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News Archive: January 2006

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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.

January 31
Agreement Reached in UFW v. Johnson, Regarding Azinphos-methyl and Phosmet
EPA has reached a settlement with the United Farm Workers and the other public interest plaintiffs who brought a lawsuit against the Agency in January 2004 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington regarding the pesticides azinphos methyl (AZM) and phosmet. The suit alleged that the azinphos-methyl (AZM) and phosmet Interim Reregistration Eligibility Decisions (IREDs) were inconsistent with the requirements of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) because EPA did not appropriately consider the risks and benefits of these pesticides. The settlement agreement between EPA and the plaintiffs effectively stays this challenge pending EPA's reconsideration of the "time limited" uses of these pesticides, scheduled for reevaluation in 2006. The Settlement Agreement was available for comment through January 19, 2006.

January 30
Environmental Appeals Board Approves First Air Compliance Agreements with Animal Feeding Operations
EPA's Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) approved the first 20 Air compliance agreements for animal feeding operations (AFOs). Under these agreements, the AFOs will participate in a nationwide project to evaluate the air emissions from animal feeding operations and use this data to develop an effective regulatory program. EPA also is settling liability for certain past violations against AFOs. Key to the agreements is an EPA-approved monitoring and research study conducted by independent researchers. The study is expected to begin later this year and will provide EPA with a much stronger and more complete body of air emissions science and data that can be used to develop a sound, reasonable and effective air emissions regulatory program.

January 27
Final Rule on Pesticide Emergency Exemption Process
EPA, working collaboratively with State agencies and key stakeholders over several years is now streamlining aspects of the process for emergency exemptions under Section 18 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). By implementing a number of revisions that was published in the Federal Register January 27, 2006, this final rule will reduce the burden to both applicants and EPA. The rule enables the Agency to quickly assess an emergency exemption request for use of a specific pesticide in a pest-related emergency, while ensuring that use of the product will not result in unreasonable risks to human health or the environment.

January 26
EPA Stops the Import and Sale of Three Illegal RepelleX Pesticide Products
EPA announced more than 100 Stop Sale Orders nationwide to importers and distributors of unregistered pesticides manufactured by RepelleX Lawn and Garden Products, a Canadian company. EPA has determined that three RepelleX products claiming to contain "quarternary ammonium salts" (correct spelling: quaternary) are pesticides and subject to registration requirements under Section 3 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The products are: RepelleX 14-2-2 ML2 Fertilizer Tablets, RepelleX Deer Repellent Concentrate, and Bulb Saver Concentrate. Under FIFRA, EPA reviews and registers all pesticide products sold and distributed in the U.S. to ensure that, when used according to approved label instructions, they do not pose an unreasonable risk to people’s health or the environment.

EPA Significantly Strengthens and Expands Safeguards on Human Studies Research
Under new rules announced, all third-party intentional dosing research on pesticides involving children and pregnant women intended for submission to EPA is banned, and EPA will neither conduct nor support any intentional dosing studies that involve pregnant women or children for all substances EPA regulates. These final new rules also establish stringent enforceable ethical safeguards to protect individuals who volunteer to participate in third-party intentional dosing research.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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January 25
FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel Meeting
There will be a two-day meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) to consider and review human health and environmental issues associated with the Event MIR604 Modified Cry3A Protein Bt Corn--Plant Incorporated Protectant. This product is intended to provide protection from western, northern, and Mexican corn rootworm larvae. The meeting will be held on March 14-15, 2006, from 8:30 a.m. to approximately 5 p.m., eastern time.

January 24
EPA Offers $3 Million in Grants for Innovative Diesel Emissions Reduction Projects
EPA announced the availability of $3 million in grant monies for projects aimed at reducing diesel emissions on the West Coast. The grant program is part of the highly successful West Coast Collaborative which has awarded more than $2.6 million in grants for 28 projects since 2004. This year the agency expects to award up to 12 grants ranging from $50,000 to $500,000. EPA is seeking grant proposals for projects, including those that are ag-related, benefiting the West Coast that demonstrate new, innovative or experimental approaches to reducing diesel emissions. Past grant projects have included electrifying truck stops and cruise ship terminals, converting restaurant waste oil to biodiesel fuel and a establishing a revolving loan fund to reduce locomotive emissions.

January 20
Updates to Web Page on Child-Resistant Packaging for Pesticides
EPA has updated some of the information on its Web site relating to child-resistant packaging (CRP) for pesticides. The Agency has added a section entitled “Submitting Data Electronically” to inform stakeholders that as of February 28, 2006, EPA requests that CRP protocol test data be made available to the Agency on a CD-R (readable only) rather than a 3.5-inch floppy disk, as previously requested by PR Notice 97-9. The Agency is replacing the 3.5-inch floppy disk drives on its computers with CD/DVD readers. The Agency also has made corrections and additions to its Quick Reference Guide’s CRP Testing Firms and CRP Manufacturers Lists and to the child-resistant packaging description files.

