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News Archive: October 2008

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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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.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
New Requirements for Controlling Manure, Wastewater from Large Animal Feeding Operations
EPA has finalized a rule helping to protect the nation's water quality by requiring concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to safely manage manure. EPA estimates CAFO regulations will prevent 56 million pounds of phosphorus, 110 million pounds of nitrogen, and 2 billion pounds of sediment from entering streams, lakes, and other waters annually.

October 29
Electronic Report on the Environment
EPA is announcing the availability of the electronic Report on the Environment (ROE), an online site that provides access to the environmental and human health information contained in the EPA's 2008 Report on the Environment (EPA/600/R-07/045F), released May 20, 2008, and in the EPA's 2008 Report on the Environment: Highlights of National Trends, released September 24, 2008. The ROE asks important questions about the condition of our nation's environment and human health over time and provides answers to those questions in the form of indicators.

October 29
Final Rule for Pesticide Management and Disposal
EPA is amending the pesticide container and containment regulations, which provide for the safe storage and disposal of pesticides as a means of protecting human health and the environment pursuant to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). This final rule extends the labeling compliance date from August 17, 2009 to August 17, 2010; changes the phrase "sold or distributed" to "released for shipment" as associated with all of the compliance dates; provides certain exceptions to label language requirements; allows for waivers of certain label requirements; and makes various minor editorial changes. In addition, the Agency is amending 40 CFR part 152 by establishing a definition for "released for shipment." This final rule is effective December 29, 2008.

October 27
EPA Awards Northern California Family Farm Green Power Leadership Award
EPA recognized the Richvale, California, Lundberg Family Farms with its Green Power Leadership Award for its voluntary efforts to address climate change by purchasing green power and helping advance the development of the nation's green power market. Lundberg Family Farms, a family-owned and operated farm growing organic rice and rice products in the Sacramento Valley, has purchased or generates more than 4.8 million kilowatt-hours of green power annually -- the equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of nearly 600 passenger vehicles per year, or the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power more than 500 average American homes annually. The farm's purchase is enough to supply more than 100 percent of the operation's total electricity use, placing the company on the EPA's 100% Purchasers list. Additional information on EPA's Green Power Program and a complete list of nationwide awardees is available online.

Reissuance of Permits for Log Transfer Facilities in Alaska
The Director of the Office of Water and Watersheds, EPA Region 10, is publishing notice of the final National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permits (numbers AK-G70-0000 and AK- G70-1000) to provide Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.) authorization for log transfer facilities (LTFs) operating in Alaska. The Permits will become effective on December 1, 2008 and expire on November 30, 2013.

October 24
Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee Sets Public Meeting
The Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) Work Group on Web-Distributed Labeling will hold a public meeting on October 29, 2008, in Arlington, Virginia. The objective of the work group is to provide advice regarding a process to ensure that the most current version of pesticide labeling is available to purchasers and users electronically. An agenda is under development and will be posted on EPA's PPDC Web site.

October 23
Northern California Construction Company Ordered To Restore Damaged Wetlands
EPA has ordered Wendt Construction to restore sensitive wetlands near the Eel River that the company illegally graded and filled during construction activities at its housing development site in Fortuna, California. The order requires the company to remove soil and other fill; restore wetland habitat with native species; implement measures to control sedimentation and erosion of bank areas; and obtain a permit for any future discharges to wetlands. The company must also implement a 5-year monitoring program and submit annual monitoring reports to EPA.

Public Workshop, Webcast on Proposed Data Requirements for Antimicrobial Pesticides
On November 6, 2008, EPA will convene a public workshop in Arlington Virigina, to explain the provisions of its recently proposed rule to update and revise the data requirements for registration of antimicrobial pesticides. EPA has arranged for this workshop to be presented via webcast for those who cannot attend the public workshop in person. Instructions for joining the webcast are available on EPA's Web site.

October 22
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Farm Service Agency, and Iowa Farm Bureau Federation Receive "Gulf Guardian" Award
EPA's Gulf of Mexico Program recently announced that the third place Gulf Guardian award for 2008, in the partnership category, is being awarded to Iowa Agriculture for Reducing Nutrients to the Gulf. Members of the partnership are the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Farm Service Agency, and Iowa Farm Bureau Federation of Des Moines. The partnership has developed a strategy to address Gulf hypoxia and enhance local water quality by reducing nitrate and phosphorus transport to water resources from cropped landscapes. This strategy included 1) research developing technologies for wetland and drainage systems to reduce nutrient transport from cropped lands, 2) construction of strategically targeted and designed nitrogen-removal wetlands through the Iowa Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), and 3) development of pilot demonstrations for a market-driven, private/public initiative to deploy integrated drainage and wetland landscape systems for nutrient removal targeted across 6 million acres of cropped lands.

