Proposed Rules, Policies, and Guidance - 2011 Archive
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Requirements, policies, and guidance that EPA has recently proposed. Comments are solicited from the public before EPA issues final versions. Comments are closed for all items on this page. Please see our current Proposed Rules, Policies, and Guidance page for items that are currently open for comment.
Proposed Rules, Policies, and Guidance - 2010 Archive
Proposed Rules, Policies, and Guidance - 2009 Archive
Proposed Rules, Policies, and Guidance - 2008 Archive
Proposed Rules, Policies, and Guidance - 2007 Archive
Comment Period Closed
- EPA Proposes the 2012 Critical Use Exemption From the Phaseout of Methyl Bromide (11/21/11)
- EPA Seeking Comment on Save the Frogs! Atrazine Petition (11/14/11)
- SPCC Compliance Date Extension for Farms (11/2/11)
- EPA Requests Public Comment on Petitioners' Request for Guidance and Analysis of Initial Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP) Studies (10/11/11)
- Chlorpyrifos Preliminary Human Health Risk Assessment Available for Comment (10/6/11)
- EPA is Requesting Nominations of Experts for the Science Advisory Board's Animal Feeding Operation Emission Review Panel (09/22/11)
- EPA Proposes To Synchronize the Expiration Dates of EPA Pesticide Applicator Certificates With the Underlying State or Tribal Applicator Certificate (8/23/11)
- EPA Proposes Policy on Nanoscale Materials in Pesticide Products (8/17/11)
- EPA Is Seeking Comment on an Agency Proposal To Allow Sale and Distribution of Existing Stocks of Fenamiphos Product (8/12/11)
- EPA and Army Corps of Engineers Publish Proposed Guidance Regarding Identification of Waters Protected by the Clean Water Act (7/31/11)
- EPA Seeks Public Comments on the Draft Reasonable and Prudent Alternative in NMFS’ Draft Biological Opinion on the Proposed Pesticides General Permit (7/25/11)
- EPA Proposes To Withdraw Use of Pesticide Sulfuryl Fluoride on Food (7/5/11)
- EPA Proposes Pesticide Applicator Certification Plan To Advance Human Health and Environmental Protection on Tribal Land Nationwide (7/5/11)
- EPA Seeks Comment on Request To Require Pesticide Products To Be Labeled in English and Spanish (6/28/11)
- EPA Opens Comment Period on National Marine Fisheries Service’s Revised Draft Measures to Protect Endangered Pacific Salmon from Six Pesticides (6/3/11)
- EPA Proposes the 2011 Critical Use Exemption From the Phaseout of Methyl Bromide (5/31/11)
- EPA Invites Public Comment on Fumigant Iodomethane Petition (5/13/11)
- EPA Seeks Input on National Marine Fisheries Service's Draft Measures To Protect Endangered Pacific Salmon from Six Pesticides (4/5/11)
- EPA Proposes Revisions to Rule on Protections for Subjects in Human Research Involving Pesticides (4/4/11)
- EPA Considers Web-Distributed Labeling of Pesticides (3/29/11)
- EPA Proposes To Declare a Prion a Pest (3/28/11)
- EPA Seeks Public Comment on the 16th Annual U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory (3/25/11)
- EPA Seeks Public Comment on Plan To Review Regulations (3/20/11)
- Petition for Rulemaking To Establish Procedures Consistent With Section 1010 of the 1988 Amendments to the Endangered Species Act (2/22/11)
- EPA Proposes To Revise Procedures for the Satisfaction of Data Requirements under FIFRA (2/3/11)
- DOT, EPA Propose the Nation’s First Greenhouse Gas and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Trucks and Buses (1/31/11)
EPA is proposing uses that qualify for the 2012 critical use exemption and the amount of methyl bromide that may be produced, imported, or supplied from existing pre-phaseout inventory for those uses in 2012. Comments were due November 21, 2011.
EPA is seeking public comment on a petition from the environmental advocacy group Save the Frogs, requesting that EPA ban the use and production of atrazine. This petition, available in EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0586, was submitted on May 6, 2011 during a meeting with Save the Frogs founder Dr. Kerry Kriger. The presentation and participant list from the meeting is also available in docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0586. Comments were due November 14, 2011.
