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News Archive: June 2010

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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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.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 28
EPA Requests Comments on Recordkeeping Requirements for Producers, Registrants, and Applicants of Pesticides and Pesticide Devices
Section 8 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) states that the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency may prescribe regulations requiring producers, registrants and applicants for registration to maintain such records with respect to their operations and the effective enforcement of this Act as the Administrator determines are necessary for the effective enforcement of FIFRA and to make such records available for inspection and copying as specified in the statute. EPA is soliciting comments and information to enable it to: (1) Evaluate whether the proposed collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility. (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the Agency's estimates of the burdens of the proposed collections of information. (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected. (4) Minimize the burden of the collections of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated or electronic collection technologies or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. Comments must be submitted on or before August 27, 2010.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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June 23
EPA Proposes Use of Sufficiently Sensitive Test Methods for NPDES Permit Applications and Reporting
EPA is proposing minor amendments to its Clean Water Act (CWA) regulations to codify that under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program, only "sufficiently sensitive" analytical test methods can be used when completing an NPDES permit application and when performing sampling and analysis pursuant to monitoring requirements in an NPDES permit. Comments on this action must be received or postmarked on or before midnight August 9, 2010.

July 15th Watershed Academy Webcast: Healthy Lakeshores Through Better Shoreline Stewardship
EPA's first-ever assessment of the ecological condition of the nation’s lakes, the National Lakes Assessment, identifies poor lakeshore habitat and high levels of nutrients as the leading stressors affecting the biological health of lakes. Experts from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Maine will share innovative local and statewide lakeshore protection initiatives, touching on both voluntary and regulatory measures.

June 21
Science Advisory Board Staff Office Request for Nominations of Experts for a Nutrient Criteria Review Panel

The Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office is requesting public nominations of experts to form an SAB panel to review EPA's technical support document on development of numeric nutrient criteria for Florida's estuarine and coastal waters, and southern canals. Nominations should be submitted by July 12, 2010.

June 18
EPA Seeks Public Comment on Strategic Plan To Move Forward on Agency Priorities

EPA is seeking public comment on its draft FY 2011-2015 strategic plan, which helps advance Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s priorities and the mission to protect human health and the environment. Administrator Jackson’s seven priorities are: taking action on climate change, improving air quality, protecting America’s waters, cleaning up our communities, assuring the safety of chemicals, expanding the conversation on environmentalism and working for environmental justice, and building strong state and tribal partnerships. The public comment period begins June 18 and closes July 30. EPA will use stakeholder feedback to prepare the final strategic plan, which will be released by September 30. Comments on the draft strategic plan may be submitted through Regulations.gov. The Docket ID number is EPA-HQ-OA-2010-0486.

EPA Reaffirms December 2010 Deadline for Bay TMDL
As part of the process for restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, EPA has reaffirmed the federal-state commitment to establish the Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) - or pollution diet - by the end of this year. The Bay TMDL will set limits on nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment throughout the 64,000-square-mile watershed. Backed by a strong accountability framework, the Bay TMDL includes state action plans, a series of two-year commitments, close monitoring and, if necessary, federal accountability measures to spur progress. By July 1, EPA will allocate the pollution limits for nitrogen and phosphorus among the six watershed states and the District of Columbia, allowing for potential load changes from model updates. By August 15, EPA will assign allocations for sediment. EPA will issue a draft TMDL for a 45-day public comment period on September 24. The final Phase 1 implementation plans are due November 29, and EPA will establish the Bay TMDL by December 31.

