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News Archive: October 2007

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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.

October 31
Methane to Markets Expo in China Showcases Greenhouse Gas Reduction Opportunities
The Methane to Markets Partnership Expo in Beijing attracted more than 700 participants from 34 countries, demonstrating widespread international interest and commitment to a growing public-private partnership that cuts potent greenhouse gas emissions while promoting the use of clean energy. The expo, which took place October 30-November 1, 2007, was co-hosted by EPA and China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and supported by several key international public and private-sector organizations.

Draft Guidance for Pesticide Registrants on Label Statements Regarding Third-Party Endorsements and Cause Marketing Claims
EPA is seeking public comment on a draft Pesticide Registration Notice (PR Notice) entitled "Label Statements Regarding Third-Party Endorsements and Cause Marketing Claims."  This draft notice contains a description of the Agency's framework for evaluating proposed statements and graphic material to appear on pesticide labeling regarding third-party endorsements or a relationship between the pesticide registrant and a charity (cause marketing claims). It identifies factors EPA may consider in reviewing applications for registration or amended registration that include such label statements, and it identifies the types of information that applicants could provide to support EPA's review. Comments must be received on or before December 31, 2007.

October 30
Revised Fee Schedule for Pesticide Registration Applications
EPA has published a revised list of pesticide registration service fees applicable to specified pesticide registration applications and tolerance actions. Under the Pesticide Registration Improvement Renewal Act, the number of fee categories has been increased, the registration service fees for some covered pesticide registration applications received on or after October 1, 2007, have been increased, and certain new procedures have been established. The new fees became effective on October 1, 2007.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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October 29
New Natural Events and Disasters Web Topic on EPA's Agriculture Web site
Every year, natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, fires, earthquakes, and tornadoes challenge agricultural production.  Because agriculture relies on the weather, climate, and water availability to thrive, it is easily impacted by natural events and disasters. Agricultural impacts from natural events and disasters most commonly include: contamination of water bodies, loss of harvest or livestock, increased susceptibility to disease, and destruction of irrigation systems and other agricultural infrastructure. These impacts can have long-lasting effects on agricultural production, including crops, forest growth, and arable lands, which require time to mature. The topic contains information on learning how to prepare for and recover from natural events and disasters, and how to decrease the long-term effects on agriculture and the environment.

Idaho Cattle Company Agrees To Pay $40,000 To Resolve Clean Water Act Violations
The Bruneau Cattle Co. has agreed to pay a $40,000 penalty to settle alleged Clean Water Act violations. According to EPA, the violations occurred at the company's feedlot, located on Jack's Creek Road in Owyhee County, near the town of Bruneau, Idaho. The settlement resolves alleged Clean Water Act violations involving the discharge of runoff from the feedlot's pens without permit coverage under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). In addition to paying a penalty, Bruneau has agreed to undertake various measures to ensure that wastewater is land-applied at agronomic rates and is not discharged to surface waters.

October 26

Data Requirements for Pesticide Registration
In 2007, EPA revised data requirements that pertain to conventional pesticides, as well as data requirements for biochemical and microbial pesticides. These revisions improve the Agency's ability to make regulatory decisions about human health and environmental effects of pesticide products in order to better protect wildlife, the environment, and people, including sensitive subpopulations. EPA also reformatted the requirements and revised its general procedures and policies associated with data submission. By codifying data requirements that have been applied on a case-by-case basis, the Agency enables the pesticide industry to better understand and prepare for the pesticide registration process.

October 25
EPA Cleanup Underway at Abandoned Potato Farm in Massachusetts
EPA workers and contractors are removing containers of hazardous substances and asbestos-containing materials from the abandoned Albert Farm in Worthington, Massachusetts. EPA is taking this action to remove pesticides, asbestos, and oils containing hazardous substances from the property. The former potato farm is inactive. EPA investigation of the farm found several abandoned buildings, one of which is structurally unsound and from which asbestos is being released into the environment. EPA has also identified approximately 25 drums and containers that have significant traces of hazardous chemicals. There are also several above- and below-ground storage tanks located throughout the property.

