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News Archive: April 2008

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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.

April 30
Chromated Copper Arsenate: EPA Releases Final Risk Assessment for Children Who Contact CCA-Treated Wood

The final probabilistic risk assessment on chromated copper arsenate (CCA), which evaluates potential exposure and risk to children from CCA-treated wood, is complete. This report, entitled "A Probabilistic Risk Assessment for Children Who Contact CCA-Treated Playsets and Decks," is available in docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2003-0250. Although virtually all residential uses of CCA -- including use on decks and playsets -- have been voluntarily canceled, EPA is fulfilling its public commitment to revise the risk assessment based on new information as well as recommendations from the Scientific Advisory Panel and Science Advisory Board. Based on the new information, EPA does not believe there is any reason to remove or replace CCA-treated structures, including decks and playground equipment, and the Agency is not recommending that surrounding soils be removed or replaced.

April 29
New Training Module on Developing a Sustainable Watershed Finance Plan

EPA's Watershed Academy Web has posted a new training module on developing a sustainable finance plan. Many watershed organizations could increase their impact through long-term financial planning. To most effectively protect America's waters, watershed organizations must develop and implement strategies to obtain, diversify, and leverage sustainable sources of funding.

April 28
EPA Reaches $40,000 Settlement With Idaho Property Owner and Contractor for Wetlands Violations

A Bonner County Idaho property owner and contractor have reached a $40,000 settlement with EPA for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act. According to EPA, in fall 2005 the property owner and contractor discharged fill material into a half-acre of wetlands located on the property. The parcel is adjacent to Lake Pend Oreille near Ponderay, Idaho. The illegal action was reversed in May 2006, when the property owner and contractor repaired the damage and restored the site under the direction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

EPA Offers Free Webcast on "National Water Program Strategy: Response to Climate Change"
On Thursday, May 8, EPA will host a free webcast from 2:30 to 4:30 pm EDT to discuss EPA's draft National Water Program Strategy: Response to Climate Change. The agency recently distributed this draft strategy and is seeking comment until May 27, 2008. The draft strategy represents an initial effort by EPA's National Water Program to identify potential impacts of climate change for clean water and drinking water programs, and to define actions both to adapt water programs to these impacts and to mitigate the release of greenhouse gases. The free webcast will highlight some of the key impacts on water resources and water programs, and key actions EPA is proposing.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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April 25
EPA Releases White Paper On StarLink[reg] Corn Dietary Exposure and Risk
EPA is releasing a final white paper that reviews data on the level of Cry9C protein in the human food supply from StarLink(reg) corn grain. It concludes that the protein has been sufficiently removed from the human food supply to render the level of risk low enough that continued testing for the protein in yellow corn at dry mills and mass production facilities provides no added public heath protection. The white paper therefore recommends that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) withdraw its guidance recommending testing yellow corn grain for Cry9C at these facilities.

EPA Asks Nine Major National Chains To Pull Illegal Miracle-Gro Pesticides From Shelves
EPA reinforced its concern for the safety of consumers by issuing "stop sale, use, or removal" orders to retailers Home Depot, Lowe's, Wal-Mart, Ace, Do-It-Best, True Value, Sam's Club, Meijer, and K-Mart. EPA is asking the retailers to remove certain illegal, unregistered and misbranded pesticides distributed by Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. from the shelves of stores across the United States. EPA ordered the Scotts companies early this week, and now its major distributors and retailers, to immediately stop selling and distributing Miracle-Gro Shake'n Feed All Purpose Plant Food Plus Weed Preventer and related pesticide products, which can be identified by the invalid "EPA registration number" 62355-4 listed on the package.

April 24
SFIREG Sets Public Meeting On Water Quality and Pesticide Disposal
The Association of American Pesticide Control Officials/State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group (SFIREG) Working Committee on Water Quality and Pesticide Disposal will meet May 5-6, 2008, in Arlington, Virginia. Those interested in the SFIREG information exchange relationship with EPA regarding important issues related to human health, environmental exposure to pesticides, and insight into EPA's decisionmaking process are encouraged to attend, as are those who conduct tests of chemical substances under requirements of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act or the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

April 23
Formaldehyde/Paraformaldehyde Risk Assessments Available for Comment
EPA is releasing its human health and environmental fate and effects risk assessments and related documents for formaldehyde/paraformaldehyde, and is soliciting public comment on risk management ideas or proposals. Formaldehyde is used for disinfection of poultry houses and as a materials preservative for residential uses; paraformaldehyde is used as a mildewcide in closets. EPA is developing a Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for formaldehyde and paraformaldehyde through a modified, four-phase public participation process. Comments must be received on or before June 23, 2008.

