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News Archive: July 2008

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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.

July 31
EPA Announces Modification to Idaho's SIP Allowing Agricultural Crop Burning

A new rule published by EPA modifies Idaho's State Implementation Plan (SIP) to allow for a resumption of agricultural field burning as early as September, 2008. The change was requested by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ) in Boise. This rule allows agricultural burning in Idaho only if the burning is conducted in accordance with the state's rules and with advance permission from IDEQ. EPA's approval does not extend to agricultural burning on Indian Reservations and other Indian country lands in the state. The rule's approval is effective on August 31, 2008, 30 days after publication of the Federal Register notice.

July 30
EPA Accepting Applications for $110,000 in Strategic Ag Initiative (SAI) Grants

EPA Region 1's Pesticide Program is seeking applications from eligible organizations that will facilitate the implementation of the Food Quality Protection Act. The program supports efforts to reduce the exposure to toxic pesticides through the adoption of production agriculture pest management practices that transition away from the use of high-risk pesticides in minor crops. The project or projects selected for funding will work towards achieving the adoption of reduced-risk alternatives and /or ecologically-based integrated pest management or biologically integrated farming approaches that are economical. There is approximately $110,000 available for assistance in this program. Proposals are due September 8, 2008

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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July 28
EPA Determines Regulations Not Needed for 11 Potential Drinking Water Contaminants
EPA has decided not to regulate 11 contaminants on the second drinking water contaminant candidate list. The materials include naturally occurring substances, pesticides, herbicides, and chemicals used (or once used) in manufacturing. EPA has concluded that the contaminants do not occur nationally in public water systems, or occur at levels below a public health concern. The final regulatory determination is based on extensive review of health effects, occurrence data, and public comments. EPA is, however, updating health advisories for boron; dacthal mono- and di-acid degradates; 1,3-dichloropropene (telone); 2,4-dinitrotoluene and 2,6-dinitrotoluene; and 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane. Updated or new health advisories are not needed for 1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl) ethylene (DDE); s-ethyl propyl thiocarbamate (EPTC); fonofos; and terbacil, because the national monitoring data showed almost no occurrence at levels of public health concern.

Property Owner and Contractor Ordered To Restore Filled Wetland
The owner of a 590-acre parcel of land located off of Lane Road in Barre, Massachusetts, and his contractor have been ordered by EPA to restore 2 acres of wetlands that they dredged and filled without a permit in violation of the federal Clean Water Act. Approximately 2 acres of wetlands were cleared, grubbed, and excavated; and sand and gravel were removed to create a private pond for the owner's use. The property owner and contractor will be required to restore an area of altered wet meadow/shrub wetlands and to restore another portion of the altered area to a terraced pond with surrounding wet meadow and shrub wetlands. These actions will help to restore flood storage, wildlife habitat, nutrient removal and transport, and sediment trapping functions to the wetlands complex.

July 24
EPA Acts To Address Carbofuran Residues in Food, Invites Comments
Due to considerable risks associated with the pesticide carbofuran in food and drinking water, EPA is revoking the regulations that allow carbofuran residues in food. Although carbofuran is used on a small percentage of the U.S. food supply, EPA has identified risks that that do not meet rigorous food safety standards, and is taking the necessary steps to address these risks. EPA is also proceeding toward cancellation of the pesticide registration, which will address the risks to pesticide applicators and birds in treated fields. As part of this effort, EPA is releasing its response to the peer review conducted by the independent Scientific Advisory Panel and the agency's response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's comments on the effect of the cancellation of carbofuran on the agricultural economy. Comments must be received by September 29, 2008.

July 23
FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel Sets Public Meeting
There will be a 4-day meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) to consider and review selected issues associated with the risk assessment process for pesticides with persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic characteristics. The meeting will be October 28 - 31, 2008 in Arlington, Virginia.

EPA Solicits Comments on Proposed 5-Year Strategy of NAFTA Technical Working Group on Pesticides
EPA is releasing for public comment the proposed 5-year strategy, 2008-2013, of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) technical working group (TWG) on pesticides. The 5-year strategy reflects the collective goal of creating an aligned North American registration system for pesticides and for products treated with pesticides, as well as a commitment to partners. The strategic objectives are to provide U.S., Canadian, and Mexican growers equal access to pest management tools, including safer alternatives; work cooperatively to re-evaluate and reregister older pesticides; and integrate smart business approaches and practices into NAFTA TWG work. Comments must be received on or before August 18, 2008.

Comments Invited on Proposed Registration Review Decision for Sulfluramid
EPA has released a proposed registration review final decision and has opened a public comment period for the pesticide sulfluramid (docket ID #EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-1082). Registration review is EPA's periodic review of pesticide registrations to ensure that each pesticide can perform its intended function without unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment. Comments must be received on or before September 22, 2008.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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July 21
Water Quality Modeling Workshop in Baltimore, Maryland

EPA will offer a workshop, "Water Quality Modeling To Support Management Actions," September 9-10, 2008, at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. Attendees will obtain an understanding of EPA-supported models that can be used to address regulatory and water quality planning objectives. The workshop will focus on tools available to meet multiple objectives like watershed planning, smart growth, trading, TMDL development, and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit development. The workshop will identify objectives that can be addressed within EPA's BASINS (Better Assessment Science Integrating Point and Nonpoint Sources) environment. Participants will have an opportunity to provide feedback to guide future development of BASINS and other modeling-related tools.

