Jump to main content.


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

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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.

November 30
Five Companies Lauded for Reducing Pesticide Risk
EPA has presented awards to five members of the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP) for their sustained excellence in integrated pest management (IPM). PESP is the Agency’s premier partnership program that works with the nation’s pesticide–user community to implement pest management strategies and reduce the health and environmental risks associated with pesticide use. The awardees were: Central Coast Vineyard Team for demonstrating continued progress in outreach and education for growers, and adopting a reduced-risk approach to vineyard management; Glades Crop Care, Inc. for implementing IPM strategies that reduce pesticide use and risk, researching and testing lower risk pesticides, educating users on chemical safety, and providing outreach and education; IPM Institute of North America, Inc. for creating and marketing its innovative program for IPM certification for schools and pest control companies; Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrape Commission for leading the development of a state-wide code of sustainable winegrowing practices in California; and the U.S. Department of Defense Armed Forces Pest Management Board for its extraordinary level of commitment to IPM and outstanding efforts to prevent and manage disease vectors and pests.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

Top of Page

November 25
Request for Nominations to the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee (FRRCC)
EPA invites nominations from a diverse range of qualified candidates to be considered for appointment to the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Federal Advisory Committee (FRRCC). The FRRCC is a federal advisory committee chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), Public Law 92463. The FRRCC was established in 2008 and provides independent advice to the EPA Administrator on a broad range of environmental issues and policies that are of importance to agriculture and rural communities. Members serve as representatives from academia, industry (e.g., farm groups and allied industries), non-governmental organizations, and state, local, and tribal governments. Members are appointed by the EPA Administrator for two-year terms with the possibility of reappointment. Applicants are encouraged to submit all nominations materials by December 31, 2009 in order to ensure fullest consideration. Parties interested in applying to serve on the Committee should pay close attention to the paragraph entitled "Submissions Procedure" towards the end of the notice and submit all required materials. It is anticipated that vacancies will be filled by spring 2010.

EPA Schedules Six Regional Stakeholder Meetings To Consider Pesticide Effects on Aquatic Life
EPA will conduct six public meetings to solicit input on methods being evaluated by the Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) and the Office of Water (OW), with the support of the Office of Research and Development to characterize effects from pesticides on fish, other aquatic organisms, and aquatic plants in aquatic ecosystems, starting in January 2010. The meetings will be held in Edison, NJ (January 11), Atlanta, GA (January 12), Chicago, IL (January 14), Kansas City, KS (January 19), Seattle, WA (January 21), and San Francisco, CA (January 22). At the public meetings, EPA will provide presentations that detail its initial thinking on how to ensure that pesticide effects are characterized consistently by both OPP and OW.

EPA Issues Correction to Rodenticide Product Cancellation Order
In the Federal Register of September 30, 2009, EPA issued a product cancellation order canceling certain rodenticide registrations voluntarily requested by the registrants and accepted by the Agency. Subsequent to the September 30, 2009 publication date, it was determined that some of the products which were listed in Table 1 - Rodenticide Product Cancellations, had been cancelled previously. This notice corrects the September 30, 2009 notice and clarifies the provisions for disposition of existing stocks.

November 24
Public Forums Scheduled on Chesapeake Bay Draft Strategy
A series of public forums will be held throughout December on the recently released draft strategy for restoring the Chesapeake Bay, a document required by a Presidential Executive Order issued in May 2009. The public forums will feature officials from multiple federal agencies including EPA, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Public feedback is important and valuable to the federal agencies. The public forum schedule is detailed on the Executive Order Website. Comments may be submitted online at the Website by clicking on “provide comments.” The public comment period runs through January 8, 2010. The draft strategy, also available on the website, will evolve through public comments, state consultations and agency revisions before the final strategy is published in May 2010.

November 23
EPA Seeking Comment on Proposed 2010 Critical Use Exemptions From the Phaseout of Methyl Bromide
EPA is proposing uses that qualify for the 2010 critical use exemption and the amount of methyl bromide that may be produced, imported, or supplied from existing pre-phaseout inventory for those uses in 2010. EPA is taking action under the authority of the Clean Air Act to reflect a recent consensus decision taken by the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer at the Twentieth Meeting of the Parties. EPA is seeking comment on the list of critical uses and on EPA's determination of the amounts of methyl bromide needed to satisfy those uses. Comments must be submitted by December 23, 2009.

