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News Archive: July 2009

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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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.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 Reaches Settlement with Nation’s Largest Manufacturer of Hospital Disinfectants
EPA recently settled a third pesticide enforcement case against Lonza Inc., the nation’s largest manufacturer of hospital disinfectants, for multiple violations of the federal law that regulates pesticides. Most recently, the New Jersey-based company agreed to pay more than $550,000 in fines for allegedly making misleading claims regarding the efficacy of two products. The settlement is one of the largest civil penalties assessed under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Combined with earlier settlements, the penalties total over $640,000.

July 30
EPA Fines New Mexico Pesticide Company for Illegal Pesticide Application
EPA fined PDI Pest Control $650 -- the maximum penalty for first-time offenders applying registered "general use" pesticides -- for allegedly using pesticides contrary to label requirements at a daycare center on Navajo Nation lands. A pesticide applicator employed by PDI Pest Control applied Tempo SC Ultra in an occupied classroom where contact by people could occur, contrary to explicit label instructions. The Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency discovered the violation during a routine inspection in October 2008.

July 27
EPA Proposes National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants from Prepared Feeds Manufacturing Facilities
EPA is proposing national emissions standards for control of hazardous air pollutants from prepared feeds manufacturing facilities. The proposed emissions standards for new and existing sources are based on EPA's proposed determination as to what constitutes the generally available control technology or management practices for the area source category. Comments must be received on or before August 26, 2009, unless a public hearing is requested by August 6, 2009. If a hearing is requested on the proposed rules, written comments must be received by September 10, 2009.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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July 24
FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel To Hold 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 Evaluation of Updated Standard Operating Procedures for Residential Exposure Assessment. The Standard Operating Procedures for Residential Exposure Assessment (i.e., Residential SOPs) are a set of standard instructions for estimating exposure resulting from various non-occupational pesticide uses including lawn and garden care, foggers, and pet treatments. Recently, the Agency has undertaken a substantial revision to the Residential SOPs. The Agency is seeking comment from the Panel on the adequacy of the exposure assessment methodologies and algorithms; the applicability, analysis, and use of available pesticide use information, activity pattern information, and pesticide exposure data; the process by which inputs are selected for use in residential pesticide exposure assessments; and the overall clarity, transparency, and utility of the SOPs. The meeting will be held on October 6 - 9, 2009, in Arlington, VA.

Cancellation of Pesticides for Non-Payment of Year 2009 Registration Maintenance Fees
Since the amendments of October 1988, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) has required payment of an annual maintenance fee to keep pesticide registrations in effect. The fee due last January 15 has gone unpaid for 370 registrations. Section 4(i)(5)(G) of FIFRA provides that the Administrator may cancel these registrations by order and without a hearing; orders to cancel all 370 of these registrations have been issued within the past few days.

July 22
Glyphosate Registration Review Docket Opened for Review and Comment
EPA has established a registration review docket for glyphosate and is opening the public comment period for this registration review. The docket number for this registration review case is EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0361. Comments must be received on or before September 21, 2009.

July 21
EPA Grants Extension to Deadline for Methyl Bromide Critical Use Exemption Applications for 2012
On July 1, 2009, EPA received a letter from methyl bromide stakeholders requesting an extension to the July 20, 2009 deadline for submitting Critical Use Exemption applications. The letter requested a deadline of August 24, 2009. EPA believes that the requested extension is reasonable, and is granting the extension to all applicants. Critical Use Exemption Applications for 2012 are now due to the Agency on or before August 24, 2009.

July 20
Pesticide Firm To Pay $100,000 in Civil Penalties To Settle Allegations of Improper Packaging, Labeling and Sales
A southwest Missouri pesticide dealer has agreed to pay $100,000 in civil penalties to the United States to settle a series of alleged violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). According to the agreement, a representative of the Missouri Department of Agriculture conducted an inspection of the firm's facilities on January 8, 2008. Based on that inspection and a review of records, the agreement alleges that the company was in violation of various aspects of federal pesticide regulations, including: distributing or selling approximately 59 different unregistered pesticides whose contents had been manipulated and did not meet FIFRA registration requirements; distributing or selling approximately 27 different misbranded pesticides; and holding for sale or distribution two pesticides whose composition differed from what was described in a required registration statement. The company has ceased operating its business locations in Neosho and Pineville, MO.

July 17
New Atrazine Information Published
Current July 2009 data has been added to EPA's Atrazine Update Web page providing results on atrazine activities and studies, including monitoring in community water systems; ecological watershed monitoring; cancer studies; and amphibian development.

