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News Archive: April 2007

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This information is provided for reference. Over time, links to news items may become unavailable, in these cases the item will remain listed, but no link will be provided. Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.

April 27
EPA Issues Two Grant Guidelines for State Underground Storage Tank Programs
EPA has issued two final guidelines for states, which will implement key provisions of the underground storage tank (UST) amendments of the Energy Policy Act of 2005: the inspection grant guidelines, and the grant guidelines for state compliance reports on government USTs. The inspection grant guidelines describe the minimum requirements states must meet to comply with the inspection provisions in the Energy Policy Act. The guidelines identify which underground storage tanks require an on-site inspection, what the requirements are for the on-site inspection, who can perform the on-site inspection, and what information needs to be reported to EPA. To ensure the grant guidelines are implemented with minimal disruption, EPA is giving states considerable flexibility to establish their own inspection programs.

Availability of Dichlorprop-p Risk Assessments
EPA has released risk assessments and related documents for the pesticide dichlorprop-p, and has opened a public comment period on these documents. The public is encouraged to suggest risk management ideas or proposals to address the risks identified. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0944, must be received on or before June 26, 2007.

FY 2006 National Water Program Performance Report
The Office of Water has released the FY 2006 National Water Program Performance Report. The report describes the progress made in FY 2006 towards the goals and objectives described in EPA's strategic plan. An addition to this performance report is a focus on FY 2006 "best practices." These best practices focus on innovative programs that can be widely adopted by the regions to improve program effectiveness.

April 26
Tips for Plant-Incorporated Protectant Experimental Use Permit Program Submission
EPA's Office of Pesticides released a list of tips for plant-incorporated protectant (PIP) experimental use permit (EUP) program submissions. The tips include: helpful components of a PIP EUP program (Section G) submission, which include EUP program descriptions and EUP final program reports; recommendations for calculating PIP EUP acreage; use of seed produced under PIP EUPs; and consultation with the Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division.

April 25
EPA, Chemical Corporation Reach Settlement for Pesticide Violations
Mt. Hood Chemical Corporation, located in Portland, Oregon, has agreed to pay a penalty of $90,000 to settle claims for 31 alleged violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The company has also agreed to conduct a full environmental audit of their Portland facility, including non-pesticide related areas and processes, and to provide specialized FIFRA training for employees involved in any aspect of pesticide production, sales, and distribution. The settlement was reached following an EPA investigation which showed that labels from 11 Mt. Hood disinfectant products did not contain proper caution or warning statements. It also appeared that Mt. Hood was producing and selling a disinfectant product that was not registered with EPA. In addition, Mt. Hood was selling five-gallon pails of its unregistered Crown Bleach product with a competitor’s registered bleach label glued to the container. In response to EPA’s investigation and stop sale order, Mt. Hood worked cooperatively with EPA and its business partners to promptly correct the labeling problems and satisfy conditions allowing them to resume sales of the products.

Endangered Species Effects Determinations for 66 Pesticides Set by Court Order
EPA has begun assessing the potential effects of 66 pesticides on the California red-legged frog (a species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act and native to California), and is issuing related materials. Under the terms of a Stipulated Injunction, EPA must follow a court-ordered schedule for making effects determinations for each of the 66 pesticides named in a lawsuit brought against the Agency by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD). The injunction also establishes interim injunctive measures stating that the named pesticides cannot be used for specific purposes in certain areas of California. Additionally, the injunction required EPA to develop a bilingual brochure regarding certain aspects of the injunction, the California red-legged frog and frogs in general, and pesticides. The first effects determinations for 10 pesticides are scheduled to be completed by July 20, 2007.

Administrative Revisions to Plant-Incorporated Protectant Tolerance Exemptions
EPA is taking direct final action to move existing active and inert ingredient plant-incorporated protectant tolerance exemptions from 40 CFR part 180, Tolerances and Exemptions from Tolerances for Pesticide Chemicals in Food, to 40 CFR part 174, Procedures and Requirements for Plant-Incorporated Protectants, subpart W. EPA is also making some conforming changes to the text of the individual exemptions being transferred from part 180 so that they are consistent with part 174, as well as some minor technical corrections to the wording of certain individual exemptions. This action is administrative in nature and no substantive changes are made or are intended. This direct final rule is effective on July 24, 2007, without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment by June 25, 2007.