On October 13, 2011, EPA amended the date by which farms must prepare or amend and implement their Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plans, to May 10, 2013. This rule is effective on November 7, 2011 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment by November 2, 2011. If EPA receives adverse comment, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect. The amendment does not remove the regulatory requirement for owners or operators of farms in operation before August 16, 2002, to maintain and continue implementing an SPCC Plan in accordance with the SPCC regulations then in effect. Such farms continue to be required to maintain plans during the interim until the applicable compliance date for amending and implementing the amended Plans. Finally, the amendment does not relieve farms from the liability of any oil spills that occur.
- Fact Sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 30K, About PDF)
- Federal Register notice - Final rule
- Federal Register notice - Proposed rule
EPA Requests Public Comment on Petitioners' Request for Guidance and Analysis of Initial Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP) Studies
EPA is seeking public comment on a June 2011 petition from CropLife America, Consumer Specialty Products Association, and Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment. The petition includes several points related to the guidance, criteria, review, and decision-making for the test orders (i.e., requests for data from pesticide registrants) issued under the EDSP. Comments were due October 11, 2011.
EPA is requesting comment and input on key areas in a preliminary human health risk assessment for the pesticide chlorpyrifos. EPA’s 2011 chlorpyrifos preliminary human health risk assessment is the most current scientific review to date. It includes the results of extensive new research and the findings of a number of new studies that have become available since the agency’s last human health risk assessment for chlorpyrifos, completed in June 2000. Comments were due October 6, 2011.
- More information on the preliminary human health risk assessment for chlorpyrifos
- Federal Register notice
- Docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0850
- August 17 Update: Extension of public comment period
EPA is Requesting Nominations of Experts for the Science Advisory Board's Animal Feeding Operation Emission Review Panel
The EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office is requesting public nominations of technical experts to serve on an expert panel under the auspices of the SAB to conduct a peer review of EPA's development of air emission estimating methodologies for animal feeding operations (AFOs). EPA's Office of Air and Radiation has requested the SAB to review EPA's draft air emission estimating methodologies for AFOs. EPA developed the draft methodologies to address requirements of a voluntary air compliance consent agreement signed in 2005 between EPA and nearly 14,000 broiler, dairy, egg layer, and swine AFO operations. The goals of the agreement are to reduce air pollution, monitor AFO emissions, promote a national consensus on methodologies for estimating emissions from AFOs, and ensure compliance with the requirements of the CAA, CERCLA, and EPCRA. Nominations for the panel were due September 22, 2011.
EPA Proposes To Synchronize the Expiration Dates of EPA Pesticide Applicator Certificates With the Underlying State or Tribal Applicator Certificate
Restricted use pesticides (RUP) are those which may generally cause unreasonable adverse effects on the environment without additional restrictions. RUPs may only be applied by or under the direct supervision of an applicator certified as competent by a certifying agency. A State, tribe, or Federal agency becomes a certifying agency by receiving approval from EPA on their certification plan. In areas not covered by a certifying agency, EPA may establish a Federal certification plan and issue Federal certificates directly. In cases where EPA will issue a Federal certificate based on an existing valid certificate from a certifying agency, this proposed rule would synchronize the expiration dates on the Federal certificate with that of the certificate on which it is based. Submit comments by August 23, 2011.
EPA announced today it plans to obtain information on nanoscale materials in pesticide products. Under the requirements of the law, EPA will gather information on what nanoscale materials are present in pesticide products to determine whether the registration of a pesticide may cause unreasonable adverse effects on the environment and human health. The documents are available in docket number EPA–HQ–OPP–2010-0197. Comments were due on or before August 17, 2011.
- More information on Regulating Pesticides that Use Nanotechnology
- Docket number EPA–HQ–OPP–2010-0197
- July 13 Update: Extension of public comment period
EPA Is Seeking Comment on an Agency Proposal To Allow Sale and Distribution of Existing Stocks of Fenamiphos Product
EPA is seeking comment on an Agency proposal to allow sale and distribution of existing stocks of a fenamiphos pesticide product for one additional year and prohibiting use of existing stocks of all fenamiphos products after three years. This proposal was developed in response to a request from Maui Pineapple, an end user, to allow additional time to sell and distribute existing stocks of the product, which contains the active ingredient fenamiphos. EPA is proposing to amend the existing stocks provision of the fenamiphos cancellation order, granting the request for persons other than the registrant to sell and distribute existing stocks of this fenamiphos product for one year from the issuance date of the order and prohibiting all fenamiphos use after three years from the issuance date of the order. Fenamiphos is an organophosphate insecticide whose product registrations were voluntarily cancelled by the registrant. The product cancellations became effective on May 31, 2007. Sale and distribution of existing stocks of this product by persons other than the registrant were prohibited after March 31, 2009, and end users were allowed to use existing stocks of all fenamiphos products until supplies were exhausted. Comments were due on or before August 12, 2011.
