Jump to main content.

Newsroom  |  Alerts  |  News Links  |  News Archive  |  Email News 

News Archive: March 2009

You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more about PDF, and for a link to the free Acrobat Reader.

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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.

March 31
Farmers Cooperative Agrees to Help Control Invasive Weed
As part of a legal settlement for alleged violations of federal laws that apply to the proper sale of pesticides, a farmers cooperative in Arcadia, Iowa, has agreed to help the Crawford County Conservation District in its efforts to control the invasion of an aquatic weed in two local lakes. The Farmers Cooperative Elevator Company, also known as Farmers Coop, will pay a settlement penalty of $4,290 to the United States, under terms of a consent agreement and final order filed today by EPA Region 7 in Kansas City, Kansas. Additionally, Farmers Coop has agreed to provide eight gallons of the pesticide SONAR to the conservation district for use in controlling the growth of brittle naiad in Yellow Smoke and Nelson Park lakes. If left uncontrolled, brittle naiad could fill the lakes with thick mats of weeds that would adversely affect the lakes' aquatic life and recreational use.

Iowa State University Gets $600K in Grants To Improve Gulf of Mexico
Iowa State University has been awarded three grants totaling $600,000 through EPA's national Targeted Watersheds Grant Program to reduce pollutants in Iowa watersheds that contribute to the oxygen-depleted zone in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The watershed projects will support agricultural conservation measures and create a variety of innovative programs to reduce water pollution. EPA initiated the Targeted Watersheds Grant Program in 2002 to encourage successful community-based approaches to protect and restore the nation's watersheds. Watershed health is important to providing clean, safe water where Americans live, work and play. So far, more than $55 million has been provided through the Targeted Watershed Grants.

EPA Releases New Guidance on Environmental Models
EPA has released a guidance document on the development, evaluation and application of environmental models used to inform environmental decision making. This new resource also provides greater transparency of EPA’s use of models and guidance on the use of proprietary tools and software. EPA develops and uses a wide range of computer models to simulate the fate of various pollutants, estimate pollution’s impact on public health and the environment, and evaluate the cost and benefits of alternative policies. EPA has been a global leader in the development and use of environmental computer models for environmental protection and continues to improve model development and use. More information available from the Council for Regulatory Environmental Modeling.

March 30
EPA Delays the Effective Date of the SPCC Final Rule
EPA is delaying the effective date of the final rule that amends the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) regulations promulgated in the Federal Register on Dec. 5, 2008, in accordance with the memorandum from the Office of Management and Budget entitled, “Implementation of Memorandum Concerning Regulatory Review” (M-09-08, January 21, 2009). The amendments will now become effective on January 14, 2010. Additionally, EPA is requesting public comment on whether a further delay of the effective date may be warranted. Comments must be received on or before May 1, 2009.

March 25
EPA Region 6 Seeks Comment on CAFO Permit
EPA Region 6 is proposing a general permit regulating concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) located on state lands in Oklahoma. This National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permit is required by the Clean Water Act if pollutants will be discharged or are proposed to be discharged from CAFOs into our nation’s waterways. These permits explain the types of allowable discharges and are written to protect public health and the environment. The proposed CAFO general permit continues many requirements already in place. These include nutrient management plans, manure and wastewater storage design and waste storage closure provisions. It also incorporates new requirements established in 2008. EPA will continue its extensive coordination with the CAFO industry, Oklahoma regulatory agencies, tribal and local governments, environmental groups and other interested parties to ensure the permit will be both effective and viable. Comments must be submitted in writing to EPA on or before April 24, 2009.

New Strategic Plan Released for Evaluating the Toxicity of Chemicals
EPA released the “U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Strategic Plan for Evaluating the Toxicity of Chemicals.” This strategic plan outlines a new scientific approach that will allow EPA to assess risks from many chemicals and mixtures by adopting new toxicity testing methods that use recent advances in molecular biology, genomics, and computational sciences. When fully implemented, EPA will be able to screen thousands of environmental chemicals quickly for potentially harmful effects. The strategic plan will also allow EPA scientists to look at how children may react differently to the same chemicals as adults, thus providing better health protection for children.