October 21
Region 10 Requests Initial Proposals for Total Maximum Daily Load 2009 Grants
EPA Region 10, Office of Water and Watersheds, Watersheds Unit, is soliciting proposals from eligible agencies/organizations for the coordination and acceleration of research, studies, experiments, training, investigation, and demonstration projects to improve the capacity of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington states and tribes to effectively and efficiently develop total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) for impaired waters located in these states. EPA will not provide funding to state or tribal environmental agencies for "routine" TMDL work that the Agency supports with grants under Section 106 and 319 of the Clean Water Act; production of TMDLs must be an incidental byproduct of the activities EPA funds under this competitive announcement. The total estimated funding available for awards under this announcement is approximately $400,000. Proposals are due December 8, 2008.

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October 17
EPA Amends Community Right-to-Know Reporting Regulation
EPA has finalized reporting requirements under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). These changes include clarification on how to report hazardous chemicals in mixtures and changes to Tier I and Tier II forms. Additionally, the rules now use a question and answer format. Facilities subject to EPCRA reporting, State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs), Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) and fire departments should become familiar with the new regulation. The final rule does not address EPA's proposed exclusion from particular notification requirements under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act and EPCRA for releases of hazardous substances to the air where the source of the release is animal waste at farms. That proposal will be addressed in a separate rulemaking package. More information on the final rule can be found on EPCRA Web site.

October 15
EPA Releases Final Guidance for Conducting Prospective Ground-Water Monitoring Studies
EPA has released the final Guidance for Conducting Prospective Ground-Water (PGW) Monitoring Studies, including the Agency's response to public comments on the development of the final guidance. The PGW guidance document describes how to conduct a PGW monitoring study, milestones for consulting with EPA, and how to report results to EPA. Data generated from these field studies have proven valuable to EPA scientists and risk managers, as they are specifically designed to relate pesticide use indicated on the label to measurements of the pesticide and its degradates in ground water used as a source of drinking water.

EPA Issues Two "Stop Sale" Orders to Arizona Company
EPA has ordered the Arizona-based Unelko Corporation to stop selling nine unregistered pesticides in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. After last month's announcement of $53,000 in fines against Unelko for the suspected sale and distribution of unregistered pesticides, EPA has issued a "stop sale" order to prevent Unelko from continuing to offer for sale to the public the following unregistered pesticides held on its premises: Eliminate Stainless Shine 3-in-1 Surface Care, Eliminate 3-in-1 Sani-Shield Antimicrobial Surface Barrier, Eliminate Sani-Shield 3-in-1 Surface Care, 1 Step Clean & Shield Bath Scrub, 1 Step Clean & Shield Bathroom Care, 1 Step Clean & Shield Surface Care, and Eliminate Sani-Scrub 3-in-1 Surface Care. EPA has also issued a "stop sale" order to prohibit Unelko from continuing to market and offer for sale eight unregistered pesticides from its Web sites, and has ordered the company to stop making unsubstantiated claims that its products are effective against specific microorganisms such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Escherichia coli, Salmonella, noroviruses, and the AD14 common cold virus.

Comments Invited on Ohio Request To Transfer NPDES Animal Feeding Programs to State Ag Department
The state of Ohio has requested to transfer the responsibility of regulating confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and storm water associated with construction of animal feeding operations (AFOs) under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) from the Ohio EPA to the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA). This transfer would include regulation of manure, litter, and process wastewater and construction and industrial storm water discharges from CAFOs, and construction-related storm water discharges from other AFOs. If Ohio's request is approved, Ohio EPA would continue to be responsible for implementing all other aspects of the state's approved NPDES program. An open house and public hearing will be held on November 18, 2008, in Columbus, Ohio. It will provide interested parties with the opportunity to provide written and/or oral comments for the record. EPA, ODA, and Ohio EPA staff will be available before the hearing to answer questions. Comments must be received by December 16, 2008.