EPA Awards $300,000 to the Texas Department of Agriculture
EPA has awarded $300,000 to the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA). The funds will be used to administer a comprehensive and effective pesticides program. In addition to TDA’s regulatory and enforcement programs, activities include applicator certification and training, worker protection standards, surface and groundwater quality, endangered species, and implementation of the new container/containment rule.

Clean Air Act Violators on Northwest Indian Reservations Face EPA Fines
A company and an individual on Indian reservations in the Northwest have agreed to pay penalties for violations of the Federal Air Rules for Indian Reservations under the Clean Air Act, according to two orders issued by EPA. The company, which operates a grain elevator, failed to control its particulate matter emissions and failed to register with EPA as an air pollution source. The individual disposed of agricultural waste by conducting an outdoor burning during a burn ban.

EPA To Renew Charter of Agriculture Advisory Committee
Reinforcing its commitment to a strong partnership with the agriculture community to protect human health and the environment, EPA will renew the charter of its independent agricultural advisory group, the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee (FRRCC). EPA established the FRRCC in February 2008 as a policy-oriented committee to provide advice, information, and recommendations to the administrator on a broad range of environmental issues of primary importance to agriculture and rural communities. The committee meets twice yearly, and consists of approximately 25 members representing academia, industry (e.g., farm groups and allied industries), non-governmental organizations, and state, local, and tribal governments. Once renewed, the committee’s charter will be effective for two years from the date it is filed with Congress.

November 19
EPA Calls for Green Innovators
EPA is accepting nominations for the 15th annual Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. The awards recognize innovative chemical technologies that incorporate green chemistry into the design, manufacture, and use of chemicals, and that have broad applications in industry. For the challenge, nominated technologies should reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances from a chemical product or process. Any individual, group or nongovernmental organization, both nonprofit and for-profit, including academia and industry, may nominate a green chemistry technology for the awards. Self-nominations are welcome. For more information see the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Web page.

November 18
Three Northwest Companies Fined for Violating Federal Pesticide Laws
Three companies in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho are the target of enforcement actions for their failure to follow federal pesticide laws, according to orders issued by EPA. Two companies are being fined for failing to register pesticide facilities, and one company is being fined for failing to submit yearly reports on time that document the types and amounts of pesticides produced and distributed.

EPA Denies Objections to Final Rule Revoking All Tolerances for Carbofuran
EPA has denied objections and hearing requests made by the National Corn Growers Association, National Sunflower Association, National Potato Council, and FMC Corporation ("Petitioners") concerning EPA's final rule revoking all pesticide tolerances for carbofuran. Specific challenges raised by the Petitioners involved EPA's decision on the appropriate level of the additional safety factor to protect infants and children, EPA's estimate of carbofuran levels in drinking water, EPA's consideration of the time needed to recover from exposure to carbofuran, and EPA's refusal to consider a human toxicity study conducted with carbofuran. Exposure to the pesticide carbofuran resulting from existing legal uses is unsafe--unsafe for the general population, and particularly unsafe for infants and children. EPA reached this conclusion in 2006 after an exhaustive multi-year review of the data on carbofuran as part of its effort to determine whether carbofuran should be reregistered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, and whether the tolerances allowing carbofuran residues on certain foods met the revised safety standard in section 408 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel To Hold Public Meeting
There will be a 4-day meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) to consider and review Draft Framework and Case Studies on Atrazine, Human Incidents, and the Agricultural Health Study: Incorporation of Epidemiology and Human Incident Data into Human Health Risk Assessment. The meeting will be held on February 2 - 5, 2010, in Arlington, VA.

Addendum to the Reregistration Eligibility Decision for Xylene
EPA has released an addendum to modify certain provisions and risk mitigation measures that were specified in the 2005 Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for the pesticide xylene, an aquatic herbicide used in irrigation canals. EPA conducted this reassessment of the xylene RED in response to comments received during the public comment period. Based on new information received, and in a continuing effort to mitigate risk, the Agency has made certain modifications to the xylene RED, including: a summary of additional usage information provided by the Bureau of Reclamation and other stakeholders; a summary of the conclusions from revised human health risk assessments; Agency reconsideration of the need for removing the existing exemption from a tolerance; the addition of an ecological data requirement; revised ecological mitigation measures; and an updated Label Table, which summarizes specific labeling language required on product labels.