October 24
Dichlorprop-p Reregistration Eligibility Decision
EPA has released its Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for the pesticide dichlorprop-p (2,4-DP-p). The Agency's risk assessments and other related documents also are available in the 2,4-DP-p docket. 2,4-DP-p is an herbicide used to manage broadleaf weeds, woody plants, and brush in residential lawns, sod farms, golf courses, sports turf, and non-cultivated agricultural land. It is also used to manage woody plants and brush in non-cultivated areas, such as fencerows and rights-of-way.  Through consultations with stakeholders, all issues related to this pesticide were resolved through the mitigation measures identified in the RED. Therefore, the Agency is issuing the 2,4-DP-p RED without a further comment period.

Mecoprop-p Reregistration Eligibility Decision
EPA has released its Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for the pesticide mecoprop-p (MCPP-p). The Agency's risk assessments and other related documents also are available in the MCPP-p docket. MCPP-p is an herbicide used to manage broadleaf weeds in residential lawns, sod farms, golf courses, and non-cultivated agricultural land. Through consultations with stakeholders, all issues related to this pesticide were resolved through the mitigation measures identified in the RED. Therefore, the Agency is issuing the MCPP-p RED without a further comment period.

October 17
EPA Seeks Comment on StarLink White Paper
EPA is seeking public comment on a draft white paper that recommends withdrawal of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's guidance to test for the StarLink protein Cry9C in corn grain. StarLink is a biotechnology-derived variety of insect-resistant corn. It was approved by EPA for animal feed and industrial uses, but not for human consumption, because of unanswered questions relating to Cry9C being a possible allergen. However, there has been no scientific evidence linking StarLink to any allergic reactions. StarLink corn has not been planted since 2000, when EPA accepted the registrant’s voluntary cancellation request. Levels have steadily decreased to where new detections are virtually non-existent. Comments must be received on or before December 3, 2007.

Carbaryl Reregistration Eligibility Decision
EPA has released its Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for the pesticide carbaryl. The Agency's risk assessments and other related documents also are available in the carbaryl RED Docket. This RED completes the reregistration and tolerance reassessment process for carbaryl and amends an Interim Reregistration Eligibility Decision (IRED), which was made available for public comment on October 22, 2004 (see docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2003- 0376). Carbaryl is an N-methyl carbamate insecticide that is used on a variety of ornamental and agricultural crops, and in residential settings for lawns, gardens, and flea control. Because all issues related to this pesticide were resolved through consultations with stakeholders, EPA is issuing the carbaryl RED without a further comment period.

EPA Announces First-Ever Agricultural Advisory Committee
Continuing efforts to strengthen relations with the agriculture community, on October 17, 2007, EPA announced the establishment of the Farm, Ranch and Rural Communities Federal Advisory Committee. The committee is being formed under the guidelines of the National Strategy for Agriculture, and it will advise the Administrator on environmental policy issues impacting farms, ranches and rural communities and operate under the rules of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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October 15
EPA, Pennsylvania Company Resolve Pesticide Labeling Violations
Lebanon Seaboard Corp., a maker of lawn and garden care products headquartered in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, has resolved 14 violations of the federal law regulating the use of pesticides. EPA cited the company for selling and distributing two mislabeled products for controlling weeds. Lebanon Seaboard will pay a $29,000 fine for violations associated with the labeling and sale of its products Preen Garden Weed Preventer and Preen Garden Weed Preventer Plus Fertilizer. The labeling violations posed no harm to consumers.

EPA To Assist Livestock Operators
EPA has awarded two grants totaling $8 million to provide direct technical assistance to livestock operators to prevent water pollution discharges and reduce air emissions. RTI International of Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, will provide assistance to farm operators in the East, and Environmental Resources Coalition (ERC) of Jefferson City, Missouri, in the West. The two organizations will provide livestock operations with two types of technical assistance at no cost to the operator:

Livestock Management Improves Dissolved Oxygen in Tennessee
Polluted runoff from pasture-grazing cattle caused abnormally high pathogen levels and low dissolved oxygen concentrations in the Big Sandy River. These problems led to the state's placing of a 7.3-mile river segment on its 303(d) list for impairments in both 2002 and 2004. Using section 319 funding, farmers installed a number of best management practices (BMPs) on pasturelands adjoining the river's impaired segments, including foundations to support cattle in heavy-use areas, grade stabilization structures, pasture and hay planting, critical area planting, livestock watering pipelines, and alternative watering structures. The BMPs resulted in water quality improvements in the 7.3-mile segment and its removal from the state's 2006 303(d) list for dissolved oxygen impairments.

Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force Meeting
The15th public meeting of the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force will take place October 29, 2007, in Cincinnati, Ohio. The task force, consisting of federal and state members, leads efforts to coordinate and support nutrient management and hypoxia-related activities in the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico watersheds. The subject of the meeting is the reassessment of the 2001 action plan for reducing, mitigating, and controlling hypoxia in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Portions of the meeting will be used for public comment.

Water Quality Trading Program Maps on the Web
If you are curious about where water quality trading is happening around the country, check out EPA's water quality trading maps, now live on the Web. EPA has created two trading maps: the first shows trading programs that have traded at least once, as well as state-level trading programs. The second shows trading programs that received EPA funding. Click on a state to get information on that state's trading programs.

October 12
Aldicarb Reregistration Eligibility Decision Available for Comment
EPA has released its Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for the N-methyl carbamate pesticide aldicarb and has opened a public comment period on this document. The Agency's risk assessments and other related documents also are available in the aldicarb docket. Aldicarb is a restricted-use systemic insecticide, acaricide, and nematicide. It is registered for use on agricultural crops including citrus, cotton, dry beans, peanuts, pecans, potatoes, sorghum, soybeans, sugar beets, sugarcane, sweet potatoes, and seed alfalfa (CA). In addition, aldicarb may be applied to field grown ornamentals (CA) and tobacco, and on coffee grown in Puerto Rico. Comments must be received on or before December 11, 2007.

October 11
EPA Fines California Company $26,000 for Pesticide Violations
EPA has fined La Rosa, Inc. of Santa Ana, California, $26,000 for the alleged manufacturing and sale of unregistered pesticides. EPA sought this fine for the sale of two unregistered pesticides, Spa Fungicidal and LaRocide, through nail and beauty supply stores. Product labels contained hospital disinfectant, bactericide, and/or virucide claims, and included invalid EPA registration and establishment numbers. The company was also manufacturing at least one of the products at their facility without registering that facility with EPA as required by law.

October 10
Sodium Fluoride Risk Assessment Available for Comment
EPA has released its risk assessment and related documents for the pesticide sodium fluoride 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 sodium fluoride through a modified four-phase public participation process. Comments must be received on or before December 10, 2007.

AAPCO / SFIREG Working Committee on Water Quality and Pesticide Disposal Sets Public Meeting
The Association of American Pesticide Control Officials (AAPCO)/State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group (SFIREG) Working Committee on Water Quality and Pesticide Disposal will meet October 29-30, 2007, in Arlington, Virginia. The meeting notice includes tentative agenda topics.

October 9
EPA Settles With California Pesticide Company for $84,500 Over Unregistered Mexican Pesticides
As part of a settlement with EPA over the alleged sale of unregistered pesticides, Triunfo-Mex, Inc., of City of Industry, California, will pay $84,500. According to EPA, Triunfo-Mex sold and distributed two Mexican products: "Fabuloso Energia Naranja" and "Fabuloso Aroma de Bebe." The label states the products are "antibacterial," which constitutes a pesticidal claim. The case was based on an inspection conducted by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation in 2005.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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October 5
Pesticide Registration (PR) Notice Informs Pesticide Registrants, Applicants About Task Force To Develop Exposure Data
EPA has issued Pesticide Registration (PR) Notice 2007-3 to inform pesticide registrants, applicants, and other interested parties about the Agricultural Handlers Exposure Task Force, L.L.C. (AHETF). This industry task force is developing data to support pesticide registrations, and registrants may wish to join. Specifically, AHETF comprises pesticide registrants who wish to cost-share in the generation of mixer, loader, and applicator (handler) exposure data for pesticides used in agricultural settings. Formed in December 2001, the AHETF shares resources for the design, evaluation, and development of proprietary agricultural handler exposure data for use in regulatory risk assessment. EPA expects the data generated by the task force to provide the Agency with significantly better information for assessing handler exposure than the data routinely used at this time.

EPA Issues One-Year Registration for Soil Fumigant Iodomethane
EPA has approved a 1-year registration of iodomethane (methyl iodide) under highly restrictive provisions governing its use. Iodomethane is an alternative to the ozone-depleting pesticide methyl bromide. The risk assessment process for iodomethane has been one of the most thorough analyses ever conducted on a new pesticide. When used according to EPA's strict procedures, iodomethane is not only an effective pesticide, but also meets the health and safety standards for registering pesticides.

