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News Archive: November 2006

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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.

November 29
EPA Assistance Center Helps Importers/Exporters Comply with Environmental Laws
Anyone involved in shipping regulated materials across borders can go to a Web-based EPA-sponsored Compliance Assistance Center for help in complying with environmental laws. The border center's Web site provides information for importing and exporting a variety of chemicals, including toxic substances, pesticides, and hazardous waste. The site also has information on existing international agreements and regulations, and includes a news section to keep buyers, sellers, and transporters aware of the latest developments.

EPA Seeks Comments on Draft Guidelines for Underground Storage Tank Inspection
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 amended Subtitle I of the Solid Waste Disposal Act to add requirements for underground storage tank (UST) system inspections for states receiving Subtitle I funding. The UST provisions of the Act focus on preventing releases and direct EPA to help states comply with the new requirements. EPA and states, working closely with other stakeholders, developed draft grant guidelines, which were released on November 22, 2006. Comments are invited and must be received by December 22, 2006.

Chloropicrin Risk Assessments Available for Comment
EPA has released its human health and environmental fate and effects risk assessment(s) and related documents for the fumigant chloropicrin, and has opened a public comment period on these documents. EPA is developing a Reregistration Eligibility Decision for chloropicrin through the full six-phase public participation process. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0661, must be received on or before January 29, 2007.

Malathion Reregistration Eligibility Decision Available for Comment
EPA has released its Reregistration Eligibility Decision for the pesticide malathion and has opened a public comment period on this document. The Agency's risk assessments and other related documents also are available in the malathion docket. Malathion is a non-systemic, broad-spectrum organophosphate pesticide with numerous commercial agricultural and residential uses, as well as several wide-area application uses. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2004-0348, must be received on or before January 29, 2007.

Third Extension of Comment Period for PCNB Reregistration Eligibility Decision
EPA issued a notice in the Federal Register of August 2, 2006, concerning the availability of the pentachloronitrobenzene (PCNB) reregistration eligibility decision (RED) and the opening of a 60-day public comment period. The original comment period was to close on October 2, 2006. The Agency subsequently issued two Federal Register notices extending the comment period, first to November 1, 2006, and then to December 4, 2006. The Agency is now extending the comment period for a third time, to January 8, 2006. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA- HQ-OPP-2004-0202, must be received on or before January 8, 2007.

November 22
Nominations Invited for Blue Ribbon Water Quality Trading Awards Program
EPA is seeking nominations for the Blue Ribbon Water Quality Trading Awards Program, a new awards program, to recognize outstanding leadership in designing or implementing water quality trading programs and policies that have achieved or will achieve environmental and economic benefits. EPA's Water Quality Trading Policy offers participants a tool to help foster accelerated restoration of U.S. watersheds. Trading programs allow facilities facing higher pollutant control costs to meet their regulatory obligations by purchasing environmentally equivalent (or superior) pollutant reductions from another source at lower cost, thus achieving the same water quality improvement at lower overall cost. Water quality trading is gaining increased acceptance as a cost-effective method of meeting new challenges. The deadline for applications is January 16, 2007.

November 21
EPA Issues Final Rule on Aquatic Pesticide Applications
EPA has issued a final rule clarifying two specific circumstances in which a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit is not required before pesticides are applied. The two situations are when: 1) pesticides are applied directly to water to control pests, including mosquito larvae, aquatic weeds, and other pests in the water, and 2) pesticides are applied to control pests that are present over or near water where a portion of the pesticide will unavoidably be deposited to the water in order to target the pests effectively. After considering two rounds of public comments, EPA concluded that the Clean Water Act does not require permits in these two situations.

EPA Reaches Agreement with DuPont to Protect Drinking Water Near West Virginia Plant
EPA has signed a consent order with E. I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. that lowers the action level of perfluorooctanoic acid -- also known as PFOA or C8 -- in drinking water for residents in communities surrounding DuPont's Washington Works facility, Washington, West Virginia (seven miles southwest of Parkersburg). Under the order, DuPont will offer alternative drinking water or treatment for public or private water users living near the Washington Works plant if the level of PFOA detected in drinking water is equal to or greater than 0.50 parts per billion (ppb). The agreement affects people in West Virginia and Ohio living near the Washington Works plant.