July 16
EPA Clarifies Pesticide Product Labeling Requirements under the National Organic Program
After the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued its final rule on the National Organic Program (7 CFR Part 205) on December 21, 2000, EPA issued guidance to assist organic growers and those persons certifying organic growers in identifying which pesticide products could qualify to meet the National Organic Standard. Under PR Notice 2003-1: Labeling of Pesticide Products under the National Organic Program (PDF) (12 pp, 73K, About PDF), EPA for the first time allowed the claim “organic” on a pesticide product label. EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs has been working with USDA’s National Organic Program to clarify those labeling requirements, and has provided additional information in a clarification document.

July 15
Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee Meeting Scheduled
The Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee (FRRCC) will hold an open meeting on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 in Sacramento, CA. The purpose of the meeting is to further advance: (1) Discussion of the impacts of Agency agriculture-related programs, policies, and regulations regarding climate change and renewable energy; (2) identification and development of a comprehensive environmental strategy for livestock operations; and (3) development of a constructive approach or framework to address areas of common interest between sustainable agriculture and protection of the environment. A copy of the meeting agenda will be posted at the FRRCC Web site.

Extension of Public Comment Period on Proposed Stipulated Injunction
On July 1, 2009, EPA published a Notice in the Federal Register opening a 15-day comment period on a proposed stipulated injunction that would resolve litigation brought against EPA under the Endangered Species Act. This proposed stipulated injunction, if entered by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, would resolve a lawsuit brought against EPA by the Center for Biological Diversity. The comment period and public docket for this action were scheduled to close on July 16, 2009. However, based on comments received, EPA will re-open the docket for an additional 30 days from the original closing date. This re-opening will extend the public's opportunity to develop meaningful comments on the proposed stipulated injunction until August 17, 2009.

EPA Proposes Revisions to Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Nitrogen Dioxide
Based on its review of the air quality criteria for oxides of nitrogen and the primary national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for oxides of nitrogen as measured by nitrogen dioxide (NO2), EPA proposes to make revisions to the primary NO2 NAAQS in order to provide requisite protection of public health. Specifically, EPA proposes to supplement the current annual standard by establishing a new short-term NO2 standard based on the 3-year average of the 99th percentile (or 4th highest) of 1-hour daily maximum concentrations. EPA proposes to set the level of this new standard within the range of 80 to 100 ppb and solicits comment on standard levels as low as 65 ppb and as high as 150 ppb. EPA also proposes to establish requirements for an NO2 monitoring network that will include monitors within 50 meters of major roadways. In addition, EPA is soliciting comment on an alternative approach to setting the standard and revising the monitoring network. Two public hearings are scheduled, one to be held in Arlington, VA, on August 3, 2009; and one in Los Angeles, CA, on August 6, 2009. On Monday, August 10, 2009, EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office will hold a public teleconference of the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee's Oxides of Nitrogen Primary NAAQS Review Panel to provide comments concerning EPA's proposed revisions to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for nitrogen dioxide. Comments must be received on or before September 14, 2009.

July 14
EPA Orders Two Oklahoma Companies To Stop Discharging
EPA has issued a cease and desist administrative order to two Oklahoma City companies for violations of the federal Clean Water Act. The order specifically addresses a compost facility which incorporates animal manure from stock yards. On June 22 and 23, 2009, inspectors from EPA and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ODAFF), observed the potential for unauthorized discharges from the compost facility directly into the Oklahoma River. The companies have been ordered to cease all discharges of pollutants from the compost system, and within 30 days submit to EPA and ODAFF a plan and schedule of actions that will ensure that all run-off from the compost facility does not discharge to the Oklahoma River.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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July 13
EPA Orders Texas CAFO To Stop Discharge of Poultry Litter
EPA has issued an administrative order to a farm in Hopkins County, Texas, for violating the federal Clean Water Act. The facility is a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) and falls under the regulatory authority of the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board. EPA inspectors observed an unauthorized discharge of chicken litter from the farm's poultry litter staging area. The staging area drains northwest approximately 340 yards to a wetland that is directly connected to Stouts Creek. Based on these findings and within 45 days, the farm has been ordered to submit to EPA a schedule for construction of a covered shed under which to stage and store poultry litter and prevent future unauthorized discharges of pollutants to Stouts Creek.

EPA Issues Registration Review Final Work Plan for Imidacloprid
EPA has issued a Final Work Plan (FWP) for the registration review of imidacloprid. A neonicotinoid insecticide, imidacloprid is highly toxic to honeybees on an acute exposure basis; however, potential chronic effects on honeybee colonies are uncertain. As part of the registration review process, EPA is requiring field-based data on imidacloprid to better understand its potential impact on pollinators. The Agency also will be working with Federal and State officials, as well as the international community and other stakeholders, to develop data and help us understand the potential impact of the neonicotinoid insecticides on pollinators.

