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News Archive: September 2009

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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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.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 30
EPA Solicits Pre-Proposals for 2010 State Innovation Grant Program
EPA National Center for Environmental Innovation (NCEI) is giving preliminary notice of its intention to solicit pre-proposals for a 2010 grant program to support innovation by State environmental agencies--the "State Innovation Grant Program." In addition, EPA is asking each State environmental regulatory agency to designate a point of contact speaking on behalf of management (in addition to the Commissioner, Director, or Secretary) who will be the point of contact for further communication about the upcoming solicitation. The State Innovation Grant Program has been used to strengthen EPA's partnership with the States by supporting State innovation compatible with EPA's Innovation Strategy. Since 2002, EPA has provided financial assistance to state environmental agencies through the EPA State Innovation Grant program to help them test innovative approaches to improving results in permitting programs. Using the EPA grant program, states have tested and implemented a variety of new ideas to improve permit compliance and integrate voluntary stewardship approaches.

EPA Proposes To Focus First Greenhouse Gas Permitting Requirements on Large Industrial Facilities; Small Businesses and Farms Exempt
EPA has taken a significant step to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the Clean Air Act. The Administrator announced a proposal requiring large industrial facilities that emit at least 25,000 tons of GHGs a year to obtain construction and operating permits covering these emissions. These permits must demonstrate the use of best available control technologies and energy efficiency measures to minimize GHG emissions when facilities are constructed or significantly modified. These large facilities would include power plants, refineries, and factories. Small businesses such as farms and restaurants, and many other types of small facilities, would not be included in these requirements. EPA will accept comment on these proposals for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

EPA Releases Registration Review Final Decisions for Pseudomonas Fluorescens and Pseudomonas Syringae
EPA announces the availability of its final registration review decisions for the pesticides Pseudomonas fluorescens, case 6006 (docket ID #EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-0567) and Pseudomonas syringae, case 6007 (docket ID #EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-0509). Registration review is EPA's periodic review of pesticide registrations to ensure that each pesticide continues to satisfy the statutory standard for registration, that is, that the pesticide can perform its intended function without causing unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment.

Four New Biopesticide Registration Review Dockets Opened for Review and Comment
EPA has established registration review dockets for the pesticides listed below, and is opening the public comment period for these registration reviews:

Comments must be received on or before November 30, 2009.

EPA Seeks To Disclose Hazardous Pesticide Inert Ingredients
EPA is moving forward with a plan to disclose the identities of all inert ingredients in pesticides including those that are potentially hazardous.  This increased transparency will assist consumers and users of pesticides in making informed decisions and will better protect public health and the environment. Pesticide manufacturers typically disclose their inert ingredients only to EPA. Currently, EPA evaluates the safety of all active and inert ingredients in a product’s formulation when determining whether the pesticide should be registered. The Agency anticipates publishing its proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register within the next few months.

September 24
New National Food Processing Compliance Assistance Center Available Exit EPA
The National Food Processing Environmental Assistance Center (FPEAC) is now available to help food processors understand and comply with environmental requirements. EPA sponsored the FPEAC and selected Purdue University to develop and host the Center. Food processors now have access to this all-encompassing source of environmental regulatory, pollution prevention and sustainability information, available at your computer when you need it. The Center contains federal and state regulations and publications to help you address environmental issues related to your food processing businesses.

September 23
Registration Review Final Work Plan and Proposed Registration Review Decision Available for Bromine
EPA announces the availability of its final work plan and proposed registration review decision for the pesticide bromine and opens a public comment period on the proposed decision. Comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0167, must be received on or before November 23, 2009.

Three Antimicrobial Pesticide Dockets Opened for Review and Comment
EPA has established registration review dockets for the following pesticides and is opening the public comment period for these registration reviews:

Comments must be received on or before December 22, 2009.

