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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.

August 31
EPA Seeks Public Input on National Enforcement Priorities through Online Forum
EPA has launched an online discussion forum to receive public input on the future priorities for EPA’s national enforcement program. The public will be able to provide feedback through the EPA Web site until December 1 2009, giving them a forum to submit ideas for EPA to consider for new areas of enforcement focus. All ideas will be evaluated and considered for recommendation to the EPA administrator about the future direction of EPA’s national enforcement and compliance priorities. To submit suggestions for potential priorities, visit EPA's National Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Priorities Discussion Forum.

August 27
EPA Awards $190,000 in Environmental Education Grants
EPA Region 7 has awarded eight grants totaling $190,000 to develop new environmental education projects. The proposals came from the four Region 7 states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. The environmental education grant program provides seed money for new projects and to advance existing projects which increase public awareness of environmental issues and provide the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment. Chosen projects include a prairie management plan in south central Kansas; and a project that will teach farmers within the Clarks Creek Watershed about long term soil testing to reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous that runs off cropland fields into surface waters.

August 26
Notice of Public Meeting of the Tribal Pesticide Program Council
The Tribal Pesticide Program Council (TPPC) will hold a two-day meeting in Arlington, VA on Wednesday, October 14, 2009 and Thursday, October 15, 2009. The tentative agenda includes a report from the new TPPC Administrator; a report on the international IPM conference; presentation on the inspection needs of tribes along the Colorado River; updates from OPP and EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance; EPA Regional reports; Tribal caucus, and discussion on the use of restricted-use pesticides in Indian country.

EPA Seeks Comments on New Information about Geologic Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide
EPA is requesting comments on new information it has received about geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide. During geologic sequestration, carbon dioxide is injected underground for long-term storage. This technology can be used to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), EPA protects underground sources of drinking water from threats related to injection activities. The new information supplements the agency’s 2008 proposed rule that, if finalized, would create a new class of injection well and establish requirements under the authority of the SDWA to ensure that geologic sequestration activities do not endanger drinking water sources. The publication reviews research and data on geologic sequestration and presents an alternative the agency is considering related to the proposed injection depth requirements for carbon dioxide. In addition, the publication announces that EPA is evaluating the need for a more comprehensive regulatory framework to manage the geologic sequestration of CO2. Comments are due October 15, 2009.

August 25
EPA and DOJ Reach Agreement with Agricultural and Nutrition Chemical Company on Clean-Air Violations
EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice have reached an agreement with Vertellus Agriculture and Nutrition Specialties L.L.C. on alleged clean-air violations at the company’s agricultural and nutritional chemical plant. The agreement, which includes a $425,000 penalty and a $705,000 environmental project, resolves EPA allegations that Vertellus failed to comply with leak detection and repair requirements of the national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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August 21
Tyson Fresh Meats To Pay More than $2 Million for Discharges at Meat Packing Plant
Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., the world’s largest supplier of premium beef and pork, has agreed to pay a $2,026,500 civil penalty to settle allegations that it violated terms of a 2002 consent decree and a federally-issued pollution discharge permit at its meat processing facility in Dakota City, Nebraska. In April 2002, Tyson Fresh Meats, known as IBP Inc., until May 2003, entered into a consent decree with the federal government and the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality to bring wastewater discharges at its facility into compliance with state and federal law. Tyson discharges an average of five million gallons of treated effluent from its Dakota City facility into the Missouri River each day. According to a filing made yesterday in U.S. District Court in Omaha, the government alleges that from July 2003 through March 2004, Tyson failed to properly operate a nitrification system as required by a 2002 consent decree, and as a result, had numerous discharges of fecal coliform and nitrites in violation of its 2002 NPDES permit. Specifically, nitrites in the discharge caused high levels of toxicity to aquatic life in the Missouri River.