Mecoprop-p Risk Assessments Available for Comment
EPA has released its risk assessments and related documents for the pesticide mecoprop-p, and has opened a public comment period on these documents. The public is encouraged to suggest risk management ideas or proposals to address the risks identified. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0943, must be received on or before June 25, 2007.

Modification and Closure of Formetanate Hydrochloride Interim Reregistration Eligibility Decision
EPA has released its intention to modify certain risk mitigation measures that were imposed as a result of the 2006 Interim Reregistration Eligibility Decision (IRED) for the pesticide formetanate hydrochloride (HCl). EPA reassessed the IRED in response to comments received regarding endpoints chosen for the assessment. The reassessment modified the mitigation listed in the IRED. Therefore, on formetanate HCl labels, there will be no requirement for closed cabs for applicators using air-blast sprayers on orchard fruit, and the restricted-entry intervals are modified for alfalfa (from 9 to 4 days), pome and stone fruit (from 8 to 5 days), and citrus fruit (from 10 to 9 days).

April 24
Comment Period Extended on Revisions to Definition of Solid Waste
The comment period for the supplemental proposed rule entitled Revisions to the Definition of Solid Waste, published on March 26, 2007, is being extended until June 25, 2007. In the supplemental proposal, EPA is requesting comment on revisions to the definition of solid waste that would exclude certain hazardous secondary materials from regulation under Subtitle C of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Also, EPA is soliciting comment on regulatory factors to be used to determine whether recycling of hazardous secondary materials is legitimate. The comment period for this supplemental proposed rule is extended from the original closing date of May 25, 2007, to June 25, 2007. Comments should be identified by ID number EPA-HQ-RCRA-2002-0031.

April 23
Water Quality Modeling Tool Improved
EPA has released an updated version of its acclaimed watershed management program, making it easier to use and more readily available. "Better Assessment Science Integrating Point and Nonpoint Sources" (BASINS) is a multipurpose system that integrates environmental data, analytical tools, and modeling programs. BASINS will help regions, states, and local agencies develop cost-effective approaches to watershed management and environmental protection. BASINS 4.0 is a valuable tool for watershed and water quality-based analyses, including developing total maximum daily load allocations.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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April 20
Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee To Hold Public Meetings
There will be a public meeting of the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) on May 9, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT, and May 10,  from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EDT. In addition, the PPDC Worker Safety Work Group will meet prior to the PPDC meeting on May 8, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT. The agenda includes reports from the following PPDC Work Groups: Spray Drift/NPDES; PRIA Process Improvements; Registration Review Implementation; AZM Transition Issues; Performance Measures; and Worker Safety.

April 18
EPA Invites Comments on Exemption Proposals for Plant-Incorporated Protectants Based on Plant Virus Coat Protein Genes
EPA is seeking public comment on two proposed rules for plant-incorporated protectants (PIPs) that are based on plant viral coat protein genes (PVCP-PIPs). PVCP-PIPs are produced by plants that have been genetically engineered to contain certain genes that will protect the plant from viruses. To provide thorough and comprehensive regulatory oversight of these products, EPA is proposing a comprehensive structure to ensure these products are properly regulated based on the potential risk they may pose. Comments will be accepted until July 17, 2007.

Atrazine Web Page Updated
Atrazine is a herbicide for controlling weeds that compete with desirable plants such as food crops, pasture, and other types of agriculture, as well as golf course turf and residential lawns. The updated atrazine Web page provides initial results from the programs, activities, and studies required by EPA's Atrazine Reregistration Eligibility Decision of 2003, including: Pesticide Program's Monitoring in Community Water Systems; Ecological Watershed Monitoring Program; Cancer; and Amphibians. EPA considered the combined effects of atrazine and simazine, two closely related triazine herbicides, and concluded that the cumulative risks associated with these pesticides are below the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) level of concern.

April 17
Utah Farmer Receives President's Award for Voluntary Service to the Environment
EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson presented Jay Olsen with the President's Volunteer Service Award on April 17, at the Little America Hotel, Salt Lake City, Utah. Olsen has been an active volunteer and leader in watershed protection in Utah. He grew up in Sanpete County and is a full-time farmer. A Brigham Young University graduate, he runs 1,500 acres of farm ground with 250 cows and 60,000 turkeys. He was awarded the "Farmer of the Year" award by the local Conservation District Board last year.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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April 16
National Livestock and Poultry Environmental (LPE) Learning Center Webcast (PDF) (1 pg, 111K) Exit EPA
The next LPE Webcast seminar will be held on Friday, April 20 at 2:30 p.m. EDT. The topic is “Lessons Learned from the Smithfield Agreement”. The speaker is Dr. Mike Williams of North Carolina State University. This Webcast will kick off the efforts of the “Alternative Technologies for Manure Management” team. The team has scheduled additional Webcasts for this fall and will continue to add to the Web page resources in the upcoming months.