Pesticide Registration Review Dockets Opened for Review and Comment
EPA has established registration review dockets for the pesticides listed below. With this document, EPA is opening the public comment period for these registration review cases:

Comments must be received on or November 23, 2009.

EPA Withdraws Pesticide Science Policy Document
EPA hereby withdraws the pesticide science policy document entitled "Estimating the Drinking Water Component of a Dietary Exposure Assessment," that was issued in November 1999. This science policy was developed during the implementation of the new safety standard in section 408 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as amended by the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996. EPA's assessment of exposure to residues in drinking water no longer involves performing screening level assessments as described in this policy paper. Instead, the Agency now routinely develops estimates of exposure to pesticides in drinking after using the more advanced methods that EPA has described in other science policy papers.

SFIREG Environmental Quality Issues Working Committee Meeting To Hold Public Meeting
The Association of American Pesticide Control Officials (AAPCO)/State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group (SFIREG), Environmental Quality Issues (EQI) Working Committee will hold a 2-day meeting, beginning on October 19, 2009 and ending October 20, 2009, in Arlington, VA. Topics may include but are not limited to: Update on the EPA's NPDES general permit for pesticides; report on USGS study on Pesticide Occurrence in the Lakes of the Ridge Citrus Region of Central Florida; Office of Water Update on Harmonization of Risk Assessment-Scoping Paper; Office of Water Update on atrazine water quality criteria and May SAP; update on Revision to Advisory Statements-Outcome of full SFIREG Meeting; and fumigant label comments and label development.

EPA Releases List of Priority Drinking Water Contaminants for Regulatory Consideration
EPA is releasing its third list of drinking water contaminants that are known or anticipated to occur in public water systems and may require regulation. EPA will continue to evaluate and collect data on the contaminants, and determine by 2013 for some of them whether or not to propose drinking water regulations. The agency evaluated approximately 7,500 chemicals and microbes and selected 116 candidates for the final list based on their potential to pose health risks through drinking water exposure. The contaminant candidate list (CCL 3) includes 104 chemical contaminants or groups and 12 microbes. Among them are contaminants, pesticides, disinfection byproducts, pharmaceuticals, chemicals used in commerce, waterborne pathogens and algal toxins.

September 22
EPA Finalizes the Nation’s First Greenhouse Gas Reporting System; Monitoring To Begin in 2010
EPA will, for the first time, require large emitters of heat-trapping emissions to begin collecting greenhouse gas (GHG) data under a new reporting system. This new program will cover approximately 85 percent of the nation’s GHG emissions and apply to roughly 10,000 facilities. EPA’s new reporting system will provide a better understanding of where GHGs are coming from and will guide development of the best possible policies and programs to reduce emissions. The data will also allow businesses to track their own emissions, compare them to similar facilities, and provide assistance in identifying cost effective ways to reduce emissions in the future. This comprehensive, nationwide emissions data will help in the fight against climate change. The first annual reports for the largest emitting facilities, covering calendar year 2010, will be submitted to EPA in 2011. Vehicle and engine manufacturers outside of the light-duty sector will begin phasing in GHG reporting with model year 2011. Some source categories included in the proposed rule are still under review.

EPA Acts To Protect Public from Unregistered Pesticides
EPA recently filed a complaint against a Peoria, Ariz.-based company for the alleged sale and distribution of an unregistered pesticide in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. EPA is seeking up to $5,200 in civil penalties from the company for offering for sale the unregistered antimicrobial pesticide known as Titania Antibacterial System. The violation was identified through an inspection conducted by U.S. EPA Region IX on November 21, 2008. The sale or distribution of a pesticide that has not been registered with EPA is a violation of federal pesticide law, which requires registration of pesticide products and pesticide-production facilities, as well as proper pesticide labeling. These requirements protect public health and the environment by minimizing the risks associated with the production, handling, and application of pesticides.