National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center October Newsletter and Webcast Exit EPA
The October edition of the National Livestock and Poultry Environmental (LPE) Learning Center newsletter is available. Topics include: November Webcast To Examine Vegetative Treatment Systems for Managing Barnyard and Open Lot Runoff; New Webcast Technology To Debut in October; Mid-Atlantic Water Quality Program Website Offers Nutrient Budgets; and Pennsylvania Project Examines Manure Management in No-Till Systems. The next Webcast will be on October 19, 2007, and will feature Mr. Robert Burns of Iowa State University speaking on "Overview of Alternative Manure Treatment Systems: Matching the Treatment to the Environmental Concern."

October 4
Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) Public Meeting
EPA will host a public meeting of the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) on October 17-18, 2007, in Arlington, Virginia. Topics for discussion include: Web-based labeling, spray drift, PRIA process improvements, registration review implementation, AZM transition issues, program updates, and other issues.  A detailed agenda for this meeting is available on the PPDC Web site. 

October 3
Guidance on Recommended Environmental Hazard Statements for Outdoor Residential Pesticides Available for Comment
EPA is seeking public comment on a draft Pesticide Registration (PR) Notice entitled "Environmental Hazard Statements for Outdoor Residential Pesticides.'' The proposed guidance is directed toward current or prospective registrants of outdoor residential use pesticides. It recommends environmental hazard statements that are easier for consumers to understand than the language created for agricultural products. Comments must be received on or before November 2, 2007.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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October 1
Tools for Reducing Nitrogen, Phosphorus Pollution
EPA's Office of Water is introducing several tools to help fight "nutrient pollution" (high loadings of nitrogen and phosphorus) into the nation's waters. The redesigned Web site on Nitrogen and Phosphorus now houses scientific literature reviews, monitoring data, guidance manuals, and webcasts to help states establish numeric water quality criteria for nitrogen and phosphorus. The site also offers answers to questions about how to use the criteria and a clearinghouse of water treatment technologies and land-use practices. The public can also visit the web site to learn more about this environmental problem and what individuals can do about it.

EPA Region 7 Awards Agricultural Initiative Grants
EPA's Region 7 office has awarded two Strategic Agricultural Initiative grants totaling $89,234 to reduce the use of high-risk pesticides. The recipients of the grants are the University of Missouri and Iowa State University. The program supports grants for education, extension, demonstration, and studies targeting the use of IPM and sustainable pesticide practices in food production. Since 2001, Region 7 has awarded $461,394 to reduce the use of high-risk agricultural pesticides.

EPA Proposes Amendments to Oil Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Rule
EPA is proposing revisions to certain regulatory requirements for facilities subject to the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure rule. The revisions will tailor and streamline requirements to particular industry sectors and facility owners or operators subject to the rule. Nothing in this proposed rule removes any regulatory requirement for owners or operators of facilities in operation before Aug. 16, 2002, to develop, implement and maintain an SPCC plan in accordance with the SPCC regulations then in effect. These facilities are required to maintain their plans until the applicable date for revising and implementing plans under the new amendments. Public comments on the proposed changes will be accepted for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register, which is expected within 2 weeks.

Forest Service, EPA Increase Coordination To Improve Water Quality
EPA and the U.S. Forest Service have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to foster efficient strategies to address water quality impairments by maintaining and restoring national forest system watersheds. Through this MOA, EPA and the Forest Service will work to advance a suite of water quality related actions that are expected to build partnerships between the agencies and among states, thereby improving national forest system watershed conditions and accelerating attainment of the objectives in statutory programs and strategic plans.

Agricultural and Industrial Uses of Flue Gas Desulfurization (FGD) Gypsum Workshop Exit EPA
Flue gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum is one of several categories of recyclable coal combustion byproducts produced from burning coal to generate electricity. In 2005, more than 12 million tons of FGD gypsum was generated, about 75% of which was used in the wallboard industry, as well as in agricultural and other applications. As additional air emission controls come on-line in the next decade generation of FGD gypsum will likely double. This workshop, sponsored by EPA's Coal Combustion Product Partnership (C2P2), the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Ohio State University, and industry partners, will explore current and potential uses of FGD gypsum in agricultural and industrial applications. The workshop will be held from October 23-24, 2007, in Atlanta, Georgia.

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