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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.

September 29
Extension of Comment Period for Methyl Bromide TRED and RED
On August 9, 2006, EPA announced the availability of EPA's Tolerance Reassessment and Risk Management Decision (TRED) for methyl bromide and Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for methyl bromide's commodity uses, and opened a 60-day public comment period on the document. The comment period has been extended for an additional 45 days. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA- HQ-OPP-2005-0123 must be received on or before November 24, 2006.

Extension of Comment Period for Pentachloronitrobenzene (PCNB) RED
EPA issued a Federal Register notice on 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 comment period has been extended for 30 days, from October 2, 2006, to November 1, 2006. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA- HQ-OPP-2004-0202 must be received on or before November 1, 2006.

Draft Guidance for Pesticide Registrants on Plant-Incorporated Protectants: Small-Scale Field Testing and Low-Level Intermittent Presence in Food
EPA has released and is seeking public comment on a draft Pesticide Registration Notice (PRN) entitled "Guidance on Small-Scale Field Testing and Low-Level Intermittent Presence in Food of Plant-Incorporated Protectants (PIPs).''  This draft PRN provides guidance to registrants concerning clarification on the process by which EPA reviews and ensures the safety of low-level intermittently present residues of PIPs in food or feed, and the conditions under which a tolerance or exemption from the requirement of a tolerance would be required for field tests for biotechnology-derived food and feed crop plants containing plant-incorporated protectants. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0291, must be received on or before November 28, 2006.

September 28
EPA Adjusts Pollutant Monitoring Requirements to Improve Air Quality Protection and Information
To help EPA, states, tribes, and local air quality agencies better protect and inform the public about air quality in their communities, EPA has changed its national air quality monitoring regulations. Reflecting extensive independent scientific review and public input, the rule will change the locations of some types of monitors, add new monitors for some pollutants, and allow states and tribes to shut down unneeded monitors for some pollutants. The rule also will add more monitors capable of providing real-time measurements for some pollutants. The changes affect monitoring for six common pollutants known as "criteria pollutants" and the pollutants that form them. The six pollutants are: ground-level ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, particle pollution (also called particulate matter), and lead. There will continue to be a national network of monitors for each criteria pollutant, but the improved network will be more strategic and more efficient.

September 27
EPA Files Complaint Against Connecticut Firm Charged with Violating Pesticide Laws
EPA's New England office announced that it intends to seek monetary penalties against a Connecticut company for alleged violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). BioSafe Systems, L.L.C. of Glastonbury, Connecticut, distributes and sells products intended for agricultural, aquatic, horticultural, turf, and general uses. EPA's complaint proposes a penalty of $39,000 against BioSafe and cites the company for distributing, selling, or offering for sale two EPA-registered pesticides while making claims that were substantially different than the statements required to register the products. EPA also alleges that BioSafe violated an EPA Stop Sale, Use, or Removal Order previously issued to the company regarding the same EPA-registered pesticides. The alleged violations occurred between January and December 2005.

EPA Settles for $57,200 with California Company Over Pesticide Violations
EPA has fined The Dune Company of Imperial Valley, California, $57,200 for the alleged sale and distribution of pesticides with inadequate labels, in violation of federal pesticide law. EPA cited the company for failing to affix accurate labels to recyclable pesticide containers when repackaging the herbicide EPTAM 7-E. The outdated labels on the repackaged herbicide failed to include upgraded safety precautions and failed to properly identify where the product was repackaged.

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September 26
2005 Year in Review: Emergency Management -- Prevention, Preparedness, and Response (PDF) (21 pp, 1.7MB)
EPA's Office of Emergency Management has issued its second annual report detailing emergency response activities in EPA headquarters and regional offices. Together with many partners in federal, state, and local governments and the private sector, EPA continues to make significant progress in preventing accidents, preparing for events that cannot be prevented, and responding to environmental emergencies, both accidental and those caused by terrorism. This report highlights the accomplishments during 2005.