November 16
EPA Phases Out Azinphos-Methyl
EPA is issuing its final decision to phase out the ten remaining uses of the organophosphate insecticide azinphos-methyl (AZM) over the next few years. This phaseout will encourage and facilitate transition to safer alternatives and reduce risks to farm workers, pesticide applicators, and aquatic ecosystems. EPA is phasing out the use of AZM on brussels sprouts and nursery stock by September 2007; almonds, pistachios, and walnuts by October 2009; and the remaining uses -- apples, blueberries, cherries, parsley, and pears -- by September 2012. During the phaseout the Agency is decreasing application rates and increasing buffer zones. All other uses of AZM have been voluntarily cancelled by the registrants. To facilitate the transition to safer alternatives, growers, registrants, and other stakeholders will meet with EPA periodically during the phaseout to discuss alternatives to AZM. The pesticide manufacturers have also agreed to develop training materials to educate workers regarding how to avoid unnecessary exposure.

Compliance and Enforcement Annual Results - FY2006
Each year EPA reports on enforcement actions and how the Agency helps people meet environmental requirements. EPA's National Compliance and Enforcement program focused on important environmental problems during fiscal year 2006, and produced significant results in priority areas. These results have produced significant outcomes in terms of environmental and public health benefits. Seventy-four percent of pollution reductions and 71 percent of pollution prevention and control investments obtained in 2006 were a result of the Agency's focus on priority air and water pollution problems. Compliance and enforcement results for each region are linked below:

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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November 15
Aldicarb Revised Risk Assessment
EPA has released its revised risk assessments for the N-methyl carbamate pesticide aldicarb. In addition, the Agency is soliciting public comment on risk reduction options for aldicarb, as well as an initial impacts and/or preliminary benefits assessment for a number of aldicarb uses. The public is encouraged to suggest risk management ideas or proposals to address the risks identified. EPA is developing an Interim Reregistration Eligibility Decision (IRED) for aldicarb through the full, six-phase public participation process. Subsequently, EPA will complete the cumulative assessment for N-methyl carbamate pesticides, including aldicarb. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0163, must be received on or before January 16, 2007.

November 14
Connecticut Firm Fined for Pesticide Labeling Violations
A Glastonbury, Connecticut, pesticide manufacturer, BioSafe Systems L.L.C., will pay a $17,250 penalty in a settlement resolving EPA concerns that it marketed two pesticide products for an unapproved use in floor mats. The violations relate to marketing claims BioSafe made about two of its own EPA-registered pesticide products (ZeroTol and OxiDate). EPA's New England regional office alleged that the products contained claims that were substantially different from statements approved by EPA for the product labels. EPA New England alleged that BioSafe distributed or sold these pesticides for use in floor mats and, in particular, in a BioSafe product known as the BioMat. Since the violations were first discovered, BioSafe has worked effectively with EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs in Washington, DC, to ensure that these pesticides can now be used in floor mats.

November 13
Methyl Bromide for U.S. 'Critical Uses' Continues Steady Decline Under International Ozone Layer Protection Treaty
At the 18th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in New Delhi, India, the United States was authorized 91 percent of its request for critical use allocations of the ozone-depleting soil fumigant methyl bromide for the year 2008. As inventories of ozone-damaging methyl bromide continue to decline, critical use exemptions help meet the needs of American farmers as they transition to ozone-safe alternatives. EPA will allocate these quantities to users with critical needs through the notice-and-comment rulemaking process.

National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center Webcast (PDF) (1 pg, 245K) Exit EPA
The Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPE) will hold a Webcast seminar on Friday, November 17, at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time. The topic is "Pathogens in Animal Manure -- Should We Be Concerned?"  Speakers are Jeanette Thurston-Enriquez, USDA-ARS, and Sheridan Haack, USGS. Interested participants can connect to the Webcast on November 17 approximately 15 minutes before the scheduled start time from the LPE home page. The Webcast will be archived and made available on the LPE home page on November 20.  The speakers' Power Point presentations will be available for download before or during the Webcast from the LPE home page.