EPA Settles With Virginia Company for Violating Federal Pesticide Law
Mareva, Inc., a swimming pool supplies retailer, has agreed to pay a $27,000 penalty to settle alleged violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Between September 2003 and April 2006, Mareva violated FIFRA by selling an unregistered and misbranded pesticide product called "Revastop -- Mustard Algae" on 49 separate occasions. As part of the settlement, Mareva neither admitted nor denied liability for the alleged violations, but has certified that it is now in compliance with FIFRA requirements.

October 14
NAFTA Technical Working Group on Pesticides Schedules Government-Stakeholder Meeting
The North American Free Trade Agreement Technical Working Group on Pesticides (TWG) will hold a stakeholder-government meeting on Wednesday, November 19, 2008, in Scottsdale-Phoenix, Arizona. The agenda includes plenary sessions on facilitating the introduction and adoption of biopesticides; a field trip to a local farm that uses integrated pest management tactics, biopesticides, and organic methods to grow vegetable crops; and a visit to a facility that produces a microbial pesticide to reduce or eliminate afloxtoxin in cotton seed.

EPA Solicits Comments on 2009-2014 Strategic Plan Update
EPA has released its "2009-2014 Strategic Plan Change Document" for public review and comment. The strategic plan identifies the measurable environmental and human health outcomes the public can expect over the next 5 years and describes how EPA intends to achieve those results. This update focuses on a limited number of targeted areas where the Agency believes it can make the most significant improvements in strategies and performance measurement to advance the mission of protecting human health and the environment. Comments are due November 30, 2008.

EPA Issues Guide to Help Reduce Wastewater Nutrients
EPA's Office of Water has released a new guide that will help municipal and utility owners and operators, engineers, local decision makers, and state permit writers and regulators to plan cost-effective nutrient removal projects for municipal wastewater treatment facilities. Excess nutrients are a leading cause of water body impairment and can cause the growth of excessive algae and aquatic vegetation in receiving waters, leading to decreased oxygen levels. Excess ammonia nitrogen is toxic to fish and other aquatic species, and the discharge of nitrates in wastewater can result in groundwater contamination. EPA's Municipal Nutrient Removal Technologies Reference Document presents detailed technical and cost information about existing nutrient removal technologies and information on emerging technologies. This document includes detailed process descriptions, performance and reliability data, and operating factors for processes that can remove nitrogen, phosphorus, or both from municipal wastewater.

AWE and EPA Announce Major Information Web Site on Water Efficiency
With funding from EPA, the Alliance for Water Efficiency, a national nonprofit organization that promotes the efficient and sustainable use of water, has launched a comprehensive Web-based Water Efficiency Resource Library Exit EPA. The library is intended as a one-stop shop for water efficient product and program information. Library sections cover residential plumbing and appliances, toilet testing, landscaping and irrigation, commercial and industrial water conservation, water rates and rate structures, water loss control, codes and standards, drought planning, and numerous other topics. Research reports, published documents, and case studies are included, providing a comprehensive picture of what water efficiency measures prove to be the most successful, and how water utilities and consumers can best achieve water efficient use. Upcoming features include state-by-state summaries and an on-line discussion forum.

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October 10
Pilot Program To Provide Environmental Assessments, Nutrient Management Plans to Livestock OperatorsExit EPA
Pilot testing of a program designed to help livestock farmers throughout the Eastern United States identify and adopt practices that protect the environment is scheduled for October 2008. The CLEANmp-East (Comprehensive Livestock Environmental Assessment and Nutrient Management Plans) program will provide livestock producers with voluntary and confidential environmental assessments of their operations. The program is being conducted by RTI International in Research Triangle Park, N.C., and North Carolina State University. The program is funded with a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. RTI and N.C. State University will work with volunteer farms in 27 Eastern states to identify environmental challenges and develop approaches to reduce air emissions and runoff from livestock operations to water sources. Pilot testing of the program is scheduled for October, 2008. Poultry and livestock operators who are interested in volunteering for the project can visit the CLEANmp-EAST Web site. Exit EPA

EPA Announces Pesticide Tolerance Nomenclature Changes
EPA has made minor technical revisions to the terminology of certain commodity terms listed under 40 CFR part 180, subparts A, C, and E. EPA is taking this action to establish a uniform listing of commodity terms throughout part 180. Revisions are included in the Federal Register notice.