EPA Announces Two Public Teleconference Meetings of the Chartered Science Advisory Board
EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office announces two public teleconference meetings of the chartered SAB to conduct reviews of two draft SAB reports and to conduct additional business. The chartered Science Advisory Board will conduct a review of the SAB Integrated Nitrogen Committee draft report, "Reactive Nitrogen in the United States: An Analysis of Inputs, Flows, Consequences, and Management Options" from 1 p.m. until not later than 4 p.m. on Wednesday, September 23, 2009. The second teleconference, scheduled from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Thursday, September 24, 2009, will focus on the Draft Radiation Advisory Committee Report on Radiogenic Cancer Risk. More information is available at EPA's SAB Web site.

August 20
EPA Solicits Applications for Assistance To Support the Pesticide Safety Program
EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) is seeking proposals to support the Pesticide Safety Program for fiscal years 2010 through 2014. Under this program, OPP will provide financial assistance on an annual basis to carry out the Pesticide Safety Program for agricultural workers, pesticide handlers, pesticide applicators, health providers, retailers, growers, and other members of the agricultural community. The types of support needed to implement the Pesticide Safety Program include developing model training and education programs and effective communication and outreach programs to enhance pesticide risk reduction to human health, communities, and ecosystems. Proposals are due by 5:00 PM Eastern Time on October 2, 2009. For more information on this request for applications, please see the Request for Applications (PDF) (26 pp, 157K, About PDF) on EPA's Web site.

EPA Solicits Proposals for Strategic Agricultural Initiative/Food Quality Protection Act "Soil Fumigant Pilot Project" Grant
EPA Region 10 is soliciting proposals for a pilot project to support agricultural community transition from high-risk pesticides to the use of reduced-risk methods of agricultural pest control. The program supports grants for education, development, demonstration, and studies for Food Quality Protection Act transition and employs reduced risk practices for pest management in agriculture. The desired pilot project will develop and test a decision support system to implement FQPA requirements for soil fumigants under localized application methods and scenarios, and provide options for alternative soil-borne pest control tactics.

August 19
Strategic Direction for New Pesticide Testing and Assessment Approaches
To better protect human health and the environment, EPA has launched a new Web page that explains the development and evaluation of new technologies in molecular, cellular, and computational sciences to supplement or replace more traditional methods of toxicity testing and risk assessment. It details the approach EPA’s Pesticide Program is using to pursue new technologies that predict and characterize potential human health and environmental hazards and exposures from pesticides. It describes the current status as well as future plans for this rapidly changing area of research and regulatory science. On this Web page you will also find links to a glossary of key terms, information on pesticides and the ToxCast™ Research Program, and a matrix of tools used for pesticide testing.

National Advisory Committee for Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Hazardous Substances To Hold Public Meeting
A meeting of the National Advisory Committee for Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Hazardous Substances (NAC/AEGL Committee) will be held on September 9-11, 2009, in Research Triangle Park, NC. At this meeting, the NAC/AEGL Committee will address, as time permits, the various aspects of the acute toxicity and the development of Acute Exposure Guideline Levels (AEGLs) for certain chemicals, including carbofuran; carbon dioxide; dichlorvos; dicrotophos; dimethyl phosphate; fenamiphos; and others.

EPA Solicits Comments on Proposed AEGLs
The National Advisory Committee for Acute Exposure Guideline Levels for Hazardous Substances (NAC/AEGL Committee) is developing AEGLs on an ongoing basis to provide Federal, State, and local agencies with information on short-term exposures to hazardous substances. This notice provides a list of 19 proposed AEGLs that are available for public review and comment. Comments are welcome on both the proposed AEGLs and their Technical Support Documents placed in the docket. Comments must be received on or before September 18, 2009.