EPA Orders Restoration of Slick Creek in Worland, Wyoming
EPA has issued a compliance order for violations of the Clean Water Act in Worland, Wyoming. Allegedly, materials were discharged into Slick Creek and its adjacent wetlands without a permit. Slick Creek and its wetlands are tributaries to the Bighorn River. The EPA order requires restoration of the impacted areas to pre-impact conditions and grade.

EPA Announces Public Meetings To Discuss Proposed Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule
EPA is announcing two public hearings to be held for the proposed rule "Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases," which will be published separately in the Federal Register. One hearing will be held in Arlington, Virginia on April 6 and 7, 2009. The other hearing will be held in Sacramento, California, on April 16, 2009. In a separate notice of proposed rulemaking, EPA is proposing a regulation to require reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors of the economy.

EPA Announces Meeting To Discuss Pyrethroid Pesticides
There will be a 3-day meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) to consider and review an evaluation of the common mechanism of action of pyrethroid pesticides. The meeting will be held on June 16-18, 2009, in Alexandria, Virginia.

EPA Opens Two New Biopesticide Registration Review Dockets for Comment
EPA has established registration review dockets for garlic oil (Docket ID # EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0113) and capsaicin (Docket ID # EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0121) and has opened the public comment period for these registration reviews. Through this program, EPA is ensuring that each pesticide’s registration is based on current scientific knowledge, including its effects on human health and the environment. Comments must be received on or before May 26, 2009.

Two Antimicrobial Pesticide Dockets Opened for Review and Comment
EPA has established registration review dockets for chloroxylenol (Docket ID # EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0010) and zinc, zinc salts and zeolites (Docket ID # EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0011). The Agency identifies in each docket the areas where public comment is specifically requested, though comment in any area is welcome. Comments must be received on or before June 23, 2009.

March 24
Environmental Justice Grant Will Aid Eastern Washington Farm Worker Communities
The Farm Worker Pesticide Project, located in Seattle, Washington, is receiving a $20,000 Environmental Justice Grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. This project seeks to provide information to farm workers, their families and communities on the public health impacts of pesticide exposures and actions they can take to protect themselves from exposure. Further, it aims to educate workers on mitigations and alternatives to pesticide use, while informing them about the public policy processes governing pesticide regulation. The project accomplishes these goals by intensive community outreach, developing and enhancing multi-sector networks at the community level and by facilitating opportunities for meaningful involvement.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

Top of Page

March 20
Reregistration Review Dockets Open for Comment for Various Pesticides
EPA announces the availability of the Reregistration Eligibility Decisions (REDs) for the pesticides Diiodomethyl p-tolyl sulfone (docket ID# EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-1151), Busan 77 (docket ID# EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-0834), and Organic Esters of Phosphoric Acid (docket ID# EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-1166). The Agency's risk assessments and other related documents also are available in the dockets. Through these programs, EPA is ensuring that all pesticides meet current health and safety standards. Comments must be received on or before May 19, 2009.

March 19
EPA Issues Latest Information on Toxic Chemical Releases
EPA has released an updated report on the amount of toxic chemicals released into the U.S. environment. According to EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), the latest data from the calendar year 2007 show an overall decrease of five percent in releases since 2006. Releases to air decreased seven percent and releases to water decreased five percent. This year’s annual publication of the data includes 650 chemicals from 22,000 facilities. TRI provides the American public with vital information on chemical releases to communities and is an important tool industry can use to gauge its progress in reducing pollution. TRI reporting includes toxics managed in landfills and underground injection wells, as well as those released into water and the air. TRI tracks the chemicals and industrial sectors specified by the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act of 1986 and its amendments. The Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 also mandates that TRI reports include data on toxic chemicals treated on site, recycled, and burned for energy recovery. Together, these laws require facilities in certain industries to report annually on releases, disposal and other waste management activities related to these chemicals. Recently, TRI reporting changed with the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act, signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 11. The new law returns TRI to the more comprehensive reporting requirements that were in effect before December 21, 2006.