HHT Risk Assessments Available for Comment
EPA is releasing its risk assessments and related documents for the pesticide hexahydro-1,3,5-tris(2-hydroxyethyl)-s-triazine (HHT), also known as grotan, and is opening a public comment period on these documents. The public is encouraged to suggest risk management ideas or proposals to address the risks identified. HHT is an antimicrobial chemical that displays some fungicidal activity. EPA is developing a Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for HHT through a modified, four-phase public participation process. Comments must be received on or before June 23, 2008.

Triforine Reregistration Eligibility Decision Issued for Comment
EPA has completed a Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for the pesticide triforine, a systemic fungicide registered for use on ornamentals for control of black spot, rust, and powdery mildew. EPA has determined that the database to support reregistration is substantially complete and that products containing triforine are eligible for reregistration, provided the risks are mitigated in the manner described in the RED. Comments must be received on or before May 23, 2008.

EPA Orders Scotts To Stop Selling Certain Pesticides
EPA Region 5 issued a "stop sale, use or removal" order against Scotts Miracle Gro Co. and three affiliates, all of Marysville, Ohio, for illegal, unregistered and misbranded pesticides. EPA will also issue a stop sale order to Scotts Lawn Care Service. Scotts has agreed to recall these products from all retail locations across the United States and to set up a process for consumers to safely return any unregistered products they may have purchased. At this time the risks, if any, posed by these unregistered products are unknown. EPA and its state partner Ohio Department of Agriculture are conducting a laboratory analysis of these products.

April 21
EPA Settles with California Grocery Distributor for Alleged Pesticide Violations

EPA reached a $270,000 settlement with Unified Western Grocers, a Los Angeles-based grocery distributor, for the sale and distribution of an unregistered pesticide. Unified Western Grocers allegedly sold and distributed "Western Family Cleanser with Bleach," an unregistered product that stated on the label that it "wipes out most household germs, including Staph, Salmonella, and Pseudomonas." The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act requires companies to register cleaning products as pesticides if the cleaning product makes claims to control germs.

EPA Updates "Handbook for Developing Watershed Plans To Restore and Protect Our Waters"
EPA is releasing a document to help communities, watershed organizations, and local, state, tribal, and federal environmental agencies develop and implement watershed plans to meet water quality standards and protect water resources. The Handbook for Developing Watershed Plans to Restore and Protect Our Waters is designed to help anyone undertaking a watershed planning effort, but should be particularly useful to persons working with impaired or threatened waters.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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April 18
FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel Sets Public Meeting
There will be a 4-day meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) to consider and review the Agency's evaluation of the toxicity profile of chlorpyrifos. The meeting will be held in Arlington, Virginia, on July 15-18, 2008.

PPDC PRIA Process Improvement Workgroup To Meet April 29
EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs will host the 10th meeting of the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) PRIA Process Improvement Workgroup on April 29 in Arlington, Virginia. The objective of this workgroup is to identify and evaluate potential reforms to the pesticide registration process. An agenda and minutes of previous meetings are posted on the PRIA Process Improvement Workgroup Web site.

April 16
EPA Cites Pennsylvania Lab for Violating Federal Pesticide Law

EPA has issued an administrative complaint to Paradigm Labs, Inc., for violating federal pesticide regulations at its facility in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania. The complaint seeks a civil penalty of $53,145. EPA’s complaint cites the company for violations related to the sale and distribution of three of the company’s pesticidal products, Microbloc MMR, DSP, and MSE, from June-September 2006. None of these three products were registered pesticides. The violations were discovered after an inspection by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in September 2006. The complaint also alleges that the three products were misbranded, because information on the product labels failed to list the EPA establishment number and failed to express active and/or inert ingredients as a percentage of weight. Also, the total percentage of active and inert ingredients failed to total 100 percent. The complaint’s seven misbranding counts also result from the seven sales of mislabeled products in June-September 2006.