July 18
EPA Approves Revisions to California State Implementation Plan
Under the Clean Air Act, EPA is approving a revision of the pesticide element of the California State Implementation Plan for ozone, submitted by the California Air Resources Board on November 30, 2007. The revision, in part, temporarily relaxes a commitment to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds in Ventura County caused by the application of pesticides. A summary of the proposed action, public comments, EPA's responses, and final action are provided in the Federal Register Notice.

July 17
EPA Releases Report on Climate Change and Health
EPA has released a new report that discusses the potential impacts of climate change on human health, human welfare, and communities in the United States. "Analyses of the Effects of Global Change on Human Health and Welfare and Human Systems" is the most up-to-date synthesis and assessment of scientific literature on this subject. The Global Change Research Program in EPA's Office of Research and Development led the development of the report. It is one of 21 such products commissioned by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, which is responsible for coordinating and integrating the research of 13 federal agencies on climate and global change.

July 16
EPA Announces Tetramethrin Reregistration Eligibility Decision
EPA has released a Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for the pesticide tetramethrin. The Agency's risk assessments and related documents are available in the tetramethrin docket. Tetramethrin is a broad-spectrum synthetic pyrethroid insecticide used to control flying and crawling insects in a number of commercial, horticultural, and residential areas. Because all comments received during the risk assessment public comment period were addressed in the Agency's response to public comment documents, and because there are no risks of concern for the registered use patterns, the Agency is issuing the tetramethrin RED without a comment period.

Comments Solicited for Four Pesticide Reregistration Eligibility Decisions
Following up on a July 10 announcement that four soil fumigant pesticides are subject to new safety measures, EPA has released Reregistration Eligibility Decisions for the following chemicals and has opened public comment periods on these documents:

Soil fumigants are used to kill soil-borne pests in producing many crops, including potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries, carrots, and peppers. Comments must be received on or before September 15, 2008.

July 15
Landscaping Business Fined $12,300 After Misused Pesticides Reach Northern California Waterway
EPA has fined a Houston-based landscaping service company $12,300 for violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA). In April 2007 the landscaping company sprayed pesticides Direx 4L and Garlon 4 in a pool of water abutting Junior Creek, which feeds into the Klamath River on the Resighini Rancheria tribal lands in northern California. Both pesticide labels prohibit applicators from applying the products directly to water or to areas where surface water is present. FIFRA requires that pesticide applicators comply with labeling directions during commercial pesticide applications to protect workers, the surrounding community, and the environment. The CWA requires companies that discharge into waterways to obtain a pollutant discharge permit, which contains limits on discharges, monitoring and reporting requirements, and other provisions to ensure that water quality and human health are protected.

July 14
EPA Awards $100,000 to Texas A&M for Environmental Studies
EPA has awarded $100,000 to the Texas A&M College of Agriculture Life and Sciences to develop a database and real-time monitoring system in an attempt to control the cotton bollworm. The Web-based information delivery system will monitor and analyze the effectiveness of a pyrethroid insecticide when used on the cotton bollworm. Pyrethroid insecticides function as a toxin that paralyzes the insect. The project will allow landowners to decide if incorporating pyrethroid insecticides is beneficial to controlling these insects while protecting the environment.

USDA Proposes Amendments to List of Substances Allowed and Prohibited in Organic Production
USDA is soliciting comments related to the continued exemption (use) and prohibition of 12 substances in organic production and handling. Consistent with recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board, this proposed rule would renew 11 exemptions and 1 prohibition on the national list (along with any restrictive annotations) and correct the tartaric acid listings by adding annotations originally recommended to the Secretary on November 1, 1995. Comments must be received by August 13, 2008.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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July 11
FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel Reschedules Public Meeting
The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) will hold a three day meeting to consider and review the Agency's evaluation of the toxicity profile of chlorpyrifos. The Agency is focusing on studies that evaluate the effects of chlorpyrifos on infants and children from in utero and/or post-natal exposures and on studies that evaluate population variability with respect to response to chlorpyrifos. This meeting, originally scheduled for July 15-18, 2008, has been rescheduled for September 16-18, 2008. The Agency is accepting additional nominations for candidates to serve as ad hoc members of the FIFRA SAP for this meeting. Nominations were previously sought through an April 18, 2008, FR Notice.

July 10
Soil Fumigant Pesticides Subject to New Safety Measures
EPA's Reregistration Eligibility Decisions (REDs) for soil fumigant pesticides include new safety measures that will increase protections for agricultural workers and bystanders -- people who live, work, or otherwise spend time near fields that are fumigated. The suite of new mitigation requirements will work together to protect human health from exposure to the soil fumigants methyl bromide, chloropicrin, dazomet, metam sodium, and metam potassium. These measures address all risks, but focus on the acute human inhalation risks that have been identified in the revised risk assessments for these fumigants.