November 9
2007 National Wetlands Awards Nomination Forms Available Exit EPA
Nominations are being invited for the National Wetlands Awards Program. This program celebrates individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary dedication, innovation, or excellence in wetlands conservation. Their work covers programs or projects on the regional, state, and local levels. The National Wetlands Awards Program recognizes extraordinary individual achievement in six categories: Education and Outreach; Science Research; Conservation and Restoration; Landowner Stewardship; State, Tribal, and Local Program Development; and Wetland Community Leader. Winners in each category will be honored in a ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, in May 2007. The awards are co-sponsored by the Environmental Law Institute, EPA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Forest Service, NOAA Fisheries, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Federal Highway Administration. The deadline for submitting nominations is December 15, 2007.

EPA Dives Into Water Efficiency
Looking to expand the water efficiency market, EPA has issued its first set of specifications to certify professionals in this field. Under the Agency's WaterSense program, the specifications identify technical standards for certifying landscape irrigation professionals. Certification programs that meet EPA's standards are eligible for the WaterSense label. The programs will test for the ability to design, install, maintain, and audit water-efficient landscape irrigation systems.

OPP Labeling Committee Posts New Documents, Invites Comments
EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) Labeling Committee has posted two new documents on its labeling consistency Web site. The first document is a response to comments on "For Use Only By," a previously posted paper on the subject of label language that appears to limit the use of a product to specific user groups. The response to comments gives a synopsis of comments received and an explanation of EPA's position on the issue. The second paper is a request for comments on the issue of whether product labels can establish minimum use rates for any purpose other than risk reduction or efficacy. OPP is interested in comments on the following specific issues:

Pesticide Labeling Questions & Answers
EPA Office of Pesticide Programs has published on its Web site a list of questions submitted by the public to EPA regarding labeling of pesticide products, along with the Agency's responses.

Multi-Year Workplan for Registration of Conventional Pesticides
EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) Web page contains a recently updated list of pending conventional new chemical actions that have been received by OPP under the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA). This listing will continue to be updated as registration decisions on these actions are made and additional conventional new chemical submissions are received. In a few cases, more than one PRIA due date exists for a chemical (where multiple registration applications have been submitted over time).

EPA Seeks Nominations for Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List
EPA published a Federal Register notice on October 16 to request nominations of chemical and microbial contaminants for possible inclusion in the third drinking water Contaminant Candidate List (CCL 3). Thousands of naturally occurring and manmade contaminants (e.g., pesticides, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, industrial chemicals) have the potential to enter sources of drinking water. EPA is inviting interested members of the public to help identify contaminants that may have an adverse health effect on people and are known to occur or are likely to occur in public water systems, and to nominate those candidates for the third CCL. EPA will consider the nominated contaminants along with the contaminants the Agency identifies from an evaluation of chemical and microbial data sources. The Agency will assess the health effects and occurence information of each contaminant to decide if it should be included on the draft CCL 3, which the Agency expects to publish in 2007. Nominations are due by midnight December 15, 2006.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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November 7
International Partnership Yields Economic and Environmental Benefits
Last year, the U.S. contributed more than five million dollars to an international program to recover and use methane as a clean energy source. That investment has leveraged over $235 million in public and private sector contributions through the Methane to Markets Partnership, according to a new report from EPA. Once these methane projects are fully implemented, they are expected to garner annual greenhouse reductions of nearly five million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, while providing enough electricity to power the equivalent of 800,000 U.S. homes, here and around the world.

November 6
EPA Publishes Guidance on Tribal Grants for Water Quality Programs
EPA has released a publication that will help Indian tribes design and implement successful water quality programs. "Guidance on Awards of Grants to Indian Tribes under Section 106 of the Clean Water Act" sets goals and requirements for grant recipients and provides a framework for evaluating program results. The guidelines will help redefine how tribes implement the Clean Water Act to protect, restore, and maintain the integrity of the nation's waters.