June 17
EPA Seeks Input on NMFS' Draft Measures To Protect Endangered Pacific Salmon from 12 Pesticides
EPA is seeking comments from pesticide users, registrants, and other interested parties on draft Reasonable and Prudent Measures (RPMs) and Alternatives (RPAs) included in a draft Biological Opinion received from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on June 16, 2010. This draft Biological Opinion addresses the potential effects from 12 pesticides to Pacific salmon and steelhead listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The 12 pesticides are: Azinphos Methyl, Bensulide, Dimethoate, Disulfoton, Ethoprop, Fenamiphos, Methidathion, Methamidophos, Methyl Parathion, Naled, Phorate, and Phosmet. EPA is also encouraging input from State, Tribal, and local governments on the draft RPMs and RPAs to determine whether the alternatives or measures can be reasonably implemented and whether there are different measures that may provide adequate protection but result in less impact to pesticide users. The draft Biological Opinion is included in the docket (EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0654) and posted to EPA’s Web site. Comments on the draft RPMs and RPAs must be submitted within 30 days of the date the Biological Opinion was included in the docket in order for EPA to consider these comments in its response to the draft Biological Opinion. Comments received by EPA on other aspects of the draft Biological Opinion will be forwarded to the Service for their consideration. No extensions to this comment period will be provided because NMFS has a legal deadline to issue the final Biological Opinion by August 31, 2010.

June 15
Feedlot Receives EPA Compliance Order To Stop Polluting Snake River Tributary

The owner and operator of a Boise-based livestock feedlot has been issued an EPA Compliance Order for alleged violations of the federal Clean Water Act. The feedlot has a winter feeding operation which confines over 1,000 head of cattle. Under today’s order, the company is ordered to cease all discharges of pollutants to waters of the United States and remove all livestock from areas of direct access to those waters until access to nearby waterways is blocked. During an EPA inspection, inspectors noted that cattle had direct access to Corder Creek, a tributary to the Snake River. Manure and urine were observed in and along Corder Creek where cattle have direct access. In addition, samples collected from Corder Creek (in the feedlot) showed extremely high levels of bacteria and nutrients.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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June 15
Proposed Change to Pesticide Containers and Containment Labeling Compliance Date
EPA is proposing to amend the pesticide container and containment regulations to provide a 1-year extension of the 40 CFR 156.159 labeling compliance date from August 16, 2010 to August 16, 2011. This change is being proposed to address concerns raised by stakeholders and as a result of further Agency consideration. Comments must be received on or before July 15, 2010.

EPA Extends Compliance Date for Pesticide Container and Containment Labeling Regulations
EPA is amending the pesticide container and containment regulations to provide a 4-month extension of the 40 CFR 156.159 labeling compliance date from August 16, 2010 to December 16, 2010. This change is being made because there is insufficient time for pesticide registrants, EPA and states to complete the label amendments. This change will avoid the temporary removal of a significant number of pesticides from the market while a proposed 1-year extension proceeds through the rulemaking process, and while pesticide registrants, EPA and states work to update the pesticide labels to comply with the label requirements in the container and containment regulations.

June 11
EPA Orders Cattle Feeding Company To Change Stock Watering Practice at Grand View, ID, Feedlot To Protect the Snake River
EPA has issued a cattle feeding company a legal order to halt discharges from its nearly 700-acre feedlot complex near Grand View, Idaho. The facility confines between 30,000 and 65,000 cattle year round at this feedlot facility near the Snake River in southeastern Idaho. EPA’s order directs the facility to immediately cease all discharge of pollutants to waters of the U.S. This action is particularly important because the Snake River has been designated as “impaired” for both bacteria and nutrients. Water samples pulled from the facility’s discharge were shown to contain 1600 colonies of fecal bacteria per 100 ml of sample.

Notice of Public Meeting of the FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel
There will be a 4-day meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) to consider and review a set of scientific issues related to the Re-Evaluation of Human Health Effects of Atrazine: Review of Non-Cancer Effects and Drinking Water Monitoring Frequency. The meeting will be held on September 14 - 17, 2010, in Arlington, VA.

June 10
Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program Regional Grant Opportunity
EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP), in coordination with the EPA Regional Offices, announces the availability of approximately $530,000 for assistance agreements to further the pesticide risk reduction goals of the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP). Proposed projects must address implementation of integrated pest management approaches that reduce the risks associated with pesticide use in an agricultural or non-agricultural setting and demonstrate the importance and relevancy of the project to the goals of PESP. Proposals are due July 26, 2010.