March 18
Caprylic Acid Final Work Plan and Registration Review Docket Open for Comment
EPA has established a Final Work Plan and Proposed Registration Review decision for caprylic (Octanoic) acid (docket ID# EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0477) and has opened the public comment period for this registration review decision. Comments must be received on or before May 18, 2009.

EPA Opens Three New Pesticide Registration Review Dockets for Comment
EPA has established registration review dockets for the following pesticides, and is opening the public comment period for these registration reviews:

Comments must be received on or before June 16, 2009.

Final Registration Review Decision Available for Capric Acid
EPA announces the availability of its final registration review decision for the pesticide Capric (Decanonic) Acid (docket ID# EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-1040). The docket for registration review of this pesticide case includes the final registration review decision documents as well as other relevant documents related to the registration review of the subject case.

Final Registration Review Decisions Available for Sodium Hydroxide
EPA announces the availability of its final registration review decision for the pesticide Sodium Hydroxide (docket ID# EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-0922). The docket for registration review includes the final registration review decision documents as well as other relevant documents related to the registration review of the subject case.

EPA Opens Twelve New Pesticide Registration Review Dockets for Comment
EPA has established registration review dockets for the following pesticides, and is opening the public comment period for these registration reviews:

Comments must be received on or before May 18, 2009.

March 16
EPA Announces Public Meeting To Discuss Proposed TSCA Rule
EPA will hold a public meeting to give members of the public an opportunity to comment on a proposed rule under section 4(a)(1)(B) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to require manufacturers, importers, and processors of certain high production volume (HPV) chemical substances to conduct testing to obtain screening level data for health and environmental effects and chemical fate. Opportunity to present oral comment was provided in the proposed rule, and in response to that opportunity, two requests to present oral comments were received. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 31, 2009, in Washington, DC. Requests to participate in the meeting must be received on or before March 31, 2009.

March 13
Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee Announces Public Meeting
The Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) will hold a public meeting on April 22-23, 2009, in Arlington, VA. A draft agenda is under development, and will include reports from and discussions about current issues from the following PPDC work groups: Work Group on 21st Century Toxicology/New Integrated Testing Strategies; Work Group on Web-Distributed Labeling; and Work Group on Comparative Safety Statements for Pesticide Product Labeling. The agenda will also include a discussion about current water quality issues (including an update on spray drift); a discussion about an overall strategy regarding incident data, including pyrethroid incidents and pet incidents; and updates on the Endocrine Disruptors Screening Program, Pollinator Protection, and the Endangered Species Act consultation process. Several PPDC work group meetings have also been scheduled in March and April 2009, and are open to the public. Information about all of these meetings can be found on the PPDC Web site.

March 11
EPA Proposes Revised Commodity Terms
EPA is proposing minor technical revisions of certain commodity terms listed under 40 CFR part 180, subpart D. EPA is proposing this action to eventually establish a uniform listing of commodity terms. Specific revisions are included in the Federal Register Notice. Comments must be received on or before May 11, 2009.

EPA Releases Updated Pesticide Registration Schedule for Review
EPA is announcing the availability of an updated schedule for the pesticide registration review program, the periodic review of all registered pesticides mandated by section 3(g) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The updated schedule provides the timetable for opening dockets for the next 4 years of the registration review program - fiscal year (FY) 2009 to FY 2012 - and includes information on the FY 2007 and FY 2008 registration review cases.

March 10
EPA Proposes Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule
EPA is proposing the first comprehensive national system for reporting emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases produced by major sources in the United States. The new reporting requirements would apply to suppliers of fossil fuel and industrial chemicals, manufacturers of motor vehicles and engines, as well as large direct emitters of greenhouse gases with emissions equal to or greater than a threshold of 25,000 metric tons per year. This threshold is roughly equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from just over 4,500 passenger vehicles. The first annual report would be submitted to EPA in 2011 for the calendar year 2010, except for vehicle and engine manufacturers, which would begin reporting for model year 2011. EPA is developing this rule under the authority of the Clean Air Act. The proposed rule will be open for public comment for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. Two public hearings will be held during the comment period.