EPA Invites Comments on Proposal To Allow California More Time To Reduce Pesticide Emissions in Ventura County
EPA has proposed to approve a revision to the California State Implementation Plan for ozone (smog), in response to a request from the California Air Resources Board to gradually reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds from pesticides in Ventura County. The California Air Resources Board has requested that EPA revise the Ventura County portion of its plan because the state was unable to achieve by 2005 all of the pesticide volatile organic compound reductions it had committed to. The board believes it will be able to achieve the full commitment by 2012. EPA welcomes public comments on this proposed action for 30 days after its publication date in the Federal Register.

Chromated Copper Arsenate Revised Risk Assessments Available for Comment
EPA is making available the Agency's revised risk assessments for chlorinated copper arsenate (CCA). The assessment was initially issued for comment through a Federal Register notice published on March 17, 2004. Also included in the docket are a response to comments and other related documents. EPA also is releasing for public comment a preliminary benefits assessment for CCA. The registered pesticides assessed in this reregistration case are arsenic acid, arsenic pentoxide, chromic acid, and sodium dichromate. The chemical case is generically referred to as "CCA'', although it also includes wood preservative uses of other inorganic arsenic-based wood preservatives such as ammoniacal copper zinc arsenate (ACZA). Comments must be received on or before June 16, 2008.

Creosote Revised Risk Assessments, Related Documents Available for Comment
EPA has released its revised risk assessments for the pesticide creosote. The assessment was initially issued for comment through a Federal Register notice published on December 5, 2003. Also included in the docket are a response to comments and other related documents. In addition, the Agency has opened a public comment period on risk reduction options for creosote as well as on the qualitative economic impacts analysis. EPA is developing a Reregistration Eligibility Decision for creosote through the full, six-phase public participation process. Comments must be received on or before June 16, 2008.

Ethylene Oxide Risk Management Decision Announced
EPA has completed its review of the pesticide uses of ethylene oxide (ETO) and determined that the benefits of continued use outweigh the associated occupational risks, provided that risk mitigation measures specified by the Agency are adopted and reflected on product labeling. ETO does not pose risks of concern to the general population or to the environment. In 2006, EPA concluded that, with implementation of risk mitigation measures, ETO does not present risks of concern through food-related pesticide uses. With additional risk mitigation measures required in the decision for non-food uses, all uses of ETO are eligible for reregistration. During reregistration, EPA has provided ample opportunity for public comment and stakeholder input through the full public participation process. Based on this reregistration eligibility decision, EPA plans to close out the ETO special review in the near future.

Advisory Committee Invites Comments on Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for 62 Hazardous Substances
The National Advisory Committee for Acute Exposure Guideline Levels (AEGLs) for Hazardous Substances is inviting public comment on proposed AEGL values for 62 hazardous chemicals. This is the11th set of exposure levels proposed and published by the committee; the 11 sets of AEGL values cover 239 hazardous chemicals. The committee is developing AEGL values on an ongoing basis to provide federal, state, and local agencies with information on short-term exposures to hazardous chemicals. Comments are welcome on both the proposed AEGL values and the technical support documents placed in the public version of the official docket. Comments must be received on or before May 16, 2008.

Pentachlorophenol Revised Risk Assessments Available for Comment
EPA has released its revised risk assessments for the restricted-use antimicrobial pesticide pentachlorophenol (PCP) and its micro-contaminants, dioxin/furan (CDDs/ CDFs) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB), and has opened a public comment period. The assessment was initially issued for comment through a Federal Register notice published on March 30, 2005. Also included in the docket are a response to comments and other related documents. EPA also is soliciting public comment on potential risk reduction options for pentachlorophenol, and on a preliminary benefits assessment for identified risks of concern. EPA is developing a Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for PCP through the full, six-phase public participation process. Comments must be received on or before June 16, 2008.

Prometon Reregistration Eligibility Decision Issued
EPA has completed a Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for the pesticide prometon, a non-selective herbicide intended to leave the treatment site bare and devoid of any vegetation. EPA has determined that the database to support reregistration is substantially complete and that products containing prometon are eligible for reregistration depending on their specific uses, provided the risks are mitigated either in the manner described in the RED or by another means that achieves equivalent risk reduction. Due to its uses, minimal risks, and other factors, prometon was reviewed through the modified four-phase public participation process. Because few comments were received during the earlier comment period for this pesticide, and issues were resolved through consultations with stakeholders, the Agency is issuing the prometon RED without an additional comment period.