September 22
EPA Invites Comments on Four Pesticide Reregistration Eligibility Decisions
EPA has released its Reregistration Eligibility Decisions for the pesticides 2-(thiocyanomethylthio) benzothiazole (TCMTB); alkylbenzene sulfonates (ABS); orthophenylphenol (OPP); and chlorine dioxide and sodium chlorite, and has opened a public comment period on these documents. The Agency's risk assessments and other related documents also are available in the dockets. In an agricultural setting, TCMTB is used as a fungicide applied as a seed treatment; it also has industrial, residential, and public-access area uses. The alkylbenzene sulfonates are used as food-contact sanitizers, and also as disinfectants and sanitizers for agricultural and other use sites. In addition to many commercial and residential uses, OPP is used on agricultural premises and equipment and as a fungicide on citrus and pears. Chlorine dioxide and sodium chlorite are used to control bacteria, fungi, and algal slimes, and are applied as a materials preservative and as a disinfectant in commercial, residential, and agricultural settings. Comments, identified by the docket ID numbers listed below, must be received on or before November 21, 2006:

Pesticide Exposure Modeling Work Group Schedules Public Meeting
The Exposure Modeling Work Group (EMWG) will hold a one-day meeting on October 3, 2006, in Arlington, Virginia. This work group meets quarterly to discuss current issues in modeling pesticide fate, transport, and exposure to pesticides in support of risk assessment in a regulatory context. Major topics on the tentative agenda for this meeting concern the use of aquatic pesticides.

Comments Invited on Draft Guidance for Pesticide Registrants on Use of Antimicrobial Pesticide Products in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Systems
EPA is seeking public comment on a draft Pesticide Registration Notice (PR Notice) entitled "Use of Antimicrobial Pesticide Products in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Systems.'' PR Notices are issued by the Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) to inform pesticide registrants and other interested persons about important policies, procedures, and registration related decisions, and serve to provide guidance to pesticide registrants and OPP personnel. This particular draft PR Notice would, once final, provide guidance to registrants concerning EPA-registered sanitizers disinfectants, and other antimicrobial products whose labels bear general directions for use on or incorporation within hard, non-porous or porous surfaces, but which are not specifically registered for treatment of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0351, must be received on or before November 21, 2006.

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September 21
EPA Strengthens U.S. Air Quality Standards

EPA announced the strongest national air quality standards in the country's history. These National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) address fine and coarse particle pollution, also known as particulate matter (PM). PM is a complex mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets in the air (i.e. dust, soot and particles too small to see). The standards address two categories of particle pollution: fine particles and inhalable coarse particles. Exposure to particle pollution is linked to a variety of significant health problems ranging from aggravated asthma to premature death in people with heart and lung disease. The final action significantly strengthens EPA's previous daily fine particle standard – by nearly 50 percent – from 65 micrograms of particles per cubic meter to 35 micrograms of particles per cubic meter of air. This standard increases protection of the public from short-term exposure to fine particles. By revising the daily fine particle standard, it will yield additional estimated health benefits valued at between $9 billion to $75 billion a year. These standards will reduce premature deaths, heart attacks and hospital admissions for people with heart and lung disease.

September 20
EPA Signs Clean Bays Agreement with Perdue to Help Protect Chesapeake and Delaware Coastal Bays
EPA and Perdue Farms, Inc. have signed an agreement that will set up a program to help minimize the environmental impact that poultry farms have on the Chesapeake Bay and coastal bays around the Delmarva peninsula. The program initially focuses on the largest farms that supply Perdue with chickens. Under the formal Memorandum of Agreement known as the Clean Bays agreement, beginning in 2007 trained flock supervisors from Perdue will visit the farms to evaluate how they are controlling runoff and addressing litter disposal. The supervisors will use a checklist to examine how well the farms are complying with nutrient management regulations related to their poultry operations and identify areas for improvement.