EPA Publishes National U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory
EPA has released the national greenhouse gas inventory, which finds that overall emissions during 2005 increased by less than one percent from the previous year. The report, Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2005, was published after gathering comments from a broad range of stakeholders across the country. Total emissions of the six main greenhouse gases in 2005 were equivalent to 7,260 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. These gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride. The report indicates that overall emissions have grown by 16 percent from 1990 to 2005, while the U.S. economy has grown by 55 percent over the same period.

April 13
Canada and U.S. Move Forward to Reduce Air Pollutants
EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson and the Honorable John Baird, Canada's Minister of the Environment, announced that Canada and the United States will begin negotiation of an annex to the U.S.-Canada Air Quality Agreement aimed at reducing the cross-border flow of air pollution and its impact on the health and ecosystems of Canadians and Americans. The officials noted that both Canada and the United States recognize that cooperative action can reduce the transboundary flow of particulate matter (PM) originating on either side of the border. The U.S.-Canada Air Quality Agreement, negotiated in 1991, marked a new era of cooperation aimed at helping to guarantee cleaner air and a healthier environment for millions of Americans and Canadians.

PPDC Spray Drift Workgroup Conference Call Scheduled
There will be a conference call with the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) Spray Drift Workgroup to discuss the PPDC Spray Drift draft report on Tuesday, April 17, 2007, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. EDT. The call-in number is (866) 299-3188, and the conference code is 202 564-7004#. The objective of this workgroup is to address issues surrounding spray drift. The workgroup decided to focus on labeling to mitigate spray drift; the role of education, training, and stewardship; and practices and equipment to mitigate draft and adverse effects from drift.

The Association of American Pesticide Control Officials/State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group Working Committee on Water Quality/Pesticide Disposal To Meet
The Association of American Pesticide Control Officials (AAPCO)/State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group (SFIREG) Working Committee on Water Quality/Pesticide Disposal (WC/WQ/PD) will hold a two-day meeting, beginning on April 30, 2007 and ending May 1, 2007. This notice announces the location and times for the meeting and sets forth the tentative agenda topics. The meeting will be held on April 30, 2007, from 8.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT, and 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon EDT on May 1, 2007.

April 12
Section 18 Actions Database Updated
Section 18 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) authorizes EPA to allow States to use a pesticide for an unregistered use for a limited time if EPA determines that emergency conditions exist. Current and recent actions under Section 18 are detailed in the FIFRA Section 18 Emergency Exemptions database. The information provided from the database includes: site (e.g., the crop being protected), the pest posing the emergency; the state or federal agency which applied for the exemption; the date of application and EPA's response. If a tolerance was established, the date of the publication of that tolerance in the Federal Register is given, and the date the tolerance expires.

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April 11
Hendrix and Dail Settles Pesticide Violations
Hendrix and Dail has agreed to pay a $15,000 penalty to settle alleged violations of federal pesticide regulations that occurred at a nursery in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, EPA announced. Hendrix and Dail, a commercial pesticide applicator, is headquartered in Greenville, North Carolina. EPA cited Hendrix and Dail for violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), a federal law requiring the registration of pesticide products and pesticide-production facilities, the proper labeling of pesticides, and the proper handling and application of pesticides. FIFRA's requirements protect public health and the environment by ensuring the safe production, handling and application of pesticides; and by preventing false, misleading, or unverifiable product claims.

EPA Seeks Public Comment on Grant Guidelines for Underground Storage Tank Operator Training
EPA is asking the public to comment on draft grant guidelines for states for operator training on underground storage tanks. The draft guidelines establish three distinct classes of underground storage tank operators, describe how and when states will implement the guidelines, and discuss when operators must be trained. EPA worked with states and other partners to develop the grant guidelines, which will provide states with requirements they must meet in order to comply with the operator training provision of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. EPA plans to issue the final grant guidelines in summer 2007. Public comments on the draft guidelines will be accepted until May 10, 2007.