November 17
EPA Awards Over $200,000 to the New Mexico Department of Agriculture
EPA has awarded $225,263 to the New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA). The funds will be used to administer a comprehensive State Pesticide Regulatory Program and maintain an effective pesticide enforcement program. NMDA will also use the funds to maintain effective worker protection standards, develop and implement a program to protect water resources from pesticide risks, and protect threatened or endangered species from pesticides.

Feedlot in Sioux County, Iowa, Agrees To Pay $25,000 Penalty for Alleged Waste Discharges into West Branch of Floyd River
A Sioux County, Iowa, cattle feedlot operation has agreed to pay a $25,000 civil penalty to settle allegations that it violated the federal Clean Water Act by allowing manure and wastewater to discharge into the West Branch of the Floyd River. In May 2008, EPA inspected the operation and documented that it was confining approximately 3,400 cattle in confinement barns and approximately 1,200 cattle in open feedlots, and was discharging manure and wastewater into the West Branch of the Floyd River. The West Branch of the Floyd River has been on Iowa's list of impaired waters because of low biological diversity and past fish kills. Both of these impacts have been linked to runoff of wastes from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Feedlot runoff typically contains such pollutants as organic matter, sediments, pathogens, heavy metals, hormones, antibiotics, ammonia, as well as nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorous, all of which can harm aquatic life and impact water quality. Under state and federal law, any animal feeding operation that confines 1,000 or more cattle must operate as a "no-discharge" facility, unless it has an approved National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. This includes operations that incorporate indoor and/or outdoor confinement of animals.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

Top of Page

November 16
EPA Seeks Comment on New Permit for Animal Feeding Operations in Idaho
The public is encouraged to take a close look at a new proposed National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Discharge Permit, required by the Clean Water Act, that would affect animal feeding operations in Idaho. If enacted as proposed, this permit will regulate discharges to surface waters from many Idaho feedlots, including those on tribal lands. When improperly managed, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) can be significant sources of excess nutrients, hormones and bacteria, which may impair water quality and deplete oxygen levels, causing serious damage to the environment. The general permit would allow a CAFO operator to discharge to surface waters only if they are in compliance with new regulations regarding production areas and land applications areas. Also, under the new permit, CAFO owners and operators must submit a nutrient management plan for review in addition to the required standard notice of intent. CAFOs that have had permits in the past, or currently discharge or propose to discharge, will have 90 days to submit their notice of intent and nutrient management plans to obtain coverage under the new permit. The full proposed permit is available online at Region 10's NPDES Permits Web page. The public comment period will run for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register. For more information about CAFOs and permitting, visit EPA's CAFO Industry Effluent Guideline Web page.

November 13
EPA Publishes Final Rule on Air Quality Designations for the 2006 24-Hour Fine Particle (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standards
Effective December 14, 2009, EPA has established the initial air quality designations for most areas in the United States, including Indian Country, for the 2006 24-hour fine particle (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Through these designations, EPA is identifying the geographic boundaries of areas that meet or violate the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS. This is an important step toward providing the public health and welfare protections of the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS. For those areas designated nonattainment, states must develop a State Implementation Plan and tribes may develop a Tribal Implementation Plan that provides for attainment of the NAAQS. Pursuant to section 172(b), EPA is announcing that states and tribes must submit these plans no later than three years from the effective date of these designations. Fine particles are extremely small airborne particles made up of a complex mixture of components, both liquid and solid. Common constituents of ambient PM2.5 include sulfate (SO4); nitrate (NO3); ammonium (NH4); and elemental carbon, and are emitted by, and formed from emissions of, a wide range of sources like power plants and industrial boilers; animal feeding operations and fertilizer production; and mobile sources and power plants.

November 12
Notice of SFIREG Full Committee Public Meeting
The Association of American Pesticide Control Officials (AAPCO)/State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group (SFIREG) Full Committee will hold a 2-day meeting December 7 - 8, 2009, in Arlington, VA. Topics may include but are not limited to: EPA policy which reduces pesticide pollution and waste - torn bags, leaking containers; NPDES permits; drift labeling; container/containment; and funding/priorities.

November 10
EPA Awards Over $300,000 to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry
EPA has awarded $325,263 to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ODAFF). The funds will be used to administer a comprehensive and effective State Pesticide Regulatory Program and maintain an effective pesticide enforcement program. ODAFF will also use the funds for applicator certification, worker protection standards, and groundwater and endangered species programs.