EPA and Army Corps of Engineers Publish Proposed Guidance Regarding Identification of Waters Protected by the Clean Water Act
EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) are publishing for public comment proposed guidance that describes how the agencies will identify waters protected by the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 (Clean Water Act or CWA or Act) and implement the Supreme Court's decisions on this topic (i.e., Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (SWANCC)(531 U.S. 159 (2001)) and Rapanos v. United States (547 U.S. 715 (2006))(Rapanos)). The agencies believe that under this proposed guidance the number of waters identified as protected by the Clean Water Act will increase compared to current practice and this improvement will aid in protecting the Nation's public health and aquatic resources. The proposed guidance is consistent with the principles established by the Supreme Court cases and is supported by the agencies' scientific understanding of how waterbodies and watersheds function. Comments were due on or before July 31, 2011.
- Proposed Guidance (PDF) (39 pp, 574K, About PDF)
- More information on the Clean Water Act Definition of "Waters of the United States"
- June 27 Update: Extension of public comment period
EPA Seeks Public Comments on the Draft Reasonable and Prudent Alternative in NMFS’ Draft Biological Opinion on the Proposed Pesticides General Permit
EPA is seeking public comment on a Reasonable and Prudent Alternative (RPA) in the draft Biological Opinion by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) that concludes issuance of the Pesticide General Permit (PGP) is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of endangered and threatened species and result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat that has been designated for such species, absent the implementation of the RPA. EPA wishes to be clear that this solicitation of comment is not pursuant to notice and comment rulemaking. NMFS has agreed to consider comments collected by EPA and to modify its suggested RPA if and as appropriate, but NMFS will not respond to comments as would be done in a rulemaking proceeding. The comment period ended on July 25, 2011.
EPA has re-evaluated the current science on fluoride and is taking steps to begin a phased-down withdrawal of the pesticide sulfuryl fluoride, a pesticide that breaks down into fluoride and is commonly used in food storage and processing facilities. Sulfuryl fluoride is currently registered for the control of insect pests in stored grains, dried fruits, tree nuts, coffee and cocoa beans, and for use in food handling and processing facilities. Although sulfuryl fluoride residues in food contribute only a very small portion of total exposure to fluoride, when combined with other fluoride exposure pathways, including drinking water and toothpaste, EPA has concluded that the tolerance (legal residue limits on food) no longer meets the safety standard under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) and the tolerances for sulfuryl fluoride should be withdrawn. Since sulfuryl fluoride is an important alternative to the ozone depleting pesticide methyl bromide, EPA is proposing to phase out uses of sulfuryl fluoride over a period of three years. EPA will work with users of sulfuryl fluoride to identify potential alternatives. To ensure transparency in this action, EPA is making the proposed order responding to the Fluoride Action Network’s objections, the draft assessment, and the draft impact assessments available for a 90-day public comment period. The documents are available in docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0174. Comments were due by July 5, 2011.
- More information on the status of sulfuryl fluoride
- Federal Register notice
- April 6, 2011 Federal Register update - addendum to proposed order and extension of comment period
Proposed Pesticide Applicator Certification Plan Will Advance Human Health and Environmental Protection on Tribal Land Nationwide
EPA is announcing and soliciting comments on a proposed federal program to certify applicators of restricted use pesticides (RUPs) in Indian country where no other EPA-approved or EPA-implemented certification plan applies. RUPs are potentially hazardous chemicals that require special training and techniques to be used safely. Federal law requires EPA-approved certification of RUP applicators nationally, including in Indian country. Most of Indian country is not covered by a certification mechanism. EPA’s Proposed Federal Plan for Certification of Applicators of Restricted Use Pesticides within Indian country will help fill this gap in the certification of applicators of these hazardous chemicals and by ensuring that RUP applicators are competent to apply RUPs in Indian country, thus providing greater protection for human health and the environment. Comments were due by July 5, 2011.