Manufacturer To Pay $3,568 Civil Penalty for Failure To Properly Label and Advertise Pesticide Product
A Kansas City, MO pesticide manufacturer has agreed to pay a $3,568 civil penalty to the United States for failing to properly label a restricted use pesticide, and failing to identify the product as a restricted use pesticide in advertising messages. In September 2008, the Missouri Department of Agriculture conducted an inspection of the facility, and found that it was holding for sale or distribution a quantity of Sanafoam Vaporooter II that was misbranded. The product was considered misbranded because its labeling did not include EPA-required language about hazards to humans, animals and the environment; information about environmental use precautions; and requirements about protective clothing and equipment. Later, in August 2009 and February 2010, in advertising that appeared in trade industry publications and on its company website, the facility failed to identify Sanafoam Vaporooter II as a restricted use pesticide, as required under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

June 9
Pesticide Program Grant Will Advance Environmental Justice
The Office of Pesticide Programs has published online a request seeking proposals to support the Pesticides and National Strategies for Healthcare Providers, Clinical Training Program. This Clinical Training Program grant will help further EPA’s dedication to Environmental Justice by training clinicians and other stakeholders in the agricultural and medical community to recognize and manage pesticide-related health conditions. Our investment of up to $1.2 million over five years will improve care of farmworkers and their families, as this community is generally understood to be medically underserved and therefore at greater likelihood to have exposure incidents and illnesses that go undetected. Proposals will be accepted through July 26, 2010.

Three Beef Feedlots in Iowa Face Civil Enforcement Actions as EPA Continues Emphasis on Compliance with Clean Water Act
EPA Region 7 has taken a series of civil enforcement actions against three beef feedlot operations in Iowa for violations of the Clean Water Act, as part of a continuing enforcement emphasis aimed at ending harmful discharges of pollutants from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) into the region’s rivers and streams. Runoff from CAFOs may contain such pollutants as pathogens and sediment, as well as nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous, all of which can harm aquatic life and impact water quality. Of the three most recent enforcement actions, one involves a civil penalty against a CAFO for failure to comply with its national Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The remaining two enforcement actions involve administrative compliance orders issued to medium-sized CAFOs, which are feedlots that confine between 300 and 999 cattle. EPA has documented significant water quality problems associated with medium CAFOs and is making enforcement at these operations a priority.

EPA Moves To Terminate All Uses of Insecticide Endosulfan To Protect Health of Farmworkers and Wildlife
EPA is taking action to end all uses of the insecticide endosulfan in the United States. Endosulfan, which is used on vegetables, fruits, and cotton, can pose unacceptable neurological and reproductive risks to farmworkers and wildlife and can persist in the environment. New data generated in response to the agency’s 2002 decision have shown that risks faced by workers are greater than previously known. EPA also finds that there are risks above the agency’s level of concern to aquatic and terrestrial wildlife, as well as to birds and mammals that consume aquatic prey which have ingested endosulfan. Farmworkers can be exposed to endosulfan through inhalation and contact with the skin. Endosulfan is used on a very small percentage of the U.S. food supply and does not present a risk to human health from dietary exposure.

June 8
Pesticide Registration Review Schedule/Program Update Information Available
EPA has issued an updated schedule for the registration review program, the periodic review of all registered pesticides mandated by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The updated schedule provides the timetable for opening public dockets for the next four years of the registration review program, from fiscal year (FY) 2010 to 2013, and includes information on dockets that opened in FY 2007 through FY 2009. The schedule reflects the Agency’s plan to continue to open about 70 new dockets each year through 2017. Following this schedule, EPA will complete the first 15-year cycle of registration review by October 1, 2022, for all pesticides registered as of October 1, 2007. The registration review schedule for FY 2010 to 2013 reflects EPA’s decision to review all pesticides in two additional groups – the fumigants and the triazines – within the same time frame. In recent years, the Agency moved the fumigants and triazines ahead in the schedule so that dockets for all pesticides in these groups will open in FY 2013.