Seven Million Dollars Available for Tribal Nonpoint Source Projects
EPA plans to award seven million dollars in grants to eligible Indian tribes for nonpoint source pollution programs. The grants, awarded under Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act, will help tribes implement their approved nonpoint source (NPS) management programs to control polluted runoff. A portion of the funding will be distributed competitively to develop and implement watershed-based plans and other projects that result in a significant step towards solving NPS impairments. The remaining funds will be distributed to all eligible tribes for education programs, protection activities, and implementing watershed projects. Applications for the funding must be received by December 19, 2006.

EPA Booth Planned for NAFB Trade Talk Event
EPA officials will attend the National Association of Farm Broadcasters (NAFB) annual Trade Talk event in Kansas City Thursday, Nov. 16, from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. EPA officials that will be in attendance include:

November 2
mCry3A Protein Fact Sheet Is Latest in Series on Biopesticides

The Office of Pesticide Programs is in the process of preparing a series of documents about the biopesticide active ingredients it regulates. The latest fact sheet to be released covers modified Cry3A protein and the genetic material necessary for its production (via elements of pZM26) in event MIR604 corn SYN-IR604-8. This active ingredient is a plant-incorporated protectant used for control of corn rootworm. A tolerance exemption is in place for Bacillus thuringiensis modified Cry3A protein and the genetic material necessary for its production in corn.

New Jersey Truckers Driving Toward Environmental Excellence
Four New Jersey companies were among 23 honored by EPA during a ceremony this week at the American Trucking Association’s annual conference for employing excellent environmental practices. The companies are cutting pollution from their fleets by reducing idling, installing less-polluting equipment, and getting the word out to recruit more participants in EPA’s program to cut diesel emissions and improve energy efficiency in the freight sector – the SmartWay Transport Partnership. The award-winning NJ companies based in East Brunswick, Mahwah, Vineland, and Westampton are all part of EPA's SmartWay Transport Partnership that promotes reduced energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by integrating innovative strategies and technologies into their fleet operations.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

November 2
EPA Releases "Tier2 Submit 2006" Software for Chemical Inventory Reporting
The free personal computer software package "Tier2 Submit 2006" is available for use by facilities in the preparation of annual electronic chemical inventory reports required under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA). Twenty-five states are accepting Tier2 Submit from facilities for the 2006 reporting year. Tier2 Submit is updated every year to reflect changes in state requirements and to take advantage of software system improvements.

November 1
Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee to Meet November 8-9
The Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee will meet in Arlington, Virginia, on November 8, 2006, from 1- 5 p.m. and November 9, 2006, from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. to discuss key topics of interest to pesticide registrants, applicants, and stakeholders.

EPA’s Scientific Advisory Panel Reschedules Meeting on CCA-Treated Wood Sealants and Coatings
Dates have been changed for the 3-day meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) to consider and review the Studies Evaluating the Impact of Surface Coatings on the Level of Dislodgeable Arsenic, Chromium, and Copper from Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA)-Treated Wood. Originally set for November 14-16, the meeting will now be held on November 15-17 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Arlington, Virginia.

Pesticide Registration Online Payment Option Available
Effective November 1, 2006, Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA) fees may be paid online via credit card or electronic fund transfer. There are no additional charges for paying by credit card, but the maximum that may be charged is $99,999. There are no additional charges or limits for electronic fund transfers. When a pesticide registration application is received, EPA's Pesticide Program determines whether it is the type of action covered by PRIA and, if so, which fee should be paid. There are 90 fee categories, each of which has a timeframe within which the Agency is to make a decision on the application. After the Agency determines the fee category, and thereby the fee, the Pesticide Program sends the applicant an invoice with the fee amount and instructions on how to pay. The invoice will provide instructions on how to use this new payment option.

Chlorflurenol Risk Assessment Available for Comment
EPA has released its risk assessment and related documents for the herbicidal pesticide chlorflurenol, and has opened a public comment period on these documents. The public is encouraged to suggest risk management ideas or proposals to address the risks identified. EPA is developing a Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for chlorflurenol through a modified, four-phase public participation process. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0874, must be received on or before January 2, 2007.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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