State-EPA Nutrient Innovations Task Group Report Addresses Nutrient Pollution Challenges
In a recent report, "An Urgent Call to Action: Report of the State-EPA Nutrient Innovations Task Group," the State-EPA Nutrient Innovations Task Group presents a summary of scientific evidence and analysis that characterizes the scope and major sources of nutrient impacts nationally. This summary considers the tools currently used under existing federal authority and presents options for new, innovative tools to control sources of nutrient pollution. Finally, the Task Group presents findings and suggests next steps needed to better address nutrient pollution.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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September 18
EPA To Host Webcast on NPDES Permit Development for Pesticide Discharge
EPA is hosting a Webcast to describe Agency efforts to develop a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permit for discharges from the application of pesticides in the few remaining areas nationwide where EPA is the NPDES permitting authority. This Webcast is scheduled for October 7, 2009, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm, Eastern time and is planned in preparation for the October 14-15 Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee meeting. EPA expects the 45 states that are authorized as NPDES permitting authorities to use EPA's general permit to guide them in developing and issuing their own permits. The Webcast will cover current legal status of NPDES requirements for discharges from the application of pesticides, the schedule for developing NPDES general permits for such discharges, and current agency thoughts on general permit conditions related to the scope of general permit, Notice of Intent (NOI) for obtaining permit coverage, technology-based effluent limits, water-quality-based effluent limits, and monitoring, reporting, and recordkeeping requirements. The Webcast will be open to the public and is free of charge. A link to the Webcast will be available on EPA's NPDES training Web site. This site will be updated prior to October 7 to include a link to the Webcast.

September 17
EPA Seeks Preliminary Comment on the Development of a Nutrient and Sediment TMDL for the Chesapeake Bay
EPA announces its intent to establish a Chesapeake Bay-wide Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for phosphorus, nitrogen, and sediment for all impaired segments in the tidal portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and is seeking preliminary comment on the development of a TMDL. EPA requests that the public provide to EPA any water quality related data and information that may be relevant to the development and calculation of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL by December 18, 2009.

Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee Meeting Scheduled
A public meeting of the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) will be held on October 14-15, 2009 in Arlington, VA. A draft agenda has been developed and posted on OPP’s Web site. Agenda topics include sessions on National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) issues, the Endangered Species Act, Plant Health Claims on Pesticide Products, brief updates on pesticide-related issues, and reports from and discussions about current issues from the following PPDC work groups: 21st Century Toxicology/New Integrated Testing Strategies; Web-Distributed Labeling; and Comparative Safety Statements for Pesticide Product Labeling. A Webcast in preparation for the PPDC meeting will describe Agency efforts to develop a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permit for discharges from the application of pesticides in the few remaining areas nationwide where EPA is the NPDES permitting authority. This event is scheduled for October 7, 2009, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm, Eastern time.

September 16
PPDC Workgroup To Hold Meeting on PRIA Process Improvement
EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) will host a meeting of the Pesticide Registration Improvement Renewal Act (PRIA 2) Process Improvement Workgroup, a subgroup of the Agency's Federal Advisory Committee, the PPDC (Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee), on Thursday, October 1, 2009, in Arlington, VA. Agenda topics include a discussion of recent developments in how impurities in conventional technical products are reviewed; the issues with product chemistry data submitted with anti-microbial applications; and the results of OPP’s internal label audits. Participants also will be updated on the activities of the OPP Labeling Committee, inert ingredient reviews, efforts to develop additional electronic application tools, and OPP’s Science Policy Council.

EPA Awards Over $82,000 to Oklahoma State University
EPA has awarded $82,420 to Oklahoma State University (OSU). OSU will use these funds to validate and evaluate an ecologically-based canola aphid management program that will significantly reduce insecticide use on canola crops in Oklahoma and other regions of the Southern Plains. Based on prior research and utilizing replicated trials, OSU will quantify how seed treatments, economic thresholds, and available foliar insecticides influence aphid management and environmental impacts.