EPA Releases Draft Greenhouse Gas Inventory of Emissions and Sinks for Public Review
The Draft Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2007 is available for public review. Annual U.S. emissions for the period of time from 1990 through 2007 are summarized and presented by source category and sector. The inventory contains estimates of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), perfluorocarbons (PFC), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) emissions. The inventory also includes estimates of carbon fluxes in U.S. agricultural and forest lands. The technical approach used in this report to estimate emissions and sinks for greenhouse gases is consistent with the methodologies recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and reported in a format consistent with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reporting guidelines. The Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2007 is the latest in a series of annual U.S. submissions to the Secretariat of the UNFCCC. Please submit your comments within 30 days of the appearance of this notice. However, comments received after that date will still be welcomed and be considered for the next edition of this report. The draft report is available online from EPA's Climate Change Web site.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

Top of Page

March 6
Pesticide Regulatory Education Program Accepting Grant Applications
The Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP), in coordination with the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA)/Office of Compliance (OC), is soliciting applications to implement the Pesticide Regulatory Education Program (PREP) from eligible States, federally recognized Indian tribes, Alaska Native Villages, Inter-tribal consortia and State and tribal institutions for fiscal year (FY) 2010 through 2014. Under this program OPP/OC will provide financial assistance on an annual basis to carry out a pesticide education training program. This pesticide-related training is intended for senior management, senior scientists, and supervisors and managers of pesticide regulatory programs from state/tribes and U.S. territories working under FIFRA Cooperative Agreements with EPA throughout the U.S. All proposals must be received on or before April 20, 2009. Refer to the full announcement (PDF) (25 pp, 175 KB) for additional information.

Grant Available To Quantify Soil Carbon Sequestration Potential Through Improved Pasture Management
EPA is soliciting proposals for a demonstration study to quantify changes in soil organic carbon resulting from improved pasture management practices. Eligible entities with experience implementing soil carbon measurement studies are encouraged to submit proposals. All proposals must be received on or before April 20, 2009. Refer to the full announcement (PDF) (23 pp, 121 KB) for additional information.

National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program Accepting Applications for Clean Diesel Programs
EPA's National Clean Diesel Campaign is announcing the availability of funding assistance through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) and the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005). EPA is soliciting applications for projects that can be commenced expeditiously and that reduce diesel emissions and maximize job creation and preservation through a variety of diesel emission reduction strategies. Eligible projects must include one or more of the following diesel emissions reduction solutions: verified emission control technologies including retrofit devices, cleaner fuels, and engine upgrades, idle reduction technologies; certified engine repowers; and/or certified vehicle or equipment replacement. Eligible vehicles, engines and equipment may include but are not limited to: buses; medium-duty or heavy-duty trucks; marine engines; locomotives; and non-road engines or vehicles used in: i) construction; ii) handling or cargo (including at a port or airport); iii) agriculture; iv) mining; or v) energy production. The award floor and ceiling and number of awards will vary by Region; please see Section II of the announcement. This synopsis will be modified when the full announcement is posted. All proposals must be received on or before April 27, 2009.

FY 2009 Hazardous Waste Management Grant Program for Tribes Accepting Grant Applications
This notice announces the availability of funds and solicits proposals from federally-recognized tribes, intertribal consortium or consortia for the development and implementation of hazardous waste programs and for building capacity to address hazardous waste management in Indian Country. In accordance with the EPA Indian Policy of 1984, EPA recognizes tribal governments as the primary parties for managing programs for reservations. All proposals must be received on or before May 1, 2009. Refer to the full announcement (PDF) (26 pp, 199 KB) for additional information.

March 5
EPA Accepting Nominations for 2009 Gulf Guardians
EPA's Gulf of Mexico Program (GMP) partnership developed the Gulf Guardian Awards as a way to recognize and honor the businesses, community groups, individuals, and agencies that are taking positive steps to keep the Gulf healthy, beautiful and productive. The Gulf Guardian Award exemplifies what the Gulf of Mexico Program is all about; innovative solutions that come about when we pool resources and look for creative ways to positively impact our quality of life and economic well being. To complete a nomination application for 2009, go to the Gulf of Mexico Program's web site. Nominations are due May 15, 2009.