EPA Web Module Offers Watershed Outreach Training
EPA's Watershed Academy posted a free, updated online training module on "Getting In Step: A Guide to Conducting Watershed Outreach Campaigns." This module offers a tested step-by-step system to help local governments, watershed organizations, and others maximize the effectiveness of public outreach campaigns to help solve nonpoint source pollution problems and protect local waterways. The module is based on EPA's free, downloadable outreach guide, entitled "Getting in Step: Guide for Conducting Watershed Outreach Campaigns," published in December 2003. A companion video is available to reinforce the steps outlined in this module and in the guide.

National Pesticide Field Program Documents Available on Web
EPA has posted on its Web site three documents that are designed to communicate the role of EPA's National Pesticide Field Program more clearly. The three documents are: a short question and answer piece that addresses the key questions related to the National Pesticide Field Program; an expanded discussion of the field program's contributions to national pesticide program public health and environmental protection goals; and a description of the goals of the national program and the contributions of the field programs, including examples in which the interaction between regulatory partners has proved beneficial.

Trichoderma and Linalool Registration Review Dockets Open for Review and Comment
EPA has established registration review dockets for the pesticides trichoderma and linalool and has opened a public comment period for these reviews. Registration review is EPA's periodic review of pesticide registrations to ensure that each pesticide can perform its intended function without unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment. Registration review dockets contain information that will assist the public in understanding the types of information and issues that the Agency may consider during the course of registration reviews. Comments, identified by the docket ID number for the specific pesticide of interest, must be received on or before June 11, 2007:

Dikegulac Sodium Reregistration Eligibility Decision Available for Comment
EPA has released its Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for the pesticide dikegulac sodium, and has opened a public comment period on this document. The Agency's risk assessments and other related documents also are available in the dikegulac sodium docket. Dikegulac sodium is a plant growth regulator used in greenhouses, nurseries, and on landscape trees, ornamentals, and plants. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0954, must be received on or before June 11, 2007.

Meetings Announced on Potential Revisions To Production Regulations of Plant-Incorporated Protectants
EPA will hold two public meetings during the comment period of the advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) entitled Plant-Incorporated Protectants: Potential Revisions to Current Production Regulations. The ANPRM announces EPA's intention to develop and propose amendments to existing regulations affecting producers of plant-incorporated protectants (PIPs), a type of pesticide. The Agency is considering amendments to the existing regulations, which were written primarily for producers of "traditional'' pesticides, because PIPs are unlike other types of pesticides currently regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Given that PIPs are part of a living organism, they can be replicated and potentially produced anywhere a plant containing the PIP grows. The purpose of the public meetings is to further communicate the regulatory issues described in the ANPRM, and to provide an opportunity for a public dialogue and exchange of information on these and related issues. The meetings will be held in Chicago, IL on May 2, 2007, from noon - 4:30 p.m., CDT, and in Arlington, Virginia, on May 22, 2007, from noon - 4:30 p.m., EDT.

April 10
Debbie Edwards Selected To Be Director, Office of Pesticide Programs
James B. Gulliford, EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances, has announced that Debbie Edwards has been selected as Director of the Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP). Dr. Edwards is currently serving as the Director of the Special Review and Reregistration Division within OPP. She has been with EPA for 22 years, mostly in senior-level supervisory or management positions within OPP. Her wealth of experience has been in both the regulatory and science areas, including service as Director of the Registration Division and as Associate Director of both the Antimicrobials Division and Health Effects Division. She will begin as Director of OPP on Monday, April 16, 2007.

April 9
EPA Fines The Clorox Company for Violating Federal Pesticide Laws
EPA filed a complaint seeking $177,300 against The Clorox Company, an Oakland, California, based manufacturer, for the alleged distribution of unregistered and mislabeled disinfectant bleach intended only for Asian export. EPA is seeking a penalty from the company for distributing export-only unregistered pesticides within the United States. In addition, the disinfectants contained Chinese and English labeling without adequate directions for use and lacked the required statement: "Not Registered for Use in the United States of America". Discrepancies identified in the company’s 2005 pesticide production report led EPA enforcement officials to conduct a detailed investigation that uncovered 38 violations of federal pesticide law.