July 9
EPA Encourages Farmers in Iowa Flood Areas To Report Orphan Containers
Recent flooding may have scattered tanks, drums, cylinders, and barrels onto private properties and farmland throughout flooded areas in Iowa. These items may contain hazardous materials such as propane and industrial chemicals and should be handled only by trained professionals. EPA has been asked by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate hazardous material recovery throughout Iowa. EPA is working closely with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to identify and retrieve orphan containers that were swept away by flood waters.

Two Antimicrobial Pesticide Dockets Opened for Review and Comment
EPA has established registration review dockets for the antimicrobial pesticides oxazolidine-E (docket ID EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0404) and caprylic acid (docket ID EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0477), and has opened a public comment period for these reviews. Registration review is EPA's periodic review of pesticide registrations to ensure that each pesticide continues to satisfy the statutory standard for registration. Comments must be received on or before October 7, 2008.

Comments Invited on Proposed Registration Review Decisions for Trichoderma Species, Linalool
EPA has released proposed pesticide registration review decisions for Trichoderma species (docket ID EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0245) and linalool (EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0356), and has opened a public comment period on these documents. Comments must be received on or before September 8, 2008.

July 8
Public Workshop Will Consider Revision of Product Performance Test Guidelines for Termiticides

EPA will conduct a public workshop on termiticide performance testing to discuss potential revision of the OPPTS 810.3600 Product Performance Testing Guidelines and information needed to revise the guidelines. The meeting will be held on July 21, 2008, in Arlington, Virginia. Since the adoption of the existing termiticide performance guideline, stakeholders have developed new pesticide chemistries and novel approaches to termite treatment. The workshop will provide opportunity for input on the relevance of the existing guideline scope, factors to be included in a revision, applicability of the existing guidelines to novel product chemistries, and approaches to resolve the disparity between soil-applied liquid termiticide testing guidelines and testing of other pesticides that may provide structural protection.

National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center July Newsletter and Webcast Exit EPA
The July edition of the National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPELC) newsletter is available. Topics include: "Webcasts Now Available 'To-Go'; Grant Program Is Seeking Innovative Manure Treatment Technologies; Disaster Assistance Guide for Farmers Is Updated; and 4-H Manure Management Curriculum Is Released In Colorado." The next Webcast will be on July 18, 2008, and will feature Sally Shaver, US EPA and Al Heber, Purdue University. They will discuss "Federal Air Quality Regulations and Update on the National Air Emissions Monitoring Study."

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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July 7
Webcast To Feature Clean Water Act State Revolving Fund: What's in it for Watersheds?

EPA's Watershed Academy sponsors free monthly Webcasts for watershed practitioners from around the globe. On Wednesday, July 16, 2008, Stephanie VonFeck from EPA's State Revolving Fund Branch and Patti Cale-Finnegan from Iowa's Department of Natural Resources will discuss the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, a large, flexible, and largely untapped source of funding for watershed projects. The fund provides more than $5 billion each year for traditional stormwater and wastewater projects, as well as more than $200 million for non-point source projects, such as land conservation, agricultural best management practices, and cleanup of contaminated sites. 

July 2
California Company Settles With EPA for $171,600 for Selling Unregistered Japanese Pesticides
EPA settled with a Torrance, California, company for $171,600 for allegedly selling unregistered imported Japanese pesticides at its San Jose location. In June 2007, EPA inspectors discovered that Mitsuwa Corporation sold 33 unregistered products from Japan, including "Kao Magic Clean" for bath and toilets and "Lion Clean Clean Kitchen," at its Mitsuwa Marketplace store. The antimicrobial products claimed to control bacteria, mold, and germs.

L-Lactic Acid Biopesticide Docket Opened for Review and Comment
EPA has established a registration review docket for L-Lactic Acid and has opened a public comment period. Registration review is EPA's periodic review of pesticide registrations to ensure that each pesticide continues to satisfy the statutory standard for registration. Registration review dockets contain information that will help the public understand the types of information and issues that the Agency may consider during the course of registration reviews. Comments must be received on or before September 2, 2008.

EPA Announces Reregistration Eligibility Decisions for Six Pesticides
EPA has released Reregistration Eligibility Decisions for six pesticides and has opened public comment periods on these documents. The chemicals are:

The Agency's risk assessments and other related documents also are available in the dockets for these pesticides. Comments must be received on or before September 2, 2008.

July 1
40 CFR Pesticide Chemical Tolerance Index To Be Replaced by Online Indexes
Effective with the July 1, 2008, edition, Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) will no longer contain an alphabetical listing of pesticide chemicals at the end of the table of contents of Part 180. The information previously contained in the alphabetical listing has been updated and will be placed on EPA's pesticides Web site later this summer. Before allowing the use of a pesticide on food crops, EPA sets a tolerance, or maximum residue limit, which is the amount of pesticide residue allowed to remain in or on each treated food commodity. The Code of Federal Regulations is the official information source on tolerances. Historically, the CFR has included the alphabetical listing of pesticides to facilitate finding tolerance levels, but the new indexes are expected to further enhance usability and provide more up-to-date information.

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