that manufacture or sell disinfectant products that can be used against Enterovirus D68 regarding what can be said in non-label communication for the disinfectants. This guidance is based on criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding the use of antimicrobial products for disinfection of Enterovirus D68 on environmental surfaces. The full guidance is available online: http://epa.gov/oppad001/enterovirus-d68-guidance.html.

December 10, 2014
Request for Nominations of Candidates to the EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) Agricultural Science Committee
EPA invites nominations for the SAB Ag Science Committee (link to the FR Notice) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) invites public nominations of scientific experts to be considered for appointment to the EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) Agricultural Science Committee to provide advice to the chartered SAB regarding matters referred to the SAB that will have a significant direct impact on farming and agriculture-related industries. Nominations should be submitted in time to arrive no later than January 30, 2015.

December 8, 2014
TOMORROW: EPA Administrator to Deliver Remarks at Two Events at the National Press Club
Tomorrow, December 9, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will participate in two events at the National Press Club. At 12:30 p.m. she will deliver remarks at Green 2.0 and New America Media’s public briefing, “Breaking the Green Ceiling”, followed by a speech at 1p.m. at the Safe Drinking Water Act 40th Anniversary Forum. Both events are open to members of the media, and press should follow directions below to RSVP.

December 5, 2014
Pesticide News Story: Announcing the SmartLabel Pilot Program
In an effort to make pesticide label information easier to find and the approval of pesticide labels more efficient, EPA is working with pesticide registrants to pilot an electronic label system. As part of the SmartLabel pilot, nine pesticide registrants will be developing and submitting pesticide labels to EPA through a fully electronic system instead of as paper or PDF files. One of the goals of the SmartLabel system is to make label information more quickly available to the public in an easily searchable format. As a fully electronic system, SmartLabel will make the label approval process more efficient by creating standardized label sections for all pesticide labels. The system will also make it easier to compare previous label versions without losing the necessary flexibility to make a label appropriate for each product.

December 3, 2014
Obama Administration Selects 26 Communities to Develop Local Food Projects, Encourage Economic Expansion/ Local Foods, Local Places Initiative encourages creative economic development in 26 communities in 19 states
Today, on behalf of the White House Rural Council, six federal agencies joined to announce 26 communities selected to participate in Local Foods, Local Places, a federal initiative providing technical support, to integrate local food systems into community economic action plans. Under this effort, a team of agricultural, transportation, environmental, public health and regional economic experts will work directly with the communities to develop specifically identified local food projects. Project proposals include repurposing vacant land into local food production, developing year-round retail markets for local food products, and establishing food hubs to increase local food supply chains.
USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Affairs Doug O’Brien and Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl made the announcement in Wheeling, W.Va. Wheeling will receive Local Foods, Local Places support to transition the historic and underused Vineyard Hill, into a productive regional hub for diversified local food production and value added products. The officials will also visit Youngstown, OH, which will receive Local Foods, Local Places support to reclaim vacant property for local food production.

December 2, 2014
Pesticide News Story: EPA Workshop on Inert Ingredient PRIA Applications
On December 16, 2014, EPA will host a half-day workshop on the application process for the use of inert ingredients in pesticide products. The workshop will take place in Arlington, Virginia. The goal of the workshop is to clarify the necessary elements of an application for approval to use an inert ingredient in a pesticide product. Complete application packages save applicants time and money, and reduce the number of application rejections

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

November, 2014
November Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center Newsletter
Manure application in winter brings increased risk of runoff reaching surface or groundwater resources. Practical and science-based options exist for managing and reducing the risk for livestock producers who have little or no manure storage, or for situations where a late fall or early freeze limit manure application options. More....