Vernon Firm Pays EPA $4,160 for Selling Unregistered Brazilian Pesticide
Under the terms of a recent settlement with EPA, Landmark Enterprises of Vernon, California, agreed to pay $4,160 for allegedly selling an unregistered Brazilian pesticide in violation of federal law. Based on an inspection conducted by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation in 2005, EPA enforcement officials determined that Landmark Enterprises was allegedly offering for sale "Pinho Lysol Bactericida," an unregistered product imported from Brazil that is used as a home disinfectant.

September 18
Cranberry Farms Learn to Grow More, Spray Less
Rutgers University agricultural experts are teaching growers to reduce their use of pesticides while harvesting a bumper crop. Rutgers is using a $96,200 EPA grant for a two year project to explore more novel, reduced-risk methods for controlling pests in cranberry production. The Rutgers University Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension Center is working with state and county organizations and five farms in Burlington County to identify cost-effective ways to monitor pests and track the impacts of reduced chemical pesticides on species in cranberry fields while measuring and recording the amounts of insecticides used.

September 15
OPP Sets Public Meeting To Discuss Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals
EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) will hold a public meeting October 18-19, 2006, in Arlington, Virginia, to discuss the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) as it may relate to pesticide products that are registered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. The goals of the workshop are to discuss and clarify the scope and potential application of GHS to pesticide products; to examine key issues raised in public comments on OPP's GHS white paper; to gain a better understanding of stakeholder concerns and explore ways to address them; and to assess potential paths forward to maximize benefits and minimize the costs.

September 14
EPA Settles Case for $3,300 Against Kamehameha Schools for Alleged Violation of Pesticide Permit
EPA has reached a settlement for $3,300 with Kamehameha Schools for the improper use of a rodenticide within the Keauhou forest region on the island of Hawaii, in violation of federal pesticide laws. EPA asserts that Kamehameha Schools failed to comply with the conditions set forth in an EPA experimental use permit. The permit authorized the limited aerial application of "Eaton's Bait Pellet Rodenticide with Fish Flavorizer" for the control of invasive species, such as mongoose and rats, for wildlife conservation purposes. The schools, together with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, apparently set ground bait traps in violation of the permit's provisions. As a result of the pesticide's non-permitted use inside bait traps, at least 12 non-targeted wild pigs were killed in addition to the targeted rat and mongoose populations.

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September 13
GreenScaping: The Easy Way to a Greener, Healthier Yard
GreenScapes is pleased to announce a new publication, GreenScaping: The Easy Way to a Greener, Healthier Yard. In this new brochure, GreenScapes shows homeowners how to plant right for their site, conserve water, reduce yard waste, and use pesticides wisely. GreenScapes encompasses a set of landscaping practices that can improve the health and appearance of homeowners’ lawns and gardens while protecting and preserving natural resources. This effort is designed to show homeowners that by taking care of their lawns and gardens properly, they can save money, time, and help the environment. The brochure was produced through collaboration with the Office of Pesticides Program and the Office of Water as well as state and local governments and academia.

Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center Upcoming Webcasts Exit EPA
The Livestock and Poultry Environmental (LPE) Learning Center is is a project dedicated to the vision that individuals involved in public policy issues, animal production, and delivery of technical services for confined animal systems should have on-demand access to the nation's best science-based resources. The team envisions that this center will be responsive to priority and emerging environmental issues associated with animal agriculture. The LPE Learning Center host Webcasts on the third Friday of every month at 2:30 pm (eastern), 1:30 pm (central), 12:30 pm (mountain), 11:30 am (pacific). Webcasts can be viewed live (at their scheduled time) by visiting the link above. Upcoming Webcasts: September 15, 2006 "The CNMP Development Course & Its Role in Local TSP Education; October 20, 2006 "Proposed Changes to EPA's CAFO Regulations"; November 17, 2006 "Pathogens in Animal Manure...Should We Be Concerned?".

Tribal Pesticide Program Council Meeting
The Tribal Pesticide Program Council (TPPC) will meet October 11-13, 2006, in Prior Lake, Minnesota. The October 13, half-day meeting is for TPPC members only. Requests to participate in the meeting, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006, must be received on or before September 28. Tentative meeting topics are listed in the Federal Register notice (linked above).