EPA To Amend Reregistration Eligibility Decisions for Ziram and Ferbam Dimethyldithiocarbamate Salts
EPA plans to amend the 2003 and 2005 Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) documents for the antimicrobial pesticides Ziram and Ferbam (Reregistration Case 2180). EPA conducted a reassessment of the Ziram and Ferbam REDs upon learning that the salts Potassium Dimethyldithiocarbamate and Sodium Dimethyldithiocarbamate were not evaluated at the same time as the rest of Case 2180, and has issued a RED addendum for the Dimethyldithiocarbamate Salts. This notice opens an additional 60-day public comment period for Dimethyldithiocarbamate Salts because a previous comment period for the Risk Assessment portion of this addendum was restricted to registrants only. Comments must be received on or before November 16, 2009.

FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel To Hold Public Meeting on Pesticides Containing Nanoscale Materials
There will be a 4-day consultation meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) to consider and review a set of scientific issues related to the assessment of hazard and exposure associated with nanosilver and other nanometal pesticide products. Companies with an interest in marketing products that contain nanosilver and/or other nanometals or nanometal oxides as pesticides regulated under FIFRA have approached the Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) seeking product registration. Based on OPP's understanding of the scientific literature, it appears that there may be potential for pesticides containing nanoscale materials to pose different risks to humans and the environment than those of pesticides that do not contain nanomaterials. The Agency will hold a consultation meeting with the FIFRA SAP to obtain advice and recommendations on issues that are associated with the identification and assessment of these potential risks. The consultation meeting will be held on November 3 - 6, 2009, in Arlington, VA.

FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel To Hold Public Meeting To Discuss Exposure to Conventional Pesticides Through Field Volatilization
There will be a 4-day meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) to consider and review scientific issues associated with field volatilization of conventional pesticides. The Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Residential Exposure Assessment is a set of standard instructions for estimating residential exposure resulting from various direct, labeled pesticide uses. Residential individuals can also be potentially exposed via indirect exposure to conventional pesticides. These types of exposures can occur through a variety of means including field volatilization of conventional pesticides, spray drift, and transport of pesticide residues to the residence ("take-home" exposure). Methodologies for assessing indirect exposures are not currently included in the Residential SOPs. EPA has been exploring the development of an approach for assessing inhalation exposure resulting from the field volatilization of conventional pesticides. The Agency is seeking comment from the Panel on the adequacy of the toxicological and exposure assessment methodologies; the applicability, analysis, and use of available air monitoring data; the strengths and limitations of the models being considered by the Agency for predicting flux of conventional pesticides; and the overall presentation of the issues related to field volatilization of conventional pesticides with respect to the overall clarity and transparency of the science. The meeting will be held on December 1-4, 2009, in Arlington, VA.

EPA Announces Use of Web Site To Provide Notice of Intent To Terminate Pesticide Producing Establishment Registrations
EPA Region III is announcing that it will be using its Web site to provide public notice of its intent to terminate pesticide producing establishment registrations under section 7 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) in cases where it is unable to provide notice of its intent to terminate directly. Notice of Intent to Terminate (NOIT) letters are generally mailed to a registrant's last address of record. Occasionally, such notices are returned as undeliverable and, despite reasonable efforts to locate such registrants, EPA Region III is unable to directly notify them of its intent to terminate their establishment registrations. In the past, EPA used the Federal Register to provide public notice of its intent to terminate such registrations. EPA Region III will now be using its Web site to provide public notice of its intent to terminate such establishment registrations.

September 11
New Limits on Pesticide Uses Will Protect Salmon
EPA has announced plans to place additional limitations on the use of three organophosphate pesticides — chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion — to protect endangered and threatened salmon and steelhead in California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Anticipated changes to product labels include the addition of pesticide buffer zones; application limitations based on wind speed, soil moisture and weather conditions; and fish mortality incident reporting requirements. New, enforceable labels could be available as early as the 2010 spring growing season. Chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion – whose primary manufacturers are Dow Chemical Company, Cheminova, and Makhteshim Agan of North America, respectively – are currently registered for use on a number of agricultural and non-agricultural sites. EPA is requesting the manufacturers to voluntarily adopt the new limitations on labeling for these pesticides. If the manufacturers decline this request, EPA will pursue regulatory action to impose the limitations.