EPA Announces Public Meeting on Endangered Species Protection Program Field Implementation
On February 22, 2006, EPA will host a public meeting to address the Agency’s Endangered Species Protection Program (ESPP), including EPA’s overall approach to field implementation, the circumstances EPA will be employing this approach, the responsibilities of the public, and the roles of other government agencies. The meeting will also provide opportunity for the public to ask specific questions and receive answers about ESPP elements.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

January 17
EPA Settles with Baleco on Pesticide Violations
EPA has filed a consent agreement and final order with Baleco International, North Bend, Ohio, on alleged violations of federal rules on the distribution and sale of pesticides. A $15,000 penalty has been assessed against the company as part of the settlement. According to EPA, Baleco sold and distributed unregistered, adulterated, and misbranded pesticides. The products are 30% Algaecide-1999, 30% Algaecide-2001, 3" Tablets-2001, 1" Tablets-2001 and Chlorinating Granules-2001. Ohio Department of Agriculture inspectors cooperated with EPA in the investigation.

Ferbam Reregistration Eligibility Decision Available for Comment (Correction)
EPA issued a notice in the Federal Register of December 30, 2005, concerning the availability of the Ferbam RED. This document is being issued to correct typographical omissions and errors, specifically to correct the docket number OPP-2004-0337 and to add the comment period closing date (March 20, 2006.) Ferbam is registered for use as a fungicide on citrus, pome and stone fruits, cranberries, and tobacco. The Agency's risk assessments and other related documents are available in the ferbam docket. EPA has reviewed ferbam through a modified four-phase version of the public participation process.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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January 11
Comment Period Open for Bitertanol Tolerance Reassessment Progress and Risk Management Decision
EPA has published its Tolerance Reassessment Progress and Risk Management Decision, known as a TRED, for the low-risk fungicide bitertanol and has opened a public comment period on this document. The Agency's risk assessments and other related documents are available in the bitertanol docket. EPA has reviewed bitertanol through a modified streamlined version of the public participation process. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0491, must be received on or before February 10, 2006.

January 6
EPA Requests Proposals Addressing Pest Management Needs of Minor and Specialty Crop Growers

Grant funds of up to $615,000 are available to support projects addressing critical pest management needs of U.S. minor and specialty crop growers. Interested parties may apply for grants by submitting proposals no later than February 21, 2006. The Agency anticipates funding up to five projects. The project period of performance is 3 years, with the possibility of extension. Projects will support EPA facilitation of the transition to reduced-risk pest management approaches for minor and specialty crops as required by FQPA.

Comment Period Open for Iodomethane Risk Assessments
EPA has released its human health risk assessment and related documents for the fumigant pesticide iodomethane, and has opened a public comment period on these documents. Iodomethane is a new chemical under consideration by the Agency for registration and has been identified as a potential partial replacement for methyl bromide. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0252, must be received on or before February 6, 2006.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

January 4
EPA Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Settlement Agreement for UFW v. Johnson, Regarding Azinphos-Methyl and Phosmet
EPA is initiating a 15-day public comment period on a proposed settlement agreement in a lawsuit brought against the Agency. In January 2004, the United Farm Workers (UFW) and a number of other public interest groups filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington alleging that the azinphos-methyl (AZM) and phosmet Interim Reregistration Eligibility Decisions (IREDs) issued in October 2001 were inconsistent with the requirements of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act because EPA did not appropriately consider the risks and benefits of these pesticides. The proposed settlement agreement between EPA and the plaintiffs would effectively stay this challenge pending EPA's reconsideration of the "time limited" uses of these pesticides, scheduled for reevaluation in 2006. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0061 for AZM and docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2002-0354 for phosmet, must be submitted no later than January 19, 2006.

Pesticide Registration Improvement Act Process Improvement Workgroup Sets Public Meeting
EPA's Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC), Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA) Process Improvement Workgroup will hold a public meeting in Arlington, Virginia, on January 31, 2006. An agenda for this meeting is being developed and will be posted on EPA's website. The workgroup is developing advice and recommendations on topics related to EPA's registration process.

January 3
Online Database Allows Search of FIFRA Section 18 Actions
Section 18 of FIFRA authorizes EPA to allow States to use a pesticide for an unregistered use for a limited time if EPA determines that emergency conditions exist. Current and recent actions under Section 18 are detailed in the FIFRA Section 18 Emergency Exemptions database. The information provided from the database includes: site (e.g., the crop being protected), the pest posing the emergency; the state or federal agency that applied for the exemption; the date of application; and EPA's response. If a tolerance was established, the date of the publication of that tolerance in the Federal Register is given, and the date the tolerance expires. This database is updated biweekly. The options for searching the database are: (1) search by commodity (site), chemical, or applicant, (2) search by a specific date, (3) search by date range, (4) search by applicant and specific date, or (5) search by applicant and date range.

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