November 21, 2014
MEDIA ADVISORY: EPA and City of San José tour composting and biogas facility turning food waste into renewable energy
On Tuesday, November 25, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator and City of San José officials will tour the city’s Zero Waste Energy Development anaerobic digestion facility where food scraps are turned into renewable energy and compost for local farms. The facility’s state-of-the-art dry anaerobic digesters use bacteria to break down food waste in an oxygen-free environment, converting it into methane biogas to generate electricity. The facility can digest and compost 90,000 tons of food waste and produce 1.6 megawatts per year. San José aims to achieve zero waste by 2022 and diverts 74 percent of materials from landfills through reuse, recycling, composting and anaerobic digestion.

November 20, 2014
EPA, federal and state agencies, rice growers, industry act to protect endangered salmon and steelhead trout in California
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries, in cooperation with state agencies, rice growers and industry, announced an agreement to create federally enforceable restrictions of the pesticide thiobencarb, an herbicide used on rice crops, to protect threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead trout in California. “Working closely with our state and federal partners, our joint efforts will protect salmon and steelhead trout while maintaining rice production in California,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “This action also supports EPA’s commitment to minimize pesticide pollution in the San Francisco Bay Delta.”

November 17, 2014
Pesticide News Story: Expanding Opportunities for Minor Crops - Proposed Rule to Revise Crop Grouping
EPA is making available for public comment a proposed rule to revise the pesticide crop grouping regulations that allow the establishment of tolerances (maximum residue levels) for groups of related crops. The proposed revisions will expand the number of crops that can have tolerances established and thus will allow minor-use growers a wider choice of pest control tools, including lower-risk pesticides, to be used on minor crops, both domestically and in countries that export food to the United States. Crop groupings allow petitioners to request tolerances for multiple related commodities based on research data on a representative crop. This is the fourth in a series of revisions to the crop groupings. The proposed revisions, published in a November 14, 2014, Federal Register Notice, would revise the existing leafy vegetable and brassica vegetable crop groups, as well as establish new crop groups, including: stalk, stem and leaf petioles; tropical fruit, inedible peel; and tropical fruit, edible peel.

EPA Signs Memorandums of Understanding with Georgia College and State University, HHS and USDA Rural Development
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) entered into a new phase of collegial and federal agency cooperation with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the agency and Georgia College & State University (GC). EPA also signed a MOU with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Region 4 Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health and state directors from the U.S. Department of Agricultural, Rural Development (USDA RD) representing Alabama, Georgia South Carolina and Tennessee.

November 7, 2014
EPA Region 7 to Participate at National Association of Farm Broadcasting Trade Talk Event Nov. 13 in Kansas City, Mo. EPA officials will be available for interviews at the annual National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) Trade Talk event at the Westin Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City, Mo., on Thursday, Nov. 13. Interview topics include the Waters of the U.S. proposal; outreach to the agricultural community; nutrient management; and regulatory updates related to chemical safety, pesticides and grain storage.

November 6, 2014
Three Subsidiaries of the World’s Largest Fertilizer Producer to Reduce Harmful Air Emissions at Eight Production Plants
In a settlement with the United States, three subsidiaries of the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (PCS), the world’s largest fertilizer producer, will take steps to reduce harmful air emissions at eight U.S. production plants, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Justice announced today. The settlement resolves claims that these PCS subsidiaries violated the Clean Air Act when they modified facilities in ways that released excess sulfur dioxide into surrounding communities.

EPA Responds to NRDC’s 2nd Petition to Cancel Pet Uses of Two Pesticides
In 2009, EPA considered two petitions from the Natural Resources Defense Council to cancel the use of propoxur and tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP) in pet products. In response, EPA developed new human health risk assessments for the pet uses of both pesticides. In 2013, EPA found unacceptable risks to children from exposure to propoxur pet collars. EPA and the manufacturers reached an agreement to cancel propoxur pet collar products. This decision was reached as a result of discussions about how to reduce children’s exposure to propoxur in pet collars. Read more about the March 2014 propoxur decision.