National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center March Newsletter and Webcast Exit EPA
The March edition of the National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPELC) newsletter is available. Topics include: April Webcast (What to Expect When You're Inspected), Small Farms Team Creates New Online Resource for Horse Manure Management, Updated USDA Resources, National Small Farms Conference Call for Papers, and Study Reveals That Less Nitrogen May Be More Profitable. The next Webcast, March 27, 2009, is entitled, "Ammonia and Particulate Emissions in the High Plains" and will feature researchers at Texas AgriLife Extension and Kansas State University.

The 5th National Small Farm Conference Accepting Presentation Applications
The Fifth National Small Farm Conference Program Committee is now accepting applications for presentations at the Fifth National Small Farm Conference, September 15-17, 2009 in Springfield, Illinois. This conference is being hosted by the University of Illinois Extension. The theme of the conference is "Roadmap to Success for Small Farmers and Ranchers." The conference will serve as a forum to discuss local, county, state, regional and national small farm research, extension and outreach issues identified by stakeholders from land grant colleges and universities, community-based organizations and others working with small farmers and ranchers.

Pesticide Registration Improvement Renewal Act Partnership Accepting Grant Applications
EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) is soliciting initial proposals to advance partnerships that focus on pesticide risk management issues with a special focus on integrated pest management (IPM) approaches. Awards are intended to support a diverse set of project types, including, but not limited to demonstrations, transfer of innovative IPM technologies, outreach, and education. This announcement provides qualification and application requirements to those interested in submitting initial proposals for fiscal year 2009. The total amount of funding available for award is expected to be $1 million. The number of awards to be made under this announcement will depend on individual proposal costs, the availability of funds, and the quality of proposals received. This competition begins with a call for initial proposals from which candidates will be selected and offered an invitation to submit full applications. This announcement contains information on the format and content for the initial proposals as well as criteria for the evaluation of invited applications. The maximum funding level is $250,000 per project. The project period of performance is limited to two years from the award date. All proposals must be received on or before April 15, 2009. Refer to the full announcement (PDF) (26 pp, 148 KB) for additional information.

March 4
EPA Seeks Comments on Annual U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory
The draft report shows that overall emissions during 2007 increased by 1.4 percent from the previous year. This trend was due primarily to an increase in carbon dioxide emissions associated with fuel and electricity consumption. The total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions were about 7,125 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent. Overall, emissions have grown by 17.1 percent from 1990 to 2007. The inventory tracks annual greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 to 2007 at the national level. The gases covered by this inventory include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride. For more information and a copy of the draft report, visit EPA's Climate Change web site.

March 2
Landowner Agrees To Restore Alaskan Wetlands and Streams
An Anchorage, Alaska landowner has reached a settlement with EPA for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act. The landowner illegally filled wetlands and streams on his property located in Anchorage, Alaska. In July 2003, the landowner used heavy equipment to clear, grade, and fill wetlands and streams to create a pond on his property without first obtaining a required Clean Water Act Section 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The actions damaged 300 linear feet of nearby stream channels and 0.5 acres of wetlands on his property. In September 2005, EPA issued a Compliance Order to the landowner requiring him to remove the fill and restore the Site. Since 2005, the landowner had refused to restore the wetlands and streams. In September 2008, EPA filed a complaint against the landowner, seeking penalties for the 2003 violation. EPA and the landowner agreed to settle the matter. Under the settlement, the landowner has signed an Administrative Order on Consent to remove the fill, restore the Site and signed a Consent Agreement to pay a $10,000 penalty to resolve the complaint.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

Top of Page

To subscribe to the Ag Center News listserve:

  • Send an e-mail message to: "agcenter@epa.gov"
  • In the subject line of the message write: "Subscribe" 
  • In the body of the message write your e-mail address.

If you encounter difficulties subscribing to this list server or if you would like to be taken off the Ag Center News list server at any time, please send an e-mail to the Ag Center at: agcenter@epa.gov.



This page is sponsored by EPA's Ag Center. Ag Center logo

Local Navigation

Jump to main content.