June 7
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 now available. Topics include: July Webcast - Managing Manure Spills and AFO/CAFO Emergency Planning; Whole Farm Nutrient Balance; Can Trees Play a Role in Reducing Livestock (and Poultry) Odor?; Implementation Guidance on CAFO Regulations - CAFOs That Discharge or Are Proposing to Discharge; Put More Nitrogen in Milk, Not Manure; 2010 Manure Expo; and more. The next webcast, scheduled for July 9, 2010 at 2:30 PM, is entitled “Managing Manure Spills and AFO/CAFO Emergency Planning.” Tommy Bass (Montana State University) will moderate a webcast on practical and legal issues related to Emergency Action Plans for AFOs and CAFOs, including two case studies on liquid manure accident recovery. Speakers include Kevin Erb (University of Wisconsin-Extension), Melony Wilson (University of Georgia), and Shawn Hawkins (University of Tennessee, Knoxville).

June 4
Kansas City Pesticide Manufacturer To Pay $6,000 Civil Penalty for Importing Misbranded Pesticide from Argentina
A Kansas City, MO pesticide manufacturer has agreed to pay a $6,000 civil penalty to the United States to settle allegations related to the importation of more than 147 tons of a misbranded pesticide from Argentina. According to a consent agreement and final order, the facility violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) by importing a 294,880-pound shipment of the misbranded pesticide 2,4-D Acid to Kansas City in June 2009. The shipment consisted of 152 bags of the pesticide, each containing 1,940 pounds of technical grade 2,4-D Acid, which the company uses to manufacture other pesticide products. Under FIFRA, the bags were considered to be misbranded because they did not have required labeling that must include directions for safe and proper use and handling. As part of the consent agreement, the facility has certified that it is now in compliance with FIFRA and its regulations.

EPA Proposes Definition of Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials That Are Solid Waste
EPA is proposing a definition of non-hazardous solid waste that would be used to identify whether non-hazardous secondary materials burned as fuels or used as ingredients in combustion units are solid waste. EPA is also proposing that non-hazardous secondary materials that have been discarded, and are therefore solid wastes, may be rendered products after they have been processed (altered chemically or physically) into a fuel or ingredient product. This proposed rule is necessary to identify units for the purpose of developing certain standards under sections 112 and 129 of the Clean Air Act (CAA). In addition to this proposed rule, EPA is concurrently proposing air emission requirements under CAA section 112 for industrial, commercial, and institutional boilers and process heaters, as well as air emission requirements under CAA section 129 for commercial and industrial solid waste incineration units. Comments must be received on or before July 19, 2010.

Online Pesticide Label Training To Improve Safety and Efficiency
EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) has made new pesticide label training available online. The training was developed primarily for EPA staff who review and approve pesticide labels, but the material is also expected to be useful for pesticide safety educators and for pesticide industry employees who develop and submit labels to EPA.

June 3
EPA Phases-In Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Title V Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule
EPA is tailoring the applicability criteria that determine which stationary sources and modification projects become subject to permitting requirements for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and title V programs of the Clean Air Act (CAA). This rulemaking is necessary because without it, PSD and title V requirements would apply, as of January 2, 2011, at the 100 or 250 tons per year (tpy) levels provided under the CAA, greatly increasing the number of required permits, imposing undue costs on small sources, overwhelming the resources of permitting authorities, and severely impairing the functioning of the programs. EPA is relieving these resource burdens by phasing in the applicability of these programs to GHG sources, starting with the largest GHG emitters. This rule establishes two initial steps of the phase-in. The rule also commits the agency to take certain actions on future steps addressing smaller sources, but excludes certain smaller sources from PSD and title V permitting for GHG emissions until at least April 30, 2016.