September 10
Federal Agencies Release Draft Reports Required by Chesapeake Bay Executive Order
Federal agencies today released the seven draft reports required by President Obama’s executive order on the Chesapeake Bay, which contain a range of proposed strategies for accelerating cleanup of the nation’s largest estuary and its vast watershed. The draft reports collectively call for increased accountability and performance from pollution control, habitat protection and land conservation programs at all levels of government. Federal agencies are also proposing new ways to harness the latest innovations in science and technology. The proposed actions are in response to overwhelming scientific evidence that the health of the Chesapeake Bay remains exceptionally poor, despite the concerted restoration efforts of the past 25 years. The draft reports are the first step in the creation of a new strategy for restoring and protecting the Chesapeake Bay and waterways in the region, as defined by the executive order. EPA has launched a Web site for the Chesapeake Bay Executive Order which will be used to distribute news, events, documents and other information from the various federal agencies working on a new strategy to advance Bay cleanup.

EPA Releases Draft Documents Related to the Review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter
EPA is making available for public comment two draft assessment documents: "Risk Assessment to Support the Review of the PM Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standards -- External Review Draft" and "Particulate Matter Urban-Focused Visibility Assessment -- External Review Draft." These draft documents describe the quantitative analyses that are being conducted as part of the review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM). Comments should be submitted on or before October 15, 2009.

September 9
Atrazine Drinking Water Data Available on Pesticide Web Site
As part of EPA’s commitment to transparency and to enhance accessibility, EPA has posted on its Web site and in the docket complete atrazine monitoring program drinking water data gathered from 150 community water systems over the six-year period 2003 through 2008. This new posting makes the monitoring data more accessible. In reviewing these data, EPA has confirmed that none of the drinking water systems has exceeded the pesticide program’s level of concern. However, EPA will continue to closely track new scientific developments regarding atrazine and if any data raise new risk concerns, the Agency will modify its regulatory position as appropriate. These data resulted from the Agency’s 2003 Atrazine Reregistration Eligibility Decision and subsequent Memorandum of Agreement with the atrazine registrants, which required an intensive, ongoing monitoring program to look for atrazine residues in drinking water. The 150 community water systems, located primarily in the Midwest, are among the most vulnerable to atrazine exposure. These systems are monitored every week during the atrazine use season and bi-weekly the rest of the year. EPA uses the data to determine whether the Agency will allow continued use of atrazine in watersheds associated with the most vulnerable community water systems. The Atrazine Updates Web page also provides information about the status of the atrazine ecological watershed monitoring program, and research activities related to cancer and amphibians.

EPA Releases Enhanced Version of Aquatic Ecosystem Simulation Model
AQUATOX is a PC-based ecosystem model that predicts the fate of nutrients and organic chemicals in water bodies, as well as their direct and indirect effects on the resident organisms. AQUATOX Release 3 contains many enhancements that increase the realism and utility of the model. The most important enhancements include:

