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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.

January 31
Regions 9 and 10 Set Leadership Forum on EPA Diesel Collaboratives Agriculture Sectors Exit EPA
The Regional Leadership Forum on EPA Diesel Collaboratives Agriculture Sectors will be held on Thursday, March 29, 2007, in Sacramento, California. 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.

EPA Orders Southern California Company to Stop Distributing Pesticide
EPA has ordered a San Juan Capistrano, California company to stop distributing samples of a pesticide that lacked important safety information and directions for use. EPA determined that American Mold Guard had been repackaging AMG-X40 into two ounce containers, and distributing them as samples to customers who received their mold remediation services. The samples were missing most of the pesticide's required labeling, including warnings against skin contact and first aid directions in case skin contact occurred.

Fluometuron Reregistration Eligibility Decision Available
EPA has released its Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for the pesticide fluometuron. The Agency's risk assessments and other related documents also are available in the fluometuron docket. Fluometuron is a phenylurea herbicide that is used only on cotton. EPA has reviewed fluometuron through the modified four-phase public participation process. Because issues related to fluometuron were resolved through consultations with stakeholders, the Agency is issuing the fluometuron RED without a comment period.

Comments Invited on Monocarbamide Dihydrogen Sulfate Tolerance Reassessment Decision
EPA has released its Tolerance Reassessment Decision (TRED) for the low-risk pesticide monocarbamide dihydrogen sulfate (urea sulfate), and has opened a public comment period on this document, related risk assessments, and other support documents. EPA has reviewed urea sulfate through a modified, streamlined version of the public participation process. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-0007, must be received on or before April 2, 2007.

January 30
Atrazine Watershed Monitoring Data Available
In its October 2003 determination that products containing atrazine were eligible for reregistration, EPA required atrazine registrants to undertake an intensive watershed monitoring program to further verify the determination that use of this herbicide was not likely to cause unreasonable risk to freshwater resources. One component of the monitoring program is focused on flowing water bodies, and provides two years of monitoring data, accrued over a three-year period (2004-2006), in 40 potentially vulnerable watersheds associated with corn and sorghum production. EPA is making these data available consistent with a March 2006 settlement agreement with the Natural Resources Defense Council requiring EPA to assess the potential effects of atrazine use to eight threatened and endangered species.

January 29
Correction: Vreba-Hoff Dairy Development No Longer Owns Fremont, Indiana Dairy
On January 4, EPA Region 5 announced that it had issued an administrative order to comply with a state-issued discharge permit to Vreba-Hoff Dairy Development, Wauseon, Ohio, and De Jong Dairy LLC, Fremont, Indiana. Vreba-Hoff has since provided documents to EPA demonstrating that it has transferred ownership of the dairy. EPA has sent a letter to Vreba-Hoff notifying the company that it is not responsible for complying with EPA's order. The dairy operator has told EPA that he intends to comply with the order.

EPA Files Complaint Against Maine Dairy Farm To Require Compliance With Clean Water Standards
United States Attorney Paula D. Silsby and Robert W. Varney, Regional Administrator for EPA's New England Office, announce that a civil complaint has been filed in U.S. District Court in Bangor, Maine, against Country Acres Farm, Inc., for violating federal Clean Water Act requirements while operating a dairy farm in Dixmont, Maine. EPA is seeking penalties and an injunction requesting the court to enforce requirements to cease the farm's unlawful discharge of manure and contaminated wastewater into nearby waters. The case was brought after EPA, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and the Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources made repeated efforts over several years to bring the farm into compliance with water pollution laws. Under the Clean Water Act, the facility faces fines of up to $32,500 per day of violation.

January 26
Four Iowa Feedlots Ordered To Comply With Clean Water Act
EPA Region 7 has issued administrative compliance orders to four cattle feedlots in western Iowa for illegally discharging pollutants into Iowa creeks in violation of the Clean Water Act. The orders require these cattle feedlots to comply with the Clean Water Act by eliminating discharges of manure that violate the law. The four feedlots are Pithan Feedlot in Anthon; Lowell Vos Feedlot in Kingsley; Marion J Rus Feedlot near Rock Valley; and A to Z Feeders in Atlantic. They discharge to Big Creek, Elliot Creek, Rock Creek, and Indian Creek, respectively.