EPA Announces New Members of Agricultural Advisory Committee
EPA today announced new members of the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee (FRRCC) for its 2010-2012 term. The FRRCC is an independent committee that advises EPA on a wide range of environmental issues of importance to agriculture and rural communities. Committee members were selected from a large pool of applicants responding to a request for nominations published Nov. 6, 2009 in the Federal Register. New members include representatives from academia, industry (e.g., agriculture and allied industries), non-governmental organizations, and state, local, and tribal governments. FRRCC members will provide useful insight to the agency -- on topics such as non-point source water pollution, agricultural air issues, and environmental markets -- as it crafts environmental policies important to agriculture and rural communities.

June 2
EPA Orders Manheim Farm To Cease Unpermitted Waste Discharges
EPA today announced that it has ordered a Manheim PA farm to stop discharging pollutants to a stream without a required Clean Water Act permit. On April 1, EPA inspected an egg-laying operation with approximately 36,000 hens and a dairy farm with about 80 dairy cows on the same property. The inspection determined that pollutants, including nitrogen and phosphorus from animal manure from both operations were discharged into an unnamed tributary of Chickies Creek, a tributary of the Susquehanna River. EPA is ordering the facility to cease discharging pollutants to the waters until they have the required permit. The farmers must also submit a compliance plan to EPA explaining what actions the facility has taken and will implement to comply with the Clean Water Act.

EPA Orders Two Virginia Farms To Cease Unpermitted Waste Discharges to the Shenandoah River
EPA today announced that it has ordered two Virginia farms to cease discharging pollutants to a stream without a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, as required by the Clean Water Act. On April 14, 2010, EPA conducted a Clean Water Act inspection of a chicken broiler grower which confines approximately 100,000 chickens. The inspection found that the farm was improperly storing large piles of uncovered chicken manure and evidence that pollutants, including nitrogen and phosphorus, were discharged into Turley Creek, a tributary of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River. On April 15, 2010, EPA also inspected a dairy and turkey growing operation confining approximately 250 mature dairy cows, 275 heifers, and 22,800 turkeys. The inspection determined that pollutants, including nitrogen and phosphorus from animal manure were being discharged into an unnamed tributary of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River and the Shenandoah River itself contrary to the requirements of the Clean Water Act. EPA is ordering the facilities to cease discharging pollutants to the waters until they have applied for and received authorization to discharge via a Clean Water Act Discharge permit.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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June 2
EPA Proposes New Permit Requirements for Pesticide Discharges
EPA is proposing a new permit requirement that would decrease the amount of pesticides discharged to our nation's waters and protect human health and the environment. This action is in response to an April 9, 2009 court decision that found that pesticide discharges to U.S. waters were pollutants, thus requiring a permit. The proposed permit, released for public comment and developed in collaboration with states, would require all operators to reduce pesticide discharges by using the lowest effective amount of pesticide, prevent leaks and spills, calibrate equipment and monitor for and report adverse incidents. Additional controls, such as integrated pest management practices, are built into the permit for operators who exceed an annual treatment area threshold. EPA will hold three public meetings, a public hearing and a webcast on the draft general permit to present the proposed requirements of the permit, the basis for those requirements and to answer questions. EPA will accept written comments on the draft permit for 45 days after publication in the Federal Register (through July 19, 2010).

June 1
Region 10 Strategic Agricultural Initiative (SAI) Grant Opportunity
EPA Region 10 is seeking applications from eligible organizations that will promote the transition to reduced-risk pest management practices in agriculture to protect human health and the environment. The Strategic Agricultural Initiative (SAI) program focuses financial resources primarily on minor agricultural crop production. Grant activities that are supported under the SAI program and this Request for Applications (RFA) include: education, extension, demonstration, and studies for Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) transition and reduced risk pest management practices in agriculture. Project activities should support achieving the adoption of reduced risk pest management practices, and/or ecologically based Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Closing date for applications: July 15, 2010.

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