July 8
EPA Issues Significant New Use Rules for Two Chemical Substances
EPA is issuing significant new use rules under section 5(a)(2) of the Toxic Substances Control Act for two chemical substances which were the subject of premanufacture notices. The two substances are dodecanedioic acid, 1,12-dihydrazide and thiophene, 2,5-dibromo-3-hexyl. Today's action requires persons who intend to manufacture, import, or process either of these two substances for a use that is designated as a significant new use by this final rule to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing that activity. EPA believes that this action is necessary because these chemical substances may be hazardous to human health and the environment. The required notification would provide EPA with the opportunity to evaluate the intended use and, if necessary, to prohibit or limit that activity before it occurs.

EPA Solicits Comments on Requests To Voluntarily Cancel or Amend Registrations for Organic Arsenical Herbicides
EPA has received requests by the registrants to voluntarily cancel and/or amend their registrations to terminate uses of certain products containing the organic arsenicals. In January and February 2009, EPA reached agreement with the technical registrants of all existing organic arsenicals manufacturing-use products to eliminate, phase out, and modify certain uses. The organic arsenicals consist of monosodium methanearsonate (MSMA), disodium methanearsonate (DSMA), calcium acid methanearsonate (CAMA), and cacodylic acid and its sodium salt. The voluntary agreements steadily remove all organic arsenical pesticide product uses, except the use of MSMA on cotton, from the market and implement new restrictions to better protect drinking water resources.  Phasing out these uses is expected to accelerate the transition to new, lower risk herbicides. The public comment period closes August 7, 2009.

July 7
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: August Webcast: Evaluating Innovative Technologies Through Farm Pilot Project Coordination; Archived Webcasts Available 24/7; Follow the LPELC on Twitter; USDA Economic Research Service Releases Report on Manure for Fertilizer and Energy; SARE Offers Continuing Education Program; and New Climate Change Glossary Available. The next live webcast, scheduled for July 31, 2009, will focus on “The Carbon Footprint of Animal Agriculture.” This follows up the popular May presentation on greenhouse gas emissions. The webcast will highlight research that has been done in calculating the carbon footprint of animal agriculture—especially dairies. Speakers will especially emphasize the role of production efficiency. The speakers are: Jude Capper, Washington State University and Roger Cady, Elanco.

July 2
EPA Extends Comment Period for Renewable Fuel Standard Program
EPA is extending the comment period by 60 days on its proposed rule revising the national Renewable Fuel Standard program, commonly referred to as RFS2. The original comment period was to end on July 27, 2009 and will now end on September 25, 2009. The proposed rule would dramatically increase the volume requirements for renewable fuels, establish four categories of renewable fuels, and require some renewable fuels to achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions compared to the gasoline and diesel fuels they displace. These revisions were mandated by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

July 1
Federal and State Agencies Investigate Tannery Sludge Distribution to Northwest Missouri Farms
Results from the initial phase of a federal and state investigation into the use of leather tannery sludge as agricultural fertilizer on northwest Missouri farms do not appear to indicate any health risks posed by the levels of hexavalent chromium found in a limited number of farm soil samples, but further investigation to include more soil testing at other farms will begin early this month. EPA Region 7 and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), with assistance from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MDHSS), opened a cooperative investigation into the tannery sludge issue in late April 2009. The government investigation was launched in response to public concerns about a St. Joseph, Mo., leather tannery's distribution of waste sludge for use as agricultural fertilizer on northwest Missouri farms, and whether the sludge material contained hexavalent chromium that might pose health risks to the public.

University of Illinois Extension To Host 5th National Small Farm Conference
The 5th National Small Farm Conference, "Roadmap to Success for Small Farmers and Ranchers" will be held September 15-17, 2009 in Springfield, Illinois. The conference, held every three to four years, brings together land grant universities, community-based organizations and other stakeholders who work with small farmers and ranchers. The conference aims to strengthen collaboration and partnership among groups and provide an opportunity to share new ideas in research, extension and outreach. More information about this event can be found at USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) Web site.

EPA Proposes Stipulated Injunction Regarding 74 Pesticides and 11 Threatened or Endangered Species in the San Francisco Bay Area
On May 30, 2007, the Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit in the Federal District Court for the Northern District of California alleging that EPA failed to comply with section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in regard to 47 pesticides and 11 species found in the greater San Francisco Bay area that are listed as endangered or threatened under the ESA. EPA has reached an agreement with the plaintiff to resolve the case by having the court issue a Stipulated Injunction that would establish a series of deadlines for the Agency to make "effects determinations" and initiate consultation, as appropriate, with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for certain pesticides in regard to one or more of 11 species found in the greater San Francisco Bay area that are listed as endangered or threatened under the ESA. EPA will evaluate all comments received during the public comment period to determine whether all or part of the proposed Stipulated Injunction warrants reconsideration or revision. Comments must be received on or before July 16, 2009.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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