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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.

June 30
EPA Files Complaint Against Nevada Company for Alleged Violations of Worker Protection Standard
EPA has filed a complaint against Nevada Onion, an agricultural establishment, for the improper and unsafe use of registered pesticides, a violation of federal pesticide law. EPA is seeking up to $70,400 in civil penalties from Nevada Onion for 64 violations of the federal Worker Protection Standard. The Agency alleges that the company failed to comply with label directions requiring (1) that workers be notified of recent pesticide applications on particular fields to minimize the risk of exposure, and (2) that decontamination supplies be available to these workers in case exposure does occur. The Nevada Department of Agriculture discovered the violations during an August 2007 inspection. The inspection was initiated in response to reports of field workers seeking medical attention for significant injuries, allegedly resulting from pesticide exposure.

EPA Acts To Protect Bees
EPA has received a number of inquiries about recent bee deaths in Germany associated with the use of the pesticide clothianidin and whether this incident might be related to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Based on discussions with German authorities, EPA believes this incident is not related to CCD. The May 2008 incident resulted from inadvertent exposure of the bees to clothianidin, an insecticide used for corn seed treatment, resulting from a combination of factors, including the specific formulation of the pesticide used, weather conditions, and type of application equipment. EPA is examining its practices with respect to label requirements for seed treatment pesticides and will revise them as necessary to prevent the types of exposure that led to the bee deaths.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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June 27
New Resource Document Available for Cumulative Risk Assessments
EPA has released a final document entitled "Concepts, Methods, and Data Sources for Cumulative Health Risk Assessment of Multiple Chemicals, Exposures, and Effects: A Resource Document" (EPA/600/R-06/013F), which was prepared by the National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) within EPA's Office of Research and Development. This document focuses on two areas: (1) initiating factors for a cumulative risk assessment, with procedures for data collection and organization, and (2) technical approaches for assessing human health risks associated with a subset of cumulative risk issues (i.e., multiple chemicals, exposures, and effects). Overall, this document demonstrates the feasibility of including combinations of chemicals, exposures, effects, and their interactions into a cumulative risk assessment and is meant to assist with the conduct of multi-chemical, population-focused assessments. This document is available electronically through the NCEA.

Some Pesticide Applications Can Now Be Filed Electronically; Web Site Offers Guidance
As of July 15, the Office of Pesticide Programs will begin accepting certain types of pesticide applications and associated data electronically. The types of applications that will be accepted electronically are Section 3 applications and amendments, experimental use permits, tolerance petitions, and supplemental distributor applications. To help pesticide registrants format electronic submissions properly, EPA has established a new Web site that contains guidance for companies planning to submit pesticide applications and data electronically.

June 25
EPA Opens 11 Pesticide Registration Review Dockets for Comment; Closes Phosalone Review
EPA has established registration review dockets for 11 pesticides and has opened the public comment period for these registration 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, identified by the docket identification number for the specific pesticide of interest, must be received on or before September 23, 2008. The chemicals are:

EPA is also announcing closure of the phosalone registration review case, for which the docket was opened on February 19, 2008. The Agency has determined that because there are no longer any current phosalone Section 3 or Section 24(c) registrations, phosalone is no longer subject to registration review.

Corrections Made to PR Notice 2007-4: Labeling Revisions Required by Final Container/Containment Rule
EPA has posted a corrected version of Pesticide Registration Notice 2007-4, Labeling Revisions Required by the Final Rule "Pesticide Management and Disposal; Standards for Pesticide Containers and Containment." The Agency made some editorial corrections, including an amendment to the label language in Appendix B of the Pesticide Registration Notice to accurately repeat what is required by the container and containment regulations.

June 24
Arkansas Receives $3.7 Million Non-Point Source Management Grant
EPA has awarded $3,797,688 to the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANRC). This grant will help the state implement ANRC's non-point source management program. The funds will allow the state to implement eight projects to address a variety of non-point sources of water pollution, including urban runoff, sediment, and nutrients, as well as funding demonstrations of best management practices. ANRC will also use the funds for monitoring, education, and outreach.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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June 20
New Report Available on Ecosystems and Climate Change
EPA has released a report that can help reduce the potential impact of climate change on estuaries, forests, wetlands, coral reefs, and other sensitive ecosystems. The report, entitled "Preliminary Review of Adaptation Options for Climate-Sensitive Ecosystems and Resources," identifies strategies to protect the environment as these changes occur.

