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News Archive: June 2011

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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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.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 Approves Two Insecticides for Control of Invasive Stink Bug
On June 24, 2011 EPA approved, for emergency use, the insecticide dinotefuran (trade names Venom and Scorpion) on tree fruit to help manage populations of the brown marmorated stink bug, an invasive insect that has caused extensive yield losses in tree fruit production in the mid-Atlantic region. The approval, known as an emergency exemption, applies to Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, North Carolina and New Jersey. Under the exemption, producers of stone fruit (such as peaches, plums and cherries) and pome fruit (including apples and pears) are allowed to manage the brown marmorated stink bug with two applications of dinotefuran by ground equipment per season.

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June 24
EPA Seeks Public Comments on the Draft Reasonable and Prudent Alternative in NMFS’ Draft Biological Opinion on the Proposed Pesticides General Permit
EPA is seeking public comment on a Reasonable and Prudent Alternative (RPA) in the draft Biological Opinion by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) that concludes issuance of the Pesticide General Permit (PGP) is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of endangered and threatened species and result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat that has been designated for such species, absent the implementation of the RPA. EPA wishes to be clear that this solicitation of comment is not pursuant to notice and comment rulemaking. NMFS has agreed to consider comments collected by EPA and to modify its suggested RPA if and as appropriate, but NMFS will not respond to comments as would be done in a rulemaking proceeding. The comment period ends on July 25, 2011.

Federal Agencies Partner to Revitalize Urban Waterways In Communities Across The U.S.
A new federal partnership--led by EPA, the Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture and coordinated by the White House Domestic Policy Council--the Urban Waters Federal Partnership (UWFP) aims to stimulate regional and local economies, create local jobs, improve quality of life, and protect Americans’ health by revitalizing urban waterways in under-served communities across the country. UWFP, an innovative federal union composed of 11 agencies, will focus its initial efforts on seven pilot locations: the Patapsco Watershed (Maryland), the Anacostia Watershed (Washington DC/Maryland), the Bronx & Harlem River Watersheds (New York), the South Platte River in Denver (Colorado), the Los Angeles River Watershed (California), the Lake Pontchartrain Area (New Orleans, LA), and the Northwest Indiana Area. Each of the pilot locations already has a strong restoration effort underway, spearheaded by local governments and community organizations. Lessons learned from these pilot locations will be transferred to other cities in the country.

EPA Proposes To Synchronize the Expiration Dates of EPA Pesticide Applicator Certificates With the Underlying State or Tribal Applicator Certificate
Restricted use pesticides (RUP) are those which may generally cause unreasonable adverse effects on the environment without additional restrictions. RUPs may only be applied by or under the direct supervision of an applicator certified as competent by a certifying agency. A State, tribe, or Federal agency becomes a certifying agency by receiving approval from EPA on their certification plan. In areas not covered by a certifying agency, EPA may establish a Federal certification plan and issue Federal certificates directly. In cases where EPA will issue a Federal certificate based on an existing valid certificate from a certifying agency, this proposed rule would synchronize the expiration dates on the Federal certificate with that of the certificate on which it is based. Submit comments by August 23, 2011.

June 21
Oregon Dairy Pays $12,000 for Alleged Animal Waste Discharges
An Oregon dairy has agreed to pay a $12,000 penalty to settle animal waste discharge violations at its dairy located in Tillamook, Oregon. According to EPA, the violations were noted during an inspection of the operation in January 2010. During that inspection, EPA and Oregon Department of Agriculture field personnel determined that animal waste had been discharged from the dairy into Hall Slough, a tributary to Wilson River which flows into Tillamook Bay. Samples of the discharges from the facility showed a high concentration of E. coli bacteria. The discharges violated a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit issued to the facility by the State of Oregon. Since being notified of the violations, the dairy has taken steps to correct the violations.

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June 14
EPA Requests Methyl Bromide Critical Use Exemption Applications for 2014
EPA is soliciting applications for the critical use exemption from the phaseout of methyl bromide for 2014. Applications for the 2014 critical use exemption must be postmarked on or before August 15, 2011.

June 10
EPA Proposes Policy on Nanoscale Materials in Pesticide Products
EPA announced today it plans to obtain information on nanoscale materials in pesticide products. Under the requirements of the law, EPA will gather information on what nanoscale materials are present in pesticide products to determine whether the registration of a pesticide may cause unreasonable adverse effects on the environment and human health. Comments will be accepted until July 18, 2011. The notice will be available at www.regulations.gov in docket number EPA–HQ–OPP–2010-0197.

June 9
Obama Administration Establishes White House Rural Council To Strengthen Rural Communities
The White House today announced the establishment of the first White House Rural Council. While rural communities face challenges, they also present economic potential. To address these challenges, build on the Administration’s rural economic strategy, and improve the implementation of that strategy, the President signed an Executive Order establishing the White House Rural Council. The Council will coordinate programs across government to encourage public-private partnerships to promote further economic prosperity and quality of life in rural communities nationwide. Chaired by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, the Council will be responsible for providing recommendations for investment in rural areas and will coordinate Federal engagement with a variety of rural stakeholders, including agricultural organizations, small businesses, and state, local, and tribal governments.

June 8
Notice of a Meeting of the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee (FRRCC)
The Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee will hold an open meeting on Wednesday, June 22, 2011 and on Thursday, June 23, 2011 in Arlington, VA. This meeting will further the discussion of specific topics of unique relevance to agriculture such as effective approaches to addressing water quality issues associated with agricultural production, in such a way as to provide thoughtful advice and useful insights to the Agency as it crafts environmental policies and programs that affect and engage agriculture and rural communities. A copy of the meeting agenda will be posted at the FRRCC Meeting Calendar Web page.

June 6
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: June Webcast - "Improving Implementation of Nutrient Management Plans (NMPs);" July Webcast - "Live From the North American Manure Expo;" LPELC Outreach Team; Webcast Archive; AgSTAR Conference; Air Quality Paper; NOP Handbook; Precision and Manure; Tropical Methane Emissions; Distiller's Grains; and Outdoor Dairy. The June webcast is scheduled for June 24, 2011. Dr. Shawn Hawkins will moderate a webcast on implementing nutrient management plans (NMPs) at permitted and non-permitted animal feeding operations (AFOs). This webcast will cover three topics to help AFO operators understand how terms of CAFO discharge/operating permits relate back to the NMP, and how the NMP implementation can be improved and better documented: (1) U.S. EPA nutrient management plan permit terms, (2) perspectives on how to better implement a NMP from an Extension educator, professional nutrient management planner, and farmer, and (3) improved record keeping. Presenters: Caitlin Conover, EPA; Kevin Erb, University of Wisconsin-Extension; Rachel Mueller, Cornerstone Crop Consulting, LLC; Melony Wilson, University of Georgia; and Shawn Hawkins, University of Tennessee. The webcast broadcasts at 2:30 Eastern (1:30 pm Central, 12:30 pm Mountain, 11:30 am Pacific). There are tentative plans to live broadcast some of the educational sessions from the North American Manure Expo to be held in Norfolk, Nebraska on July 20, 2011. Presentations will be recorded and posted for on-demand viewing. More information will be provided as the sessions are scheduled. Visit the Manure Expo website to view the agenda.

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