EPA Announces Final Amendments to Oil Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Rule
EPA is announcing a final regulation that amends certain requirements for facilities subject to the Oil Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule. The amendments clarify regulatory requirements, tailor requirements to particular industry sectors, and streamline certain requirements for a facility owner or operator subject to the rule. With these changes, the agency expects to encourage greater compliance with the SPCC regulations, thus resulting in increased protection of human health and the environment. This rulemaking marks the completion of the SPCC action, which was proposed on October 15, 2007, finalized on December 5, 2008, and for which the agency requested public comments again on February 3, 2009. This action modifies the December 2008 rule by removing the provisions to: exclude farms and oil production facilities from the loading/unloading rack requirements; exempt produced water containers at an oil production facility; and provide alternative qualified facilities eligibility criteria for an oil production facility. This final rule is effective on January 14, 2010.

November 9
Small Business Panel To Reconsider Regulatory Exemptions for Insect Repellents
EPA is seeking recommendations from small business on whether insect repellents applied to the skin should continue to be exempt from federal pesticide regulation. Currently, pesticide products that pose minimum risks to humans and the environment are exempt from federal regulation under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, provided that the products are composed of certain ingredients and are labeled according to very specific criteria under the Act. EPA’s reconsideration of the current exemption is based on concern that some exempted pesticide products may not perform effectively. The changes under consideration are intended to safeguard public health by assuring that minimum risk skin-applied insect repellent products perform effectively, and users receive protection from insects or ticks that may transmit serious diseases.

Comments Requested on Draft Strategy for Restoration and Protection of the Chesapeake Bay
EPA announces the availability of a draft strategy for restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay and requests public comment. The draft strategy contains a comprehensive package of federal initiatives to restore clean water, conserve treasured places, protect fish and wildlife, and adapt to the impacts of climate change. These objectives will be accomplished by empowering local efforts, making decisions based on science and forging a new era of federal leadership and accountability. Close collaboration of efforts with the six states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the District of Columbia will also be critical. To restore clean water, EPA will create a framework for performance and accountability to guide federal and state pollution control programs, and expand regulatory tools to reduce pollution from concentrated animal feeding operations and urban and suburban runoff. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will intensively target voluntary conservation incentives at high priority areas. New emphasis is also placed on improving stormwater management on federal land and reducing polluted runoff from transportation infrastructure. The draft strategy is available at the Chesapeake Bay Executive Order Web site. Comments on the draft strategy must be submitted on or before January 8, 2010.

November 6
Request for Nominations to the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee (FRRCC)
EPA invites nominations from a diverse range of qualified candidates to be considered for appointment to the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Federal Advisory Committee (FRRCC). The FRRCC is a federal advisory committee chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), Public Law 92463. The FRRCC was established in 2008 and provides independent advice to the EPA Administrator on a broad range of environmental issues and policies that are of importance to agriculture and rural communities. Members serve as representatives from academia, industry (e.g., farm groups and allied industries), non-governmental organizations, and state, local, and tribal governments. Members are appointed by the EPA Administrator for two-year terms with the possibility of reappointment. Applicants are encouraged to submit all nominations materials by December 31, 2009 in order to ensure fullest consideration. It is anticipated that vacancies will be filled by spring 2010.

National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center November Newsletter and Webcast Exit EPA
The November edition of the National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPELC) newsletter is available. Topics include: November Webcast Has Changed! Will Focus on Nutrient Use Efficiency; December Webcast Will Focus in Air Quality Regulations--especially the recently finalized Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule; Technology Summaries for Mitigating Air Emissions From Animal Manure Now Available; LPELC Community Up and Running; Fact Sheet Highlights Ag Chemicals in the Environment; Livestock Helps Rangelands Recover from Fire; and Search USDA's Ag Census Data by Watershed. The next live webcast, scheduled for November 20, 2009, is entitled “Snap-shot Assessments of Nutrient Use on Commercial Dairy Farms.” The speaker is Dr. Mark Powell of USDA ARS, who will describe and demonstrate the usefulness of rapid assessment methods to provide snap-shot measurements of feed, fertilizer and manure use on dairy farms.

November 5
EPA Awards Over $200,000 to the Arkansas State Plant Board
EPA has awarded $226,593 to the Arkansas State Plant Board. The funds will be used to administer a comprehensive and effective State Pesticide Regulatory Program, ensure pesticides are used in compliance with labeling instructions, and ensure pesticides produced and/or distributed in Arkansas comply with federal and state regulations. The funds will also provide laboratory support for pesticide analysis and an effective pesticide enforcement program.