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January 25
EPA Warns Against Burning or Cutting Grape Stakes
Wood grape stakes are treated with chromium, copper and arsenic (CCA). Burning or cutting treated wood concentrates these hazardous chemicals in the smoke, ash and dust. Inhaling or ingesting smoke, ash or dust from treated wood stakes can cause sudden and severe illness.

January 24
Clean Energy Projects Turn Landfills into Community Assets
EPA recognized the accomplishments of numerous landfill methane partners who are generating clean, renewable energy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Methane, a primary component of landfill gas, is a greenhouse gas that is over 20 times as potent as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere. EPA's Landfill Methane Outreach Program has assisted in developing more than 325 landfill gas projects in the past 12 years, reducing methane emissions by about 90 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. Nationwide, there are more than 400 projects in operation, and in 2006 alone, these projects provided over 10 billion kilowatt hours of electricity and 75 billion cubic feet of landfill gas to corporate and government end users. These projects produced energy equivalent to powering roughly 780,000 homes and heating nearly 1.2 million homes, turning the landfills into community assets.

EPA Issues Two Final Grant Guidelines for State Underground Storage Tank Programs; Invites Comments on Draft of Another
EPA has issued two final grant guidelines for states, which will implement key provisions of the underground storage tank amendments of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The financial responsibility and installer certification grant guidelines require that an underground storage tank manufacturer or installer have the financial resources to clean up a site if a release occurs because of improper manufacture or installation. The public record grant guidelines require that a state's public record must include the number, sources, and causes of underground storage tank releases, tank compliance records, and data on tank equipment failures. In addition, EPA has posted draft grant guidelines for the state compliance report on tanks, and will accept comments through February 22, 2007.

Comment Period Extended on Chloropicrin Risk Assessments
EPA issued a notice in the Federal Register of November 29, 2006 (71 FR 69112), concerning the availability of the risk assessments for the fumigant pesticide chloropicrin. The Agency has now extended the comment period for 30 days. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0661, must be received on or before February 23, 2007.

EPA Kicks Off Midwest Clean Diesel Leadership Program
EPA Region 5 hosted the first meeting of its Midwest Clean Diesel Leadership Group in Chicago on January 23, 2007. The group of 32 public-sector and private-industry organizations shares the goal of cutting emissions from one million diesel engines in the region by 2010. The Leadership Group is co-chaired by Cummins Inc., Illinois EPA, Ohio Environmental Council, and EPA Region 5.

January 23
A Farmer's Guide to Agriculture and Water Quality Issues Exit EPA

Many agricultural producers may not appreciate how their actions affect water quality, nor are they fully aware of what environmental requirements apply to them, what actions they can take to meet those requirements, and what incentive programs are available to them. North Carolina State University, in partnership with Ice.Nine Environmental Consulting, NC A&T State University, Cornell University, California Polytechnic University, Purdue University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, EPA Agriculture Compliance Assistance Center, and USDA-CSREES, has developed an educational resource for agricultural producers and agricultural service professionals to help them.

Information and Technology Workshops for Swine Producers to be held in Greenville and Kenansville, North Carolina
Federal, State and local agencies will hold a workshop in Greenville, North Carolina on February 14, 2007, and Kenansville, North Carolina on February 15, 2007, to transfer information and technology that is currently being used by swine producers to increase farm income, reduce operating costs, meet compliance requirements, or improve environmental stewardship. The training will include discussions on renewable energy, carbon credit trading, whole hog composting, vermiculture composting, technology implementation and funding sources, and the on-farm benefits of Environmental Management Systems. The speakers will include local swine farmers and representatives from industry, academia, and state government. The sponsoring partners are working with the Water Pollution Control System Operators Certification Commission (WPCSOCC) to get animal waste operator’s continuing education credits for this training.

January 19
Phosmet Final Decision Released
EPA is issuing its final decision on the restricted-entry intervals for nine uses of the organophosphate pesticide phosmet. Consistent with EPA’s June 2006 proposal, most restricted-entry intervals will be lengthened and additional mitigation will be implemented to protect workers and bystanders. This risk mitigation will be included on labels of phosmet products sold or distributed by the registrant after June 2008. The nine uses include: apples (including crabapples), apricots, highbush blueberries, grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, and prunes.