June 19
Estuaries Preparing To Be Climate Ready
EPA has selected six estuaries to be case studies for local action to protect sensitive coastal ecosystems and economies from the potential effects of climate change. This is the first step in EPA's new "Climate Ready Estuaries" effort to build local ability to adapt to climate change. The six pilots include the New Hampshire Estuaries Project, Massachusetts Bays Estuary Program, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, Albemarle-Pamlico Sounds National Estuary Program, Charlotte Harbor Estuary Program, and San Francisco Estuary Project. Each estuary program will receive technical assistance to assess and reduce their vulnerability to climate change.

June 18
Public Meeting of the FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel Will Review Pyrethroid Pesticides
The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel will meet in Arlington, Virginia, on September 9-11 to consider and review an evaluation of the common mechanism of action of pyrethroid pesticides. Pyrethroid pesticide usage has increased in the past decade in agricultural and residential settings. The Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) is in the early stages of evaluating the potential risks from increased exposure to these pesticides. As part of this evaluation, OPP is developing an analysis of the toxicity profiles of these pesticides and is evaluating whether or not some or all of the pyrethroid pesticides share a common mechanism of action (i.e., those pesticides that produce a common toxic effect by a common mechanism of toxicity). Establishing a common mechanism group is the first stage toward developing a cumulative risk assessment as required under the Food Quality Protection Act.

EPA Proposes Pesticide Tolerance Nomenclature Changes
EPA is proposing minor technical revisions to the commodity vocabulary database entitled "Food and Feed Commodity Vocabulary," listed under 40 CFR part 180, subpart A and subpart C. This database was developed to consolidate all the major Office of Pesticide Programs commodity vocabularies into one standardized vocabulary. A list of the proposed amendments is provided in the Federal Register notice. Comments must be received on or before August 18, 2008.

June 17
Owners of Maine Vacation Parcel Face EPA Fine for Filling Wetland
The owners of more than 3,200 acres of land on the western shore of Moosehead Lake face a possible EPA fine of up to $157,500 for filling 1.5 acres of freshwater wetlands on their property. The filling of wetlands, which occurred during the expansion of an existing private airstrip and the development of a rock quarry, is a violation of the federal Clean Water Act and other federal requirements designed to protect wetlands. This is the second violation of wetlands protections in the federal Clean Water Act by the property owners. In 1997, the property owners constructed a trout pond on the property, altering approximately 0.4 of an acre without first seeking a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers, as required by the federal Clean Water Act.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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June 16
Task Force Releases Action Plan To Reduce Nutrients to Mississippi River
The Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force has released an Action Plan that involves state and federal partners in reducing hypoxia in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. The 2008 Action Plan for Reducing, Mitigating, and Controlling Hypoxia in the Northern Gulf of Mexico and Improving Water Quality in the Mississippi River Basin builds upon the 2001 plan by incorporating emerging issues, innovative approaches, and the latest science, including findings from EPA's Science Advisory Board. The plan addresses pollution from the entire 31-state Mississippi River watershed.

June 12
EPA Completes Analysis of Unregistered Scotts Products
In April, EPA ordered Scotts Miracle-Gro Co., located in Marysville, Ohio, to stop selling and distributing four pesticide products. Two of these products are illegal because they were never registered with EPA and display invalid registration numbers on the labels. The other two products are currently registered with EPA. However, Scotts sold and distributed these products before they were registered, which is a violation of federal law. The labels on these two products make false or misleading claims or fail to provide adequate safety instructions to protect people and the environment. Now EPA, in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), has analyzed the two unregistered Scotts products for their individual components and potential contaminants. The analyses showed that the contents of both unregistered pesticides are typical of other consumer weed and feed products. EPA's online fact sheet provides the public with information about the Agency's actions, the safety of the products in question, and directions for what to do with existing supplies.

June 11
Comments Invited on Proposed Amendments to Container and Containment Rule
On August 16, 2006, EPA promulgated a final rule entitled "Pesticide Management and Disposal; Standards for Pesticide Containers and Containment." EPA is now proposing to amend the container and containment regulations to provide a one year extension of the labeling compliance date from August 17, 2009, to August 17, 2010; to change the phrase "sold or distributed" to "released for shipment" as associated with all of the compliance dates; to provide for exceptions to the language requirements for some specific nonrefillable packages; to allow for waivers of certain label requirements for other refillable and nonrefillable containers on a case-by-case basis; and to correct typographical and other minor errors. In addition, the Agency is proposing to amend the definitions in 40 CFR part 152 to establish a definition of "released for shipment." These changes are being proposed to address concerns raised by stakeholders and as a result of further Agency consideration. Comments must be received on or before July 11, 2008.