April 15
Agriculture and Air Quality Conference at UC Davis Exit EPA

The University of California Davis campus is having a "Green Acres, Blue Skies" conference June 2-4, 2008. Arranged by UCD's Air Quality Research Center, the event will bring together diverse stakeholders from commodities producers to regulators and researchers to discuss issues facing California's agricultural community and solutions to help mitigate impacts.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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April 14
Gulf Hypoxia Action Plan 2008 Approved

The Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force has approved a revised action plan for addressing hypoxia in the Northern Gulf of Mexico following a comprehensive reassessment of the 2001 action plan. The 2008 action plan will be released and available to the public electronically and in hard copy in early June. The 2008 plan considers emerging issues and incorporates the latest science, including findings from EPA's Science Advisory Board. Improvements include an action framework that increases accountability and specificity, an annual operating plan and annual report that provides mechanisms for maintaining and tracking progress between reassessments, a shift in the lead for nutrient reduction strategies to the states with a complementary federal strategy, and a communication/outreach plan to engage stakeholders.

April 10
Alaskan Seafood Processor Fined Over $54,000 for Clean Water Act Violations

Leader Creek Fisheries, LLC (Leader Creek), an Alaskan seafood processor located in Naknek, has agreed to pay a $54,061 penalty to settle alleged federal Clean Water Act violations. Based on an inspection of Leader Creek on June 24, 2003, and a follow-up inspection on July 7, 2006, EPA and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) found that Leader Creek was not in compliance with its National Pollutant Discharge elimination System (NPDES) permit.

EPA Announces Improvements to IRIS Process
A database used the world over to quickly see the research on chemicals found in the environment and their potential to cause health effects in people will undergo several changes to increase its transparency and efficiency. Announced by EPA's Office of Research and Development, the revisions to the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) process for developing chemical assessments will include an expanded process for recommending that a substance be assessed; earlier involvement of other agencies and the public; hosting "listening sessions" to allow for the broader participation and engagement of interested parties; and an even more rigorous scientific peer review of IRIS assessments.

April 9
EPA Regions 9 and 10 Offer $5 Million in Grants for Clean Diesel Projects

EPA Regions 9 and 10 have announced a regional competition through the West Coast Collaborative for more than $5 million to deploy verified or certified clean diesel technologies. EPA is encouraging all qualified applicants to submit proposals for funding. The grants are part of an initiative to significantly reduce diesel emissions in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and the U.S. Pacific Islands. Proposals should target school and transit buses, medium and heavy-duty trucks, marine engines, locomotives, or non-road engines, such as those used in construction or agriculture. The two EPA regions anticipate awarding six to nine assistance agreements, with awards ranging from $500,000 to $1 million. The closing date and time for submission of proposals is Tuesday, July 1, at 5 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time.

April 8
Farming Businesses Reaping Clean Air Benefits

North Texas farms and agricultural businesses are reaping the economic and environmental benefits of greening up their hauling fleets, thanks to the Texas Emissions Reduction Program (TERP). Wright Farms of Farmersville received over $106,000 to replace an old haul truck with a cleaner, more efficient model that will reduce 10.6 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution. Melissa-based Stoney Point AgriCorp will also replace a haul truck with more than $107,000 in rebates and prevent 10.7 tons of NOx emissions. By upgrading to a cleaner model, Mitchell and Bourland of Terrell will reduce 11 tons of pollutants with a rebate of nearly $111,000. The combined benefits add up to over $324,000 in financial assistance and 32 tons of pollution prevented. TERP is managed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and serves as a national model for replacing and retrofitting older diesel engines.