EPA State Revolving Funds Provide Close to $7 Billion in Assistance for 2006
The Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs have posted updated financial and programmatic information to EPA's Web site. The SRFs are EPA’s premier financing programs for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure. EPA provides federal funding to states to capitalize revolving loan funds that provide states with a sustainable source of funding for important public health and environmental projects. In 2006, the Clean Water SRF provided more than $5 billion for wastewater infrastructure, nonpoint source pollution control, and watershed and estuary management water quality projects. Cumulatively the program has provided close to $58 billion since 1988. The Drinking Water SRF provided $1.7 billion in 2006 and has cumulatively provided more than $11 billion for drinking water infrastructure projects since 1997. States have also spent more than $800 million for other types of activities that support their drinking water programs.

January 18
EPA Settles for $4,680 With Pest Control Device Company
EPA has reached a settlement for $4,680 with a Burbank, California, company for failing to submit an annual report for its 2005 production of pest control devices, a violation of federal pesticide law. EPA cited Steril-Aire, a manufacturer of pest control devices, for failing to submit an annual production report required by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. Although Steril-Aire filed the required production reports with EPA in 2001 through 2003, it failed to do so in 2005 after a warning in 2004. As part of the settlement, Steril-Aire has now submitted the required documentation.

EPA Helps Farmers Turn Livestock Waste into Wealth
EPA and its partners have released guidance that can help farmers manage livestock waste and boost farm earnings while reducing greenhouse gases. Processing livestock manure under controlled conditions can produce biogas, a source of greenhouse gas emissions. Biogas is made up of methane and carbon dioxide. Because methane is more than 20 times as potent as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere, capturing biogas provides significant environmental benefits. Also, farmers and project developers can increase their incomes by using biogas for on-site electricity generation or delivery to a local electric utility.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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January 17
Antimycin A Risk Assessments Available for Comment
EPA has released risk assessments and related documents for the pesticide antimycin A, and has opened a public comment period. The public is encouraged to suggest risk management ideas or proposals to address the risks identified. EPA is developing a Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for antimycin A through a modified, four-phase public participation process. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-1002, must be received on or before March 19, 2007.

Comments Welcome on Proposed Risk Mitigation Decision for Nine Rodenticides
EPA has released its proposed risk mitigation decision for nine rodenticides, plus the economic impact assessment for the proposed decision, the revised comparative ecological risk assessment, updated human health and ecological incident reports, and other related documents. The Agency has opened a 60-day public comment period on these documents. The nine rodenticides are brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difethialone, chlorophacinone, diphacinone, warfarin, zinc phosphide, bromethalin, and cholecalciferol. As part of the proposed risk mitigation decision, EPA anticipates classifying all products containing the active ingredients brodifacoum, bromadiolone, and difethialone as restricted-use products. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0955, must be received on or before March 19, 2007.

January 10
EPA Funds Project to Tackle Household Pests in Safer Ways
EPA is funding the start-up of a project that will teach Philadelphia households how to fend off cockroaches and other little pesky critters in safer and healthier ways. EPA’s Regional Administrator, Donald S. Welsh, awarded $187,000 to the Philadelphia School and Community Integrated Pest Management Partnership (PSCIP), as part of EPA’s Community Action for a Renewed Environment grant program. This grant program supports communities in creating and using collaborative partnerships to reduce exposure to pollutants. PSCIP will use EPA grant for outreach and education efforts to low-income areas where exposure to pests and pesticides can threaten people’s health, especially children, pregnant women, and the elderly.

Company Will Pay $1 Million Penalty To Resolve Clean Water Act Violations
M.G. Waldbaum Company, a subsidiary of Minnesota-based Michael Foods Inc., has agreed to pay a $1.05 million penalty to resolve allegations that the company violated the Clean Water Act. The settlement, which is a joint federal-state effort, involves a large egg processing facility and seven associated poultry farms near the City of Wakefield, Nebraska. The Clean Water Act violations concern allegations of overloading wastewater treatment lagoons at the City of Wakefield's publicly owned treatment works; discharging pollutants from a large pile of poultry waste into a creek without a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit; and improperly dumping process sludge waste from its egg processing facilities rather than spreading on the ground in accordance with state standards. As part of this settlement, Waldbaum has committed to comply with a schedule in its current NPDES permit for construction of a wastewater treatment plant to treat the effluent from its egg processing facility. Construction of the new plant will be completed in 2009 at an estimated cost of $16 million.