The Migrant Clinicians Network and other farm worker interest groups have petitioned EPA to require all pesticide labels be available in both English and Spanish. The Agency is taking public comment on the request before responding to the petitioners. Comments were due June 28, 2011.
EPA Opens Comment Period on National Marine Fisheries Service’s Revised Draft Measures to Protect Endangered Pacific Salmon from Six Pesticides
EPA is seeking comments by June 3, 2011, on revised draft Reasonable and Prudent Measures (RPMs) and Alternatives (RPAs) included in a revised draft Biological Opinion (1047 pp, 20.49MB, about PDF) received from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on May 13, 2011. This revised draft Biological Opinion addresses the potential effects from six pesticides on Pacific salmon and steelhead listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The six pesticides are: captan, chlorothalonil, 2, 4-D, diuron, linuron and triclopyr BEE. The revised draft Biological Opinion provides NMFS’ updated analyses and conclusions, after a consideration of comments and input received during the first comment period, which closed on June 3, 2011.
EPA is proposing uses that qualify for the 2011 critical use exemption and the amount of methyl bromide that may be produced, imported, or supplied from existing pre-phaseout inventory for those uses in 2011. EPA is taking action under the authority of the Clean Air Act to reflect a recent consensus decision taken by the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer at the Twenty-First Meeting of the Parties. EPA is seeking comment on the list of critical uses and on EPA's determination of the amounts of methyl bromide needed to satisfy those uses. Comments were due by May 31, 2011.
EPA is posting for public comment a petition requesting that all registrations of iodomethane (also called methyl iodide) be suspended and cancelled. The petition was filed on March 31, 2010, by Earthjustice, on behalf of several non-governmental organizations. Following a 30-day public comment period, EPA will evaluate the petitioner’s request consistent with the statutory standards set forth in the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. Comments can be submitted to the docket (EPA–HQ–OPP–2010–0541) at the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Comments were due by May 13, 2011.
EPA Seeks Input on National Marine Fisheries Service’s Draft Measures To Protect Endangered Pacific Salmon from Six Pesticides
EPA is seeking comments from pesticide users, registrants, and other interested parties on draft Reasonable and Prudent Measures (RPMs) and Alternatives (RPAs) included in a draft Biological Opinion (PDF) (1087 pp, 41MB, About PDF) received from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on March 1, 2011. This draft Biological Opinion addresses the potential effects from six pesticides on Pacific salmon and steelhead listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Comments on the draft RPMs and RPAs were due April 5, 2011, about 30 days after the Biological Opinion was included in the docket, in order for EPA to consider these comments in its final response to the draft Biological Opinion. Comments received by EPA on other aspects of the draft Biological Opinion will be forwarded to NMFS for its consideration. No extensions to this comment period will be provided because NMFS has a legal deadline to issue the final Biological Opinion by April 30, 2011.
EPA proposes to amend the portions of its rules for the protection of human subjects of research applying to third parties who conduct or support research with pesticides involving intentional exposure of human subjects and to persons who submit the results of human research with pesticides to EPA. The proposed amendments would broaden the applicability of the rules to cover human testing with pesticides submitted to EPA under any regulatory statute it administers. They would also disallow participation in third-party pesticide studies by subjects who cannot consent for themselves. Finally the proposed amendments would identify specific considerations to be addressed in EPA science and ethics reviews of proposed and completed human research with pesticides, drawn from the recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). EPA seeks comments on the need for and value of the proposed changes. Comments were due April 4, 2011.
EPA is considering an initiative to make portions of pesticide labeling for certain products available electronically. Web-distributed labeling would allow users to download streamlined labeling specific to the use and state in which the application will occur. More concise labeling should increase users' comprehension and compliance with pesticide labeling, thereby improving protection of human health and the environment from risks associated with improper pesticide use. Web distributed labeling would also allow new labeling to enter the marketplace and reach the user more quickly than the current paper based labeling thus implementing both new uses and risk mitigation in a more timely manner. This notice describes potential approaches for a web-distributed labeling system and seeks stakeholder feedback on a variety of issues. Comments were due March 29, 2011.