EPA Soliciting Applications for Environmental Justice Grant Funding
EPA is accepting grant applications for a total of $1 million in funding for projects aimed at addressing environmental and public health issues in communities. EPA expects to award approximately 40 grants of up to $25,000 each and will accept applications until January 8, 2010. Local governments and non-profit organizations are eligible to apply. The goals of the Environmental Justice Grant Funding Program are to help communities understand and address environmental challenges and create self-sustaining, community-based partnerships focused on improving human health and the environment. Past projects have focused on issues including exposure to toxins, farm worker pesticide protection, mercury in fish, indoor air quality, drinking water contamination, and pollution from shipping ports. In addition to the traditional criteria, EPA is encouraging applications that address the disproportionate impacts of climate change in communities by emphasizing climate equity, energy efficiency, renewable energy, local green economy, and green jobs capacity building. More information is available at EPA's Environmental Justice Small Grants Program Web site.

November 4
EPA Proposes New Pesticide Labeling To Control Spray Drift and Protect Human Health; Requests Comment on Draft Interpretation, Support Documents
EPA has rolled out proposed guidance for new pesticide labeling to reduce off-target spray and dust drift. The actions in the draft pesticide registration (PR) notice, when implemented, will improve the clarity and consistency of pesticide labels and help prevent harm from spray drift. The new instructions will prohibit drift that could cause adverse health or environmental effects. In addition to the draft notice on pesticide-drift labeling, EPA is seeking comment on a draft pesticide drift labeling interpretation document that provides guidance to state and tribal enforcement officials. An additional supporting document provides background information on pesticide drift, a description of current and planned EPA actions, a reader’s guide explaining key terms and concepts, and specific questions on which EPA is seeking input. Comments must be received on or before January 4, 2010.

Comments Requested on Petition To Protect Children from Pesticide Drift
EPA is requesting comment on a petition filed recently by environmental and farm worker organizations asking EPA to evaluate children’s exposure to pesticide drift and to adopt, on an interim basis, requirements for “no-spray” buffer zones near homes, schools, day-care centers, and parks. Comments must be received on or before January 4, 2010.

MU Extension Receives Grant To Help Amish, Mennonite Growers To Reduce Pesticides
EPA's Region 7 office has awarded the University of Missouri Extension a Strategic Agricultural Initiative grant totaling $51,158 to reduce the use of high-risk pesticides. This project will build on the University of Missouri Extension's previous work with Amish and Mennonite produce growers. These religious communities are locally known for fruit and vegetable production and participation in farmers markets and produce auctions. Last year, more than 200 growers in central and northern Missouri took part in the workshops, which covered the basics of soil quality, fresh produce storage, integrated pest management and weed control. University of Missouri and Iowa State extension agents will work to expand these opportunities to several communities throughout north-central Missouri and southern Iowa. EPA's Strategic Agricultural Initiative program awards grants for education, extension, demonstration and studies involving the use of sustainable pesticide practices in agriculture. This grant program is a prime example of a pesticide initiative that encompasses EPA’s core principles to improve environmental conditions and protect human health. Since 2001, Region 7 has awarded $461,394 to help farmers adopt better pest management practices.

November 3
EPA Takes Enforcement Action Against Agricultural Products Distributor for 21 Violations of Federal Pesticide Law
EPA has fined a California-based national distributor of agricultural products $99,600 for 21 alleged violations of federal pesticide law. The case was the result of investigations conducted by regulators in Arizona, Idaho, Navajo Nation, Fort Mojave Indian Tribe, and EPA’s Pacific Southwest and Pacific Northwest Regional Offices. Following a Fort Mojave Indian Tribe inspector’s discovery of a pesticide product with a single page copy of a label which appeared to be missing several key safety elements, EPA requested that the state of Arizona conduct an inspection of the company.  In 2007, Arizona Department of Agriculture investigators found that the facility was distributing and selling a misbranded pesticide, in violation of federal law. A separate inspection in 2008 by Arizona Department of Agriculture investigators found that the company was distributing a minimum risk pesticide with a label that failed to meet regulatory requirements. Navajo Nation EPA, Idaho Department of Agriculture and U.S. EPA inspectors found other significant violations, including company applicators not wearing personal protective equipment as required by pesticide labels; misbranded pesticides, including one highly toxic pesticide which the company distributed and sold with a label that failed to include protective equipment requirements; and distribution of a restricted use pesticide to a non-certified applicator. The company has agreed to pay the fine to resolve this enforcement action.

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.