EPA Invites Comments on Petition To Amend Certain FIFRA Section 25(b) Pesticide Products
The Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA) has filed a petition pertaining to FIFRA Section 25(b) pesticide products. The petition requests the Agency to modify the minimum risk regulations at 40 CFR 152.25(f) for those products that claim to control public health pests (as defined in Pesticide Registration (PR) Notice 2002-1) and requests that any such product making public health claims be subject to EPA registration requirements as a precondition of their sale. The Agency has determined that the petition may be of regional and national significance. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0687, must be received on or before November 13, 2006.

AAPCO/SFIREG Working Committee on Pesticide Operations and Management To Meet October 2-3
The Association of American Pesticide Control Officials (AAPCO)/State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group (SFIREG) Working Committee on Pesticide Operations and Management (WC/POM) will meet October 2-3, 2006, in Arlington, Virginia. EPA has established a docket for this action under docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0710. Tentative topics for the meeting are listed in the Federal Register notice (linked above).

September 11
EPA Settles Case for $16,290 Against California Company for Pesticide Violations
EPA has reached a settlement for $16,290 with DECCO Cerexagri, Inc., of Monrovia, California, for four violations of federal pesticide law, including the alleged sale and distribution of three pesticides with inadequate labeling and the failure to identify these pesticides in a 2005 report. The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) requires that export-only pesticides be conspicuously labeled as such to prevent the use of unregistered pesticides in the United States. EPA cited DECCO Cerexagri for failing to include the required statement: "Not Registered for Use in the United States of America". In addition, because these pesticides were not identified in the annual pesticide production report, EPA cited the company for submitting a pesticide production report with major omissions of required information.

Updates to the Pesticide Product Label System (PPLS) Database Available
The Pesticide Product Label System is a collection of images, in multi-page TIFF format, of pesticide labels approved by the Office of Pesticide Programs under Section 3 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). A database containing a collection of the PPLS index of all label updates has been added. The collection contains the initially approved label for pesticide products registered under FIFRA Section 3 as well as subsequent versions of labels that have changed via amendment or notification. In addition to the stamped approved labels, this collection contains any associated correspondence about the terms of registration, specifying any changes the registrant was required to make in the final printed label. Because some label amendments address only portions of the label, it may be necessary to review several labels for a single product to determine the complete terms of registration.

September 9
Grant Applications Invited for Strategic Agricultural Initiative in EPA Region 4
The primary goal of Region 4's Strategic Agricultural Initiative Project is to assist in implementation of the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) through an extensive and effective communication and partnership effort with regional pesticide user, teacher, and researcher communities. The Strategic Agricultural Initiative provides grant funding for FQPA-related projects for state and nonprofit organizations and seeks partnerships with regulatory agencies, industry, and the agricultural community. The deadline for submission of grant proposals is October 30, 2006.

September 8
EPA Settles for $6,500 with Arizona Company for Importing Misbranded Pesticide
Gowan Company, a pesticide producer in Yuma, Arizona, recently agreed to pay $6,500 for allegedly importing misbranded bottles of Ultiflora, a pesticide used to control and kill mites, into the Port of Los Angeles, in violation of federal pesticide law. The bottles of Ultiflora lacked required labeling, such as directions for use and other safety information. EPA learned of this violation through the "Notice of Arrival of Pesticides and Devices" form submitted for this shipment; according to federal regulations, a "Notice of Arrival" form must be submitted for all pesticides imported into this country.

EPA Methyl Bromide Inventory Data Shows Downward Trend
EPA has released data showing a steady decline in the aggregate methyl bromide inventory held by companies in the United States since 2003, when the Agency began collecting such information. Methyl bromide is a widely used soil fumigant that is also a powerful ozone-depleting substance. Under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and the Clean Air Act, the United States phased out new production and import of methyl bromide, except for allowable exemptions for users who have no technically and economically feasible alternatives. Methyl bromide needs for these critical uses are met through allowable production under the Montreal Protocol's exemption process as well as the use of existing inventory held by companies in the United States.