April 6
EPA and USDA To Study Impact of Winter Manure Spreading and Runoff
EPA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have started a study about the impact on streams, rivers, and lakes from the agricultural practice of winter manure spreading. Some farmers prefer to spread manure on their fields in the winter to avoid the cost of storage and because frozen soil can handle the weight of manure-spreading equipment. However, freeze and thaw cycles create a risk of polluted runoff when manure is applied in the winter. The study is being conducted at several small experimental watersheds at a USDA research facility near Coshocton, Ohio. The study started in February, and the agencies expect to publish results next year. It is a joint study by EPA Region 5, EPA Office of Research and Development, and USDA Agricultural Research Service.

EPA Settles for $20,800 With California Company for Pesticide Violations
EPA has settled with Oculus Innovative Sciences, Inc. of Petaluma, California, for $20,800 for allegedly distributing an antimicrobial disinfectant that failed effectiveness testing, in violation of federal pesticide laws. The product, Cidalcyn, claims to be a hospital-grade disinfectant that will eliminate potentially harmful bacteria. In September 2005, EPA inspectors conducted an inspection at the Oculus facility and collected samples of Cidalcyn for testing. EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs microbiology lab tested the effectiveness of Cidalcyn and determined that, contrary to the label's claim, it was ineffective against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. Due to this testing failure, the pesticide does not meet its claim of being a broad-spectrum disinfectant suitable for hospital use. Once notified of this failure, Oculus stopped distributing the product and is working with EPA to modify its registration.

Proposed Rule on Food Packaging Treated With Pesticides
EPA issued a proposal for a direct final rule excepting pesticide-treated food packaging from the definitions of "pesticide chemical" and "pesticide chemical residue" under section 201(q) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). The text of this proposed rule is identical to a direct final rule EPA issued on December 6, 2006. EPA received several comments opposing that direct final rule and therefore withdrew the rule on January 25, 2007. EPA is issuing the rule as a proposal for public comment. This proposed rule, as with the rule it would amend, applies only to the food packaging materials themselves; it would not otherwise limit EPA's FFDCA jurisdiction over pesticides. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-0175, must be received on or before April 23, 2007.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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April 5
National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center April Newsletter and Webcast Exit EPA
The April edition of the National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPE) newsletter is available. Topics include: Value of Manure in Land Application Systems to be Presented in May Webcast; What’s New on the LPE Web site?; Value of Manure Topic; Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program Encourages Research into New Technologies for Manure Management; and Promising Treatment Technology Removes Phosphorus from Manure. The April 20 Webcast features Dr. Mike Williams of North Carolina State University, speaking on "Lessons Learned from the Smithfield Project."

April 4
EPA Awards Over $70,000 to New Mexico for Agricultural Training and Outreach
EPA has awarded $74,974 to the regents of New Mexico State University to provide training and outreach to New Mexico's agricultural community. The project will target New Mexico pecan growers and provide educational sessions and training on reduced pesticide use through best management practices. The funds will also be used to develop a reference guide for pecan growers to provide them with ready information on pesticide components and regulatory requirements.

Comments Invited on Potential Effects of Atrazine on Amphibian Gonadal Development
In October 2007, EPA will make a presentation to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel concerning EPA's evaluation of the scientific research investigating whether exposure to the herbicide atrazine potentially affects amphibian gonadal development. The scientific research will include studies that were conducted by Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc. in 2005 and 2006, as well as published open literature studies. The notice identifies the open literature studies that EPA has reviewed and requests public comment to ensure that the list of publications is complete. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-0204, must be received on or before May 4, 2007.

EPA Seeks Comments on Potential Rule Amendments for Production of Plant-Incorporated Protectants
In light of the differences between plant-incorporated protectants (PIPs) and other types of pesticides, EPA is considering amendments to the current pesticide establishment and production regulations promulgated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), and to other related FIFRA regulations as needed for producers of PIPs. PIPs are pesticidal substances that are intended to be produced and used in a living plant, or the produce thereof, and the genetic material necessary for the production of such a pesticidal substance, and also include any inert ingredient contained in the plant, or the produce thereof. Given these characteristics, it is possible that PIPs may not be produced in the manner contemplated when the current establishment and production regulations were promulgated for other types of pesticides. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-1003, must be received on or before June 13, 2007.

Orthosulfamuron Chemical Documents Available
EPA has released its fact sheet and risk assessments for orthosulfamuron, a new pesticide active ingredient. The documents include a fact sheet, a human health risk assessment, and an environmental fate and ecological risk assessment.

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