EPA proposes to declare a prion (i.e., proteinaceous infectious particle) a "pest" under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), and to amend its regulations to expressly include prion within the regulatory definition of pest. EPA currently considers a prion to be a pest under FIFRA, so a product intended to reduce the infectivity of any prion on inanimate surfaces (i.e., a "prion-related product") is considered to be a pesticide and regulated as such. Any company seeking to distribute or sell a pesticide product regulated under FIFRA must obtain a section 3 registration, section 24(c) registration, or a section 18 emergency exemption before it can be distributed or sold in the United States. This proposed rule would codify the Agency's current interpretation of FIFRA, and provides interested parties the opportunity to comment about how it is adding prion to the list of pests in the regulatory definition of pest. This amendment, together with the formal declaration that a prion is a pest, will eliminate any confusion about the status of prion-related products under FIFRA. Comments were due March 28, 2011.
EPA is seeking public comment on the annual Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2009 draft report. The draft report shows that in 2009, overall greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions decreased by 6 percent since 2008. This downward trend was attributed to a decrease in fuel and electricity consumption across all U.S. economic sectors. Total emissions from GHGs were about 6,640 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent. Overall, emissions have grown by 7.4 percent from 1990 to 2009. Emissions in 2009 represent the lowest total U.S. annual GHG emissions since 1995. Comments were due March 25, 2011.
EPA is inviting the public to provide input on a plan that will guide EPA’s retrospective reviews of regulations as part of the Agency’s response to President Obama’s January 18, 2011 Executive Order (EO) 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.” EO 13563 directs each federal agency to consider “how best to promote retrospective analysis of rules that may be outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome.” Specifically, the EO calls on every agency to develop “a preliminary plan, consistent with law and its resources and regulatory priorities, under which the agency will periodically review its existing significant regulations to determine whether such regulations should be modified, streamlined, expanded or repealed to make the agency’s regulatory program more effective and or less burdensome in achieving its regulatory objectives.” EPA shares President Obama’s commitment to using common sense and transparency to review federal regulations and will solicit public input regarding the design of its plan via the EPA website through March 20, 2011. EPA will also provide opportunities for input through a public meeting in Washington, D.C. on March 14, and listening sessions in other parts of the country. These outreach efforts will allow the public to provide EPA with feedback on specific issues, impacts or programs. By late May, EPA will provide the public with its retrospective review plan, as well as the initial list of regulations it plans to review.
Petition for Rulemaking To Establish Procedures Consistent With Section 1010 of the 1988 Amendments to the Endangered Species Act
EPA is announcing the availability of a September 16, 2010 petition from Growers for ESA Transparency ("GET"). GET is a coalition of growers throughout the western United States. GET is committed to improving the consultation process for, the transparency of, and accessibility to the Endangered Species Act (ESA). GET is requesting EPA to take immediate action to establish, by rulemaking, clear and equitable procedures for notice and comment on the Agency's pesticide effects determinations for endangered species and subsequent actions, including draft biological opinions and potential product restrictions consistent with section 1010 of the 1988 amendments to the ESA. This petition is similar to the petition filed on January 19, 2010 by DOW AgroSciences LLC, Makhteshim Agan of North America, and Cheminova Inc. USA requesting EPA to promulgate a rule for amending Endangered Species Protection Bulletins (EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0474). Comments were due February 22, 2011.
EPA proposes to revise its regulations governing procedures for the satisfaction of data requirements under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). These provisions include, among other things, procedures for the protection of exclusive use and data compensation rights of data submitters. The proposed revisions would update the regulations, which have not been revised since issuance in 1984, to accommodate statutory and procedural changes that have occurred since that time. The revisions would also make minor changes to clarify the regulations. The revisions would simplify the procedures and reduce burdens for certain data submitters. Update - Comment period extended: Comments were due February 3, 2011.
DOT, EPA Propose the Nation’s First Greenhouse Gas and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Trucks and Buses
EPA and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today announced the first national standards to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve fuel efficiency of heavy-duty trucks and buses. This comprehensive national program is projected to reduce GHG emissions by about 250 million metric tons and save 500 million barrels of oil over the lives of the vehicles produced within the program’s first five years. EPA and DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are proposing new standards for three categories of heavy trucks: combination tractors, heavy-duty pickups and vans, and vocational vehicles. The categories were established to address specific challenges for manufacturers in each area. For combination tractors, the agencies are proposing engine and vehicle standards that begin in the 2014 model year and achieve up to a 20 percent reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and fuel consumption by 2018 model year. The proposal and information about how to submit comments is available at EPA's Transportation and Air Quality Regulations and Standards Web page. Comments were due January 31, 2011.
- Federal Register notice
- Public Hearings for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles
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