October 9
EPA Solicits Pre-proposals for FY 2009 State Innovation Grants
EPA is soliciting pre-proposals from state environmental regulatory agencies for projects that promote a theme of "innovation in permitting," including alternatives or supplements to permitting programs. Under this theme, EPA is interested in projects that: 1) support the development and implementation of Environmental Results Programs, 2) test various forms of permitting integration, 3) test ways to help facilities practicing lean manufacturing better address environmental permit requirements and other environmental and energy considerations, and 4) advance the implementation of performance-based environmental leadership programs. Previous years’ State Innovation Grants have funded the use of whole farm Environmental Management Systems as a supplement to CAFO permits in Wisconsin’s dairy sector and the implementation of an Environmental Results Program for animal feedlots in Minnesota. The total estimated funding for this competitive opportunity is approximately $800,000 - $1,400,000. Regional, county, or municipal agencies with delegated authority for federal environmental permitting programs may also apply for this grant. Pre-proposals are due December 10, 2008.

$4.5 Million Funded to Methane to Markets Projects
Capturing methane from landfills and other sources is paving the way to a clean, green energy source and reducing greenhouse gases in the fight against climate change. Through the Methane to Markets Partnership (M2M), EPA is funding 20 projects that will help 12 countries increase their capture and use of methane from the landfill, coal, agriculture, and oil and natural gas sectors. Grants ranging from $90,000 to $700,000 are being awarded to help finance M2M projects in Argentina, Brazil, China, Ecuador, India, Korea, Mexico, Mongolia, Nigeria, Poland, Thailand, and Ukraine. The grants will fund a wide variety of M2M activities designed to remove technical or informational barriers currently interfering with the successful capture and use of methane around the world.

October 8
Pseudomonas fluorescens, Pseudomonas syringae Proposed Registration Review Decisions Available for Comment
EPA has proposed registration review decisions for the pesticides Pseudomonas fluorescens (docket ID# EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-0567) and Pseudomonas syringae (docket ID# EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-0509), and has opened a public comment period on the proposed decisions. Comments must be received on or before December 8, 2008.

Tribal Pesticide Program Council To Hold Public Meeting
The Tribal Pesticide Program Council (TPPC) will hold a 2-day meeting October 23-24, 2008, in Chandler, Arizona. The tentative agenda includes a TPPC State of the Council Report, tribal presentations, and an integrated pest management discussion.

Comments Solicited for Draft Report on Risk and Exposure Assessment for Nitrogen Dioxide
EPA is making available for public review and comment additional sections of a draft document titled, "Risk and Exposure Assessment To Support the Review of the NO2 Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard: Second Draft."  Additional sections being released at this time are Chapter 8 and a revised Appendix B. The two sections convey the approach taken to characterize NO2 exposures and the approach taken to characterize health risks associated with those exposures, and also present the results of those analyses. The document can be found on EPA's National Ambient Air Quality Standards Web site. Comments on the additional sections of the above report must be received on or before October 22, 2008.

EPA Cites Pesticides Practices of Puerto Rico Agency
EPA has cited the Puerto Rico Department of Agriculture's (PRDA) Crop Protection Program for allegedly violating federal pesticide and worker protection regulations. The EPA complaint, issued under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), comes after a series of investigations conducted by EPA revealing that PRDA was using pesticides in ways that were inconsistent with their labeling. These practices included failing to mix pesticides properly with the soil, using them inappropriately, putting workers and pesticide handlers in potential danger, and applying pesticides on crops for which they were not approved for use. In addition, PRDA failed to provide proper pesticide application information to farm owners. EPA's complaint against the PRDA proposes a penalty of $263,980.

EPA Releases Final Rule on Emissions From Nonroad Spark-Ignition Engines, Equipment
EPA has set emission standards for new nonroad spark-ignition engines that will substantially reduce emissions from these engines. The exhaust emission standards apply starting in 2011 and 2012 for different sizes of new land-based, spark-ignition engines at or below 19 kilowatts. These small engines are used primarily in lawn and garden applications. It is estimated that by 2030, this rule will result in significantly reduced pollutant emissions from regulated engine and equipment sources, including estimated annual nationwide reductions of 604,000 tons of volatile organic hydrocarbon emissions, 132,200 tons of nitrogen oxide emissions, and 5,500 tons of directly-emitted particulate matter emissions.