September 8
Delta Farmers Advocating Resource Management Receives Gulf Guardian Award
The Gulf of Mexico Program recently announced that the Delta Farmers Advocating Resource Management, Delta F.A.R.M. will receive a first place Gulf Guardian Award for 2009 in the Civic/Non-profit category. The Gulf of Mexico Program initiated the Gulf Guardian awards in 2000 as a way to recognize and honor the businesses, community groups, individuals, and agencies that are taking positive steps to keep the Gulf healthy, beautiful and productive. Delta Farmers Advocating Resource Management (F.A.R.M.) is an association of growers and landowners that strive to implement recognized agricultural practices which will conserve, restore, and enhance the environment in the Yazoo River-Mississippi Delta region of Northwest Mississippi. Over 21 nongovernmental organizations and state and federal natural resource agencies participated in the development of the program which accesses farms and guides cooperating producers to attain the highest possible level of land and water resource stewardship. The purpose of the program is to ensure a more sustainable and profitable future for agriculture. Delta F.A.R.M. has enrolled over 1,000,000 acres into the environmental program.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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September 4
Malathion Registration Review Docket Reopened
EPA issued a notice in the Federal Register of June 24, 2009, concerning the availability of multiple registration review dockets for public comment, including malathion. EPA has reopened the comment period for the malathion registration review docket. Comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA- HQ-OPP-2009-0317, must be received on or before October 5, 2009.

National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center September Newsletter and Webcast Exit EPA
The September edition of the National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPELC) newsletter is available. Topics include: October Webcast: Managing Grazing Animals to Protect Water Quality; Videos Added to the LPELC Website; NALC Launches Reading Room for Climate Change and Ag; Michigan State University Opens Pasture Dairy R&E Center; Organic/Natural Beef Has No Difference on E. coli Antibiotic Susceptibility; and New Air Quality Publication Released. The next live webcast, scheduled for September 18, 2009, will focus on “Air Emissions from Land Application of Manure.” It will include information on injecting solid manure as well as research into gas emissions and comparisons of different equipment types. Speakers are: Robin Brant, Pennsylvania State University; Curtis Dell, USDA ARS; and Joy Agnew, Prairie Agriculture Machinery Institute.

September 1
Arizona Department of Agriculture To Host 2009 CAFO Roundtable Conference
The Arizona Department of Agriculture has the honor of hosting the 2009 CAFO Roundtable October 7-9, 2009 at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix. This annual conference is attended by state managers, permit writers and inspectors involved in regulating CAFOs. EPA Headquarter and Regional staff involved in CAFO regulation, partnering state and federal agency staff that provide technical or regulatory assistance to CAFOs, and Arizona’s animal agriculture producers and industry representatives will also be in attendance. The CAFO Roundtable has been supported the past few years by the Association of State and Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators (ASIWPCA). Founded in 1961, ASIWPCA is a national, nonpartisan professional organization comprised of State, Interstate and Territorial officials who are at the forefront of implementing the CAFO/AFO programs within their state. The CAFO Roundtable is a forum for states to share and gain knowledge that effectively removes barriers and implements solutions to water quality issues facing the animal agriculture industry as well as exploring innovative ideas for implementing specific aspects of each individual CAFO program. Location, registration information, and a draft agenda are available at ASIWPCA's 2009 CAFO Roundtable Web site Exit EPA.

Petitioners Ask EPA To Revoke Import Tolerances for 13 Pesticides To Protect Migratory Birds; EPA Requests Public Comment
EPA is seeking public comment on a July 2009 petition from the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) requesting that the Agency revoke certain tolerances, or maximum residue limits in food, for 13 pesticides because the pesticides present an unacceptable risk to migratory birds. The named pesticides are: cadusafos, cyproconazole, diazinon, dithianon, diquat, dimethoate, fenamiphos, mevinphos, methomyl, naled, phorate, terbufos, and dichlorvos. The specific tolerances covered by the petition are tolerances associated with pesticide uses for which there is no U.S. registration and thus application of the pesticide is not permitted in this country. Such tolerances are generally referred to as "import tolerances" because their sole purpose is to legalize residues in foods being imported to the United States. ABC claims that by maintaining import tolerances for these pesticides, EPA allows Central and South American countries to continue using the pesticides on crops for which the U.S. has already determined there are unacceptable risks for protected U.S. migratory birds. ABC believes that revoking import tolerances for these crops will protect U.S. migratory birds on their wintering grounds in other countries and in the U.S. Consistent with Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requirements, EPA is requesting public comment on the ABC petition for a 60-day period ending on November 2, 2009.

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