November 5, 2014
EPA and USDA to Hold Public Listening Sessions on Pollinator Strategy/Sessions to be held November 12 and 17 in the D.C. metro area
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will host two public listening sessions to solicit stakeholder input to assist the Pollinator Health Task Force in development of a federal strategy to protect honey bees and other pollinators. The Task Force is asking for input on the types of activities that could be part of the strategy, including public private partnerships, research, educational opportunities, pollinator habitat improvements and pesticide risk mitigation.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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October, 2014
October Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center Newsletter
October's edition is chock full of good stuff, including a preview of the webcast on a feed nutrient management planning tool, the Waste to Worth conference, and several articles on water quality & nutrients. This addition is also heavy on information about antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and animal welfare. Other topics include animal mortality resources, dung beetles, odor, goats as weed control, and more.

October 30, 2014
Reorganization of OPP’s Registration Division - Improves workflow, Increases Efficiency
In order to better meet commitments under the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA III), the Registration Division in EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs has undergone a staff reorganization effective October 18, 2014. The reorganization created two additional risk management branches and so will allow for a greater number of staff to work more directly on registration actions. The Registration Division is responsible for conventional chemical risk management for new chemical registrations, new product registrations, registration amendments and new use reviews, tolerances, experimental use permits, and emergency exemptions for conventional chemical pesticides.

October 29, 2014
Farmers in Stanislaus County encouraged to drop off unwanted pesticides at free event on Oct. 30 in Modesto
Farmers in Stanislaus County, Calif. can bring their obsolete and unwanted pesticides to the Stanislaus County Agricultural Commissioner's Office at a free pesticides collection event on Thursday October 30, 2014. The event, which is by appointment only, will be held 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the County Agricultural Commissioner's Office, 3800 Cornucopia Way, Modesto, Calif.

EPA Inspection Reveals Clean Water Act Violations by Winifred Feed Lot, LLC, near Frankfort, Kansas
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency personnel conducted inspections in northeastern Kansas in December 2013. As a result of one of the inspections, the owner of a beef feedlot, Winifred Feed Lot, LLC, has agreed to pay a $16,150 civil penalty to settle alleged violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA), according to a proposed consent agreement.

October 23, 2014
EPA Proposes to Remove 72 Chemicals from Approved Pesticide Inert Ingredient List
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requesting public comment on a proposal to remove 72 chemicals from its list of substances approved for use as inert ingredients in pesticide products. “We are taking action to ensure that these ingredients are not added to any pesticide products unless they have been fully vetted by EPA,” said Jim Jones, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “This is the first major step in our strategy to reduce risks from pesticides containing potentially hazardous inert ingredients.”

October 21, 2014
EPA Launches a Voluntary Star-Rating Program to Reduce Pesticide Drift and Protect People, Wildlife and the Environment /More stars equals greater potential for reducing spray drift
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing a new voluntary Drift Reduction Technology (DRT) program to encourage the use of verified, safer pesticide spray products to reduce exposure and pesticide movement while saving farmers money in pesticide loss.

October 16, 2014
EPA Finds Neonicotinoid Seed Treatments of Little or No Benefit to U.S. Soybean Production
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released an analysis of the benefits of neonicotinoid seed treatments for insect control in soybeans. Neonicotinoid pesticides are a class of insecticides widely used on U.S. crops that EPA is reviewing with particular emphasis for their impact on pollinators. The analysis concluded that there is little or no increase in soybean yields using most neonicotinoid seed treatments when compared to using no pest control at all. A Federal Register notice inviting the public to comment on the analysis will publish in the near future.

EPA honors Calif. companies Amyris and Solazyme for using green chemistry to create renewable and sustainable plant-based fuels
Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized Amyris Inc. in Emeryville and Solazyme, Inc., in South San Francisco, Calif. with Presidential Green Chemistry Awards for creating renewable and sustainable plant-based fuels and other products. The Calif. companies are among five organizations nationwide honored for developing safer chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the generation of hazardous substances.

October 15, 2014
Student Team at University of Missouri-Columbia to Receive $14,874 to Study Treatment of Food Waste with Pig Manure
A student team at the University of Missouri-Columbia will receive $14,874 from EPA to study the feasibility of treating food waste mixed with swine manure and gather data from the process related to energy use, greenhouse gases and recovered nutrients.