EPA Revising Data Requirements for Antimicrobial Pesticides; Will Hold Public Workshop
EPA is proposing to revise and update existing data requirements for antimicrobial pesticides. The revisions are needed to reflect current scientific knowledge and current Agency regulatory practices, and to improve protection of the general population as well as sensitive subpopulations. The proposal sets out use patterns designed to make it easier to determine which requirements apply to antimicrobial products. The revisions will further enhance the Agency's ability to make regulatory decisions about the human health and environmental fate and effects of antimicrobial pesticide products. Comments must be received on or before January 6, 2009. The Agency is convening a public workshop November 6, 2008, in Arlington, Virginia, to explain the provisions of the proposed rule. The workshop will provide an opportunity for members of the public to ask questions about the rule and seek clarifications to help them as they submit comments.

October 6
Pennsylvania Chemical Company Settles Pesticide Violations
EPA has cited Hydrol Chemical for 18 violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) concerning sales or distributions of two different pesticide products. Alleged violations included six sales of an unregistered pesticide (Formaldehyde Solution 35 Microbiocide) and 12 sales of misbranded pesticides (Formaldehyde Solution 37 and Formaldehyde Solution 35 Microbiocide). As part of the settlement, the company neither admitted nor denied liability for the alleged violations, but agreed to pay a $10,000 penalty and certified to EPA that it is currently complying with applicable provisions of FIFRA.

EPA Proposes National Emission Standards for Chemical Manufacturers
EPA is proposing national emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants in nine chemical manufacturing source categories, including the agricultural chemicals and pesticides manufacturing sector. Comments must be received on or before November 5, 2008, unless a public hearing is requested by October 16, 2008. If a hearing is requested on the proposed rule, written comments must be received by November 20, 2008.

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October 6
National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center October Newsletter and Webcast Exit EPA
The October edition of the National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPELC) newsletter is available. Topics include: "EPA Releases Report on the Environment 2008; USGS Investigations of Ground-Water Quality Published; Poultry Waste Management Symposium To Be Held October 21-23; and Orienting Buildings Perpendicular to Prevailing Winds May Reduce Odors." The next Webcast on October 17, 2008 is entitled, "Physical, Chemical and Biological Impacts of Manure on Soil," and will feature Mark Risse of University of Georgia, Craig Cogger and Ann-Marie Fortuna of Washington State University. The LPELC is developing plans for the 2009 webcast series and would like to know which webcasts you would like to see. Take a brief survey Exit EPA of potential topics.

October 3
EPA Solicits Applications for Approximately $50,000 in Strategic Ag Initiative (SAI) Grants
EPA Region 2 is soliciting applications to help implement the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) and to support efforts by the agricultural community to transition away from high risk pesticides (organophosphates, carbamates, and fumigants) to the use of less and reduced risk pesticides, alternative methods of agricultural pest control, and sustainable practices in food production. The program supports grants for education, extension, demonstration, and studies for FQPA transition and reduced risk practices for pest management in agriculture. Proposals are due December 11, 2008.

October 2
Office of Water Releases Final Climate Change Strategy
To assist in responding to potential effects of climate change, a new strategy focuses on 40 specific actions for the national water program to take to respond to climate change. EPA's "National Water Program Strategy: Response to Climate Change" describes steps for managers to adapt their clean water, drinking water, and ocean protection programs. EPA water programs are already taking action related to climate change including the WaterSense water efficiency program, green infrastructure for wet weather management, Climate Ready Estuaries, and the proposed national rule for the injection of carbon dioxide underground. The water strategy identifies specific response actions in five areas:

Potential impacts of climate change on water resources reviewed in the strategy include increases in certain water pollution problems, changes in availability of drinking water supplies, and collective impacts on coastal areas. For more information visit EPA's National Water Program Strategy Web site.

October 1
AAPCO/SFIREG Working Committee on Water Quality and Pesticide Disposal To Hold 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 hold a 2-day public meeting on October 27-28, 2008 in Arlington, VA. Tentative topics include state updates/issues; assessment of risks from semi-volatile pesticides in air - state and federal experience and perspective; and surface water benchmarks update - Region 5 Pilot Project status report. Additional information and the full agenda will be listed at the AAPCO Web site. Exit EPA

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