April 7
Washington Dairy Facility To Pay for Alleged Violations Related to Animal Waste

A Washington State dairy has agreed to pay an $8,000 penalty to settle alleged Clean Water Act violations. According to EPA, the violations occurred at the Bayside Dairy's concentrated animal feeding operation facility, located in Mt. Vernon, Washington. In February 2007, EPA inspectors found animal wastes leaking from the barns into a neighboring drainage ditch. The ditch drains to the Skagit River, which provides spawning habitat for salmon and is the largest watershed of the Puget Sound. This discharge was not authorized by a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The company immediately corrected the discharge problem after it was discovered.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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April 4
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 (LPELC) newsletter is available. Topics include: Making Money and Helping the Environment; How Do I View Archived Webcasts?; Manure Entrepreneurs: Turning Brown to Green; and Iowa Releases Final Rule on Manure Application to Soybean Cropland. The next Webcast will be on April 25, 2008, and will feature Linda Lee, Purdue University, Jessica Davis, Colorado State, and Keith Loftin, US Geological Survey. They will discuss the "Antibiotics and Hormones in Animal Manure: Managing Potential Environmental Risks."

April 3
EPA and DHS To Co-host Conference To Address High Priority Technical Challenges for Assessing Risk Exposure to Pathogens April 8-10, Bethesda, MD
EPA and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are teaming up to hold a three-day conference to address the real-world applications, technical challenges, and solutions for conducting microbiological risk assessments. Numerous federal agencies such as EPA, DHS, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) all have a stake in improving microbiological risk assessments (MRA) to better understand, reduce, recover from, and prevent the risks from exposure to bacteria, viruses, and toxins from contaminated indoor and outdoor facilities, air, water, and/or food.

April 2
EPA Makes $50 Million Available To Clean Up Diesel Engines Nationwide
EPA is announcing the availability of almost $50 million in grant funding to establish clean diesel projects aimed at reducing emissions from the nation's existing fleet of diesel engines. The unprecedented sum, which was authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and funded for the first time this fiscal year, will be administered by EPA's National Clean Diesel Campaign (NCDC) and its network of seven collaboratives, made up of EPA regional offices and public and private sector partners.

EPA Announces Federal Clean Diesel Program
Through the Federal Clean Diesel Program, EPA will award grants of more than $4 million to assist eligible partners within the ten Blue Skyways Collaborative states to achieve voluntary emission reductions more quickly than will be accomplished through new regulations that do not affect older but still viable diesel engines. The program is expected to improve air quality and protect public health.

DEQ, EPA Collect Hazardous Flood Debris from River in Oregon
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and EPA are working under a Unified Command to characterize, safely remove, and dispose of oil and other orphaned hazardous materials and containers that were left in place following the December flood in the Nehalem River Valley in the vicinity of Vernonia and Mist Oregon. DEQ and EPA staff identified approximately 40 containers that need removal. Collection of this waste and any additional hazardous materials will start in and along approximately 30 miles of the Nehalem River.

EPA Announces Application for New and Amended Pesticide Registration
EPA is planning to submit a request to renew an existing approved Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This ICR, entitled: "Application for New and Amended Pesticide Registration,'' is scheduled to expire on November 30, 2008. Before submitting the ICR to OMB for review and approval, EPA is soliciting comments on specific aspects of the proposed information collection. Comments must be received on or before June 2, 2008.

EPA Seeks Comment on the Use of Consumer Research in Developing Improved Labeling for Pesticide Products
EPA is proposing to initiate a new information collection activity involving the conduct of surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews to test various versions of pesticide product labels and other informational materials developed for the general public. The pesticide label provides critical information about how to handle and safely use the pesticide product and avoid harm to human health and the environment. Comments must be received on or before June 2, 2008.

Acrolein Revised Risk Assessments and Solicitation of Risk Reduction Options Available for Comments
EPA is making available the Agency's revised risk assessments, a response to comments, and related documents for acrolein. EPA also is soliciting public comment on risk reduction and alternative options for acrolein. In addition, in order to allow a more completed benefits assessment for identified risks of concern, the Agency is soliciting information to several questions referenced in their alternative assessment summary and uncertainties document to help better understand the importance of acrolein to irrigation. Comments must be received on or before June 2, 2008.

Certain Tributyltin Compounds Risk Assessments Available for Comments
EPA is releasing for public comment its human health and environmental fate and effects risk assessments and related documents for tributyltin oxide, tributyltin benzoate, and tributyltin maleate, and soliciting public comment on risk management ideas or proposals. Comments must be received on or before June 2, 2008.

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