Comments Invited on Syngenta Documents Requesting Nonregulated Status for Genetically Engineered Corn
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has received a petition from Syngenta Seeds, Inc., seeking a determination of nonregulated status for rootworm-resistant corn derived from a transformation event designated as MIR604. The petition has been submitted in accordance with federal regulations concerning the introduction of certain genetically engineered organisms and products. The public is invited to comment on whether this corn presents a plant pest risk. The draft environmental assessment for the proposed determination of nonregulated status is included in the documents available for comment. Comments on the petition must be received on or before March 12, 2007; comments on the draft environmental assessment must be received on or before February 9, 2007. The Federal Register notice contains information on how to submit comments and where to get more information or copies of the documents.

Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee's Performance Measures Workgroup To Meet
EPA's Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee's Performance Measures Workgroup will hold a public meeting in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday, January 30, 2007, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST. An agenda for this meeting is being developed and will be posted on EPA's Web site. The Workgroup is developing advice and recommendations concerning performance management measures for EPA's pesticide program.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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January 8
EPA Rules Out Residential Use of Wood Preservative Acid Copper Chromate
EPA is taking legal action to deny the registration for acid copper chromate (ACC) for residential use. ACC contains hexavalent chromium, which is a skin irritant and sensitizer and a known human carcinogen when inhaled. EPA's scientific review process concluded that the risks associated with residential uses of ACC outweigh the minimal benefits. The proposed residential uses of ACC would pose a cancer risk to treatment and manufacturing workers, as well as non-cancer risks to homeowners, children, and contractors.

January 5
EPA Orders Indiana Dairy To Comply with Discharge Permit
EPA Region 5 has ordered Vreba-Hoff Dairy Development LLC, of Wauseon, Ohio, and De Jong Dairy LLC, of Fremont, Indiana, to stop all unauthorized discharges and meet all the requirements of the dairy's state-issued discharge permit. De Jong Dairy, which is owned by Vreba-Hoff Dairy Development, is a large concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) with approximately 900 mature dairy cows. The dairy has submitted an application to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management for a construction permit to expand the operation to 1,800 cows.

Winegrape Commission Wins California Environmental and Economic Leadership Award
Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrape Commission, a Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program partner, has won the California Governor's 2006 Environmental and Economic Leadership Award -- the state's highest and most prestigious environmental honor. The award recognizes years of hard work by all Lodi winegrowers to become the leaders in sustainable winegrowing. The Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrape Commission represents almost 800 winegrowers farming more than 90,000 acres that produce 20 percent of California's wine grapes. Their program includes grower education and outreach, field implementation with one-on-one assistance, the Lodi Winegrower's Workbook self-assessment, and a certification program for sustainable winegrowing.

National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center January Newsletter and Webcast Exit EPA
The January edition of the National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPE) newsletter is available. Topics include: February Webcast Panel To Discuss Manure Application to Legumes; CCA Continuing Education Units for LPE Learning Center Webcast Participation; Phosphorus Publications Featured on SERA-17 Web site; and Effects of Composting on Nutrients in Livestock Manure. The January 19 Webcast features Dr. Doug Beegle of Pennsylvania State University, speaking on "Integrated Nutrient Management and Limits of Best Management Practices (BMPs)."

The February Webcast is scheduled for February 16, 2007, at 2:30 p.m. EST. It will be on "Manure Application to Alfalfa and Soybeans: Timing of Application, Value, and Consequences," and the speakers will be Matt Helmers, Iowa State University; Stephen Herbert, University of Massachusetts; and Charles Shapiro, University of Nebraska.

January 3
National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center Webcast (PDF) (1 pg, 249K) Exit EPA
The Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPE) will hold a Webcast seminar on Friday, January 19, at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time. The topic is "Integrated Nutrient Management and Limits of the Phosphorus Index," and the speaker is Dr. Doug Beegle, Pennsylvania State University. The speaker's PowerPoint presentation will be available for download before or during the Webcast from the LPE home page.

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