EPA Announces Final Decision to Register Enlist Duo, Herbicide Containing 2, 4-D and Glyphosate/Risk assessment ensures protection of human health, including infants, children
The EPA is registering the herbicide, Enlist Duo with first-time ever restrictions to manage the problem of resistant weeds. The pesticide is for use in controlling weeds in corn and soybeans genetically-engineered (GE) to tolerate 2,4-D and glyphosate. The agency’s decision reflects a large body of science and an understanding of the risk of pesticides to human health and the environment.

October 10, 2014
EPA’s WaterSense Program Recognizes Texas AandM AgriLife Center for National Excellence in Education

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its 2014 WaterSense Partners of the Year for their commitment to promoting water efficiency and strengthening the resilience of communities across the country. The Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Dallas was also recognized for excellence in outreach and education. The center was awarded for their efforts to advance and promote the WaterSense program and water efficiency. Among Texas A&M AgriLife’s achievements include transforming an on-campus home to demonstrate the benefits of indoor and outdoor water savings, holding classes and trainings for landscape and irrigation professionals, participating in regional outreach events, and even touring across Texas with an 8’ x 12’ model WaterSense labelled home.

October 8, 2014
Pesticide News Story: EPA to Host Webinar on the Basics of School Integrated Pest Management – October 21
A webinar, The Basics of School Integrated Pest Management, hosted by the EPA’s Center of Expertise for School IPM, will be held on October 21, from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. Eastern time. IPM is a smart, sensible, and sustainable approach to managing pests. IPM takes action to address the underlying causes that enable pests to thrive.

October 7, 2014
EPA Increases Access to Chemical Information/Agency seeks input on improvements
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has posted additional data and added new functions to ChemView, EPA’s publicly-accessible, one-stop online tool to find information for chemicals regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). “In the absence of TSCA reform, EPA is moving ahead to improve access to chemical health and safety information, and increase the dialogue to help the public choose safer ingredients used in everyday products,” said James Jones, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “The additional data along with a customer satisfaction survey will make chemical information more readily available for decision-makers and consumers.”

October 3, 2014
EPA Inspection Finds Clean Water Act Violations by E and M Farms, Inc., Dairy Operation near Ossian, Iowa
As a result of an inspection of northeastern Iowa livestock operations by EPA Region 7 staff last spring, the owner of E&M Farms, Inc., has agreed to pay a $7,500 civil penalty to settle alleged violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA) at its dairy operation near Ossian.

October 2, 2014
EPA Settlement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Helps Protect Soil and Groundwater from Contamination
An underground storage tank (UST) at the Lake Moomaw Marina Store in Warm Springs, Va., will now be regularly monitored and inspected under a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to resolve alleged violations of UST regulations. The Lake Moomaw Marina Store is owned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Pesticide News Story: EPA Announces New Efficacy Protocol for Certain Copper-based Sanitizer Products
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a recommended protocol for testing the antimicrobial efficacy of copper-containing surfaces. The testing described in this protocol is intended to support registration of products bearing non-food contact, surface sanitizer claims. The Agency is accepting comments on the protocol for 60 days. At a later time, EPA expects to issue a Data Call-In to require testing using this protocol for currently registered copper and copper alloy-based surface products.

October 1, 2014
Pesticide News Story: EPA Updates Dietary Exposure Analysis Model
EPA has updated the Dietary Exposure Evaluation Model-Food Commodity Intake Database (DEEM-FCID)/Calendex to include more recent food consumption data. New online applications will also make it easier for the public to access and interpret the data. DEEM-FCID/Calendex is a dietary exposure analysis model for performing chronic and acute exposure assessments. DEEM-FCID/Calendex can be used to estimate dietary intake of toxicants, nutrients, pesticides, food additives and natural constituents – in other words, for any component of food or water. The software also allows for estimation of exposures for each eating occasion rather than considering the entire day’s food and drink intake at once. This allows EPA to make more refined risk assessments where appropriate.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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