June 10
Watershed Academy Webcast Features New Web Site for State-Reported Water Quality Information
On EPA's free June 18 Watershed Academy Webcast, EPA experts will explain the newly released ATTAINS Web site where water quality managers and the public can go to view a wide range of state-reported water quality information. This Web site combines two formerly separate databases: the National Assessment Database and the National Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Tracking System. ATTAINS gives the "full story" showing which waters have been assessed, which are impaired, and which are being (or have been) restored. This Web site allows the user to view dynamic tables and charts that summarize state-reported information for the entire nation, for individual states and waters, and for the 10 EPA regions. An archived audio version of this Webcast, as well as previous programs, will be available online.

EPA's Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds Releases 2007 Annual Report
The Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds (OWOW) 2007 Annual Report provides a snapshot of OWOW's notable accomplishments in calendar year 2007. Accomplishments include: the completion of more than 4,000 watershed cleanup plans, the 20th anniversary celebration of the National Estuary Program, and release of the Nonpoint Source Outreach Toolbox, an on-line repository of watershed outreach materials, including nearly 800 public service announcements, radio, TV, and print ads.

EPA Offers Grants for Programs To Reduce Hypoxic Zone in Gulf of Mexico
EPA plans to award up to $4.2 million in targeted watershed grants to reduce the hypoxic zone in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The Agency is soliciting proposals that will use water quality trading programs to reduce nutrient loads, particularly from the Ohio River, the Upper Mississippi River, or the Lower Mississippi River. These three sub-basins provide the most nutrients to the Gulf, contributing to the hypoxic zone, an oxygen-depleted area that cannot support aquatic life. Excess nutrients come from a wide range of sources, including runoff from developed land, atmospheric deposition, soil erosion, agricultural fertilizers, and sewage and industrial discharges. Market-based approaches like water quality trading that use innovative pollutant cap and trade programs can accelerate the restoration of the Gulf and help achieve major reductions in pollution at lower costs. Grant proposals must be submitted by Sept. 9, 2008.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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June 9
New Total Maximum Daily Loads and Stormwater Web Page Released
The Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is implemented via the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater permitting system. States and EPA Regions have used a variety of methods to develop stormwater-source TMDLs during the past decade. With the expansion of NDPES Stormwater regulations to smaller municipalities and smaller construction activities, there has been increasing demand for more detailed quantification of stormwater allocations in TMDLs that are more useful for implementation in NDPES permits.

June 6
AAPCO / SFIREG Sets Public Meeting
The Association of American Pesticide Control Officials (AAPCO) / State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group (SFIREG) Working Committee on Pesticide Operations and Management (WC/POM) will meet June 23 and 24 in Arlington, Virginia. A tentative agenda is included in the Federal Register announcement.

2008 Farm Bill Exit EPA
Overall spending on conservation programs increased by $7.9 billion in the new Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008. The new law authorizes 32 million acres for enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Program from 2010-2012; increases the maximum enrollment in the Wetlands Reserve Program to 3,041,000 acres and reestablishes a baseline of $1.3 billion; increases funding for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program by $3.4 billion; provides $1.1 billion in new funding for the Conservation Security Program to enroll nearly 13 million acres per year; provides $438 million in new funding to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay region, and reauthorizes the Small Watershed Rehabilitation Program at $100 million through 2012.

National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center June Newsletter and Webcast Exit EPA
The June edition of the National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPELC) newsletter is available. Topics include: "The Air Quality Team Will Present A Webcast Double Feature on June 27 and July 18, 2008 on Ammonia: The Air-Water Interface and Federal Air Regulations for Animal Feeding Operations; USGS Report Researches Water Consumed by Livestock Production; Water Quality Credit Trading is the Focus of August Workshop; Great Lakes Manure Handling Expo; and Want to Reduce Ammonia Emissions from Layers? Feed Them Fiber!" There will be two Webcasts in June. The first Webcast will be on June 20, 2008, and will feature Chris Henry, University of Nebraska, Mark Rice, North Carolina State University, Mike Westendorf, Rutgers University, and Fred Kelly, USDA NRCS. They will discuss "Managing Manure on Small Farms." The second Webcast will be on June 27, 2008, and will feature Randy Martin, Utah State University, Jessica Davis, Colorado State University, and Pius Ndewga, Washington State University. They will discuss "Ammonia: The Air-Water Interface."

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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