Human Studies Review Board To Discuss Draft Report Via Public Teleconference
EPA's Human Studies Review Board (HSRB) has scheduled a public teleconference to discuss the draft report from its June 27-30 meeting. The teleconference will be held on September 26, 2006, from 1-4 p.m. (Eastern time). EPA has established a docket for this action under docket ID number EPA-HQ-ORD-2006-0384. The Federal Register notice (linked above) includes information on how to obtain the call-in number and access code to participate in the telephone conference.

FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel To Review Pink Bollworm Eradication Program
The FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel will hold a public meeting in Arlington, Virginia, October 24-26, 2006, to review the evaluation of the resistance risks from using 100% Bollgard and Bollgard II cotton as part of a pink bollworm eradication program in the state of Arizona.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

September 6
EPA Compliance Assistance Centers Celebrate Ten Years Helping Americans Meet Environmental Regulations
EPA-sponsored, Web-based Compliance Assistance Centers are celebrating ten years of helping regulated facilities, particularly small businesses and local governments, understand and meet environmental regulations. In a decade, the number of centers has grown from 3 to 14, and together they attract more than one million visitors a year. In a recent centers' survey, 78 percent of regulated businesses and governments said they had improved their environmental management practices as a result of using the critical information provided by the centers.

The original centers supported the printing, metal finishing and automotive service and repair sectors. EPA has since funded centers for chemical manufacturers, local government, printed wiring board manufacturers, transportation, agriculture, paints and coatings, federal facilities, automotive recyclers, construction, US/Mexico/Canada border issues, and health care sectors.

The final date to take the survey is Friday, September 8, 2006.

Guide Highlights Incentives for Agriculture Water Quality Trading
By selling the amounts of nutrients or sediment reduced by conservation practices, agricultural producers are finding opportunities to get paid for stewardship activities through water quality trading. The manual, Getting Paid for Stewardship: An Agricultural Community Water Quality Trading Guide, helps interested partners get started. The guide has information for producers who want to develop a trading program in their watershed, provides a basic understanding of trading, and includes contact information. Produced under an EPA cooperative agreement with the Conservation Technology Information Center, the guide is intended for agriculture advisers and/or technical service providers.

September 1
FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel To Consider CCA Studies
The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) will meet in Arlington, Virginia, November 14-16 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. EPA has established a docket for this action under docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0693.

2007 Biopesticide Research Program Guidelines and Grant Proposal Application Forms: IR-4 Project (PDF) (43 pp, 495K)
IR-4 is a USDA-funded applied research program whose mission is to help specialty crop producers obtain safe, effective pest control products. Initiated in 1963, the program broadened its scope in 1982 to cover biopesticides including microbials, nonviable microbials, biochemicals, genetically altered microbials, and transgenic plants. The primary objective of the IR-4 Biopesticide Research Program is to further the development and registration of biopesticides for use in pest management systems for specialty crops or for minor uses on major crops. Proposals are due by November 14, 2006.

Request for Public Comment on Proposed Stipulated Injunction Involving Pesticides and the California Red-legged Frog
EPA is making available for comment a proposed stipulated injunction that would affect aspects of the registrations of certain pesticides and establish a series of deadlines for the Agency to make "effects determinations" and initiate consultation, as appropriate, with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for these pesticides in regard to the California red-legged frog, a species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. EPA will evaluate all comments received during the public comment period to determine whether all or part of the proposed stipulated injunction warrants reconsideration. This proposed stipulated injunction, if entered by the Court, would resolve a lawsuit brought against EPA by the Center for Biological Diversity, on terms also acceptable to intervenors CropLife America, American Forest and Paper Association, Western Plant Health Association, Oregonians for Food and Shelter, and Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0702, must be received on or before September 18, 2006.

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