State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group To Hold Public Meeting
The Association of American Pesticide Control Officials (AAPCO)/State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group (SFIREG), Pesticide Operations and Management (POM) Working Committee will hold a 2-day meeting in Arlington VA, from September 21-22, 2009. Topics may include but are not limited to:

August 18
EPA Makes Preliminary Toxics Release Data Available to the Public
EPA has published preliminary data on the release of toxic chemicals occurring in the United States between January 1 and December 31, 2008. In its continued commitment to openness and transparency, EPA is taking the unprecedented step of releasing the raw data prior to the agency completing its analysis. EPA is analyzing the data and will publish the national analysis once it is completed. The Toxics Release Inventory is a database that contains detailed information on nearly 650 chemicals and chemical categories that more than 23,000 industrial and other facilities manage through disposal or other releases, recycling, energy recovery, or treatment.

Science Advisory Board To Hold Public Meeting on Draft Nutrient Criteria Derivation Document
EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office announces a public meeting of the SAB Ecological Processes and Effects Committee to conduct a review of EPA's draft guidance document, Empirical Approaches for Nutrient Criteria Derivation. The meeting will be held from September 9-11, 2009, in Washington DC.

August 17
Comments Requested on Expert Peer Review of Renewable Fuel Standard Program GHG Analysis
On May 5, 2009, EPA announced proposed revisions to the National Renewable Fuel Standard program (RFS program) as required by the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007. EISA established new renewable fuel categories and eligibility requirements, including setting the first ever mandatory greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction thresholds for the various categories of renewable fuels. As part of proposed revisions to the RFS program and in accordance with the EISA definition of GHG emissions, EPA examined the GHG impacts associated with different types of renewable fuels. Several new pieces of analysis were developed to support this lifecycle assessment. EPA decided to initiate an independent peer review to help respond to stakeholder concerns and to ensure that the Agency makes decisions based on the best science available. The Agency contracted with independent, third party sources to conduct an external expert peer review of this work. The results of the expert peer review are being made available to the public for notice and comment to supplement the current record. Written comments must be received on or before September 25, 2009.

August 12
EPA Cites Arizona Nursery for Pesticide Misuse, Worker Safety Issues
EPA fined a Sun city tree nursery $1,760 for allegedly misusing a pesticide and failing to comply with federal pesticide worker safety regulations. In 2008, the nursery misused the restricted use pesticide Diazinon AG500 and failed to assure that an applicator received safety training during the previous 5 years as required by law, constituting violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. Diazinon AG500 is limited to agricultural use only and must be applied by a certified applicator or a person under the direct supervision of a certified applicator. The nursery's May 2008 application of Diazinon AG500 had neither a certified applicator nor a person under the direct supervision of a certified applicator.

Comments Requested on Nominations to the FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel
The Science Advisory Panel (SAP) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) serves as the primary scientific peer review mechanism of EPA's Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances and is structured to provide scientific advice, information, and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on pesticides and pesticide-related issues as to the impact of regulatory actions on health and the environment. The Agency is, at this time, selecting two new members to serve on the FIFRA SAP and has released the names, addresses, professional affiliations, and selected biographical data of persons nominated to serve. Public comment on the nominations is invited, as these comments will be used to assist the Agency in selecting the new chartered FIFRA SAP members. Comments must be received on or before September 11, 2009.

EPA Letter Reminds Pesticide Companies of Federal Pesticide Label Regulations and the Agency's Position on Use of Terms like "Professional Strength"
EPA has posted a recent letter regarding permissible product names and advertising for pesticide products. The goal of this letter is to remind pesticide producers and distributors of federal pesticide label regulations and the Agency's process for addressing misbranded products, such as those with false and misleading statements. The letter includes examples of statements that are considered false or misleading according to federal regulations (40 CFR part 156.10(a) (5)), and explains why it finds the use of the term "Professional" in product names, labeling and marketing to be false or misleading under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

August 11
EPA Settles with Nevada Tree Nursery Over Worker Protection Violations
EPA fined a Minden, Nevada-based ornamental tree nursery for allegedly misusing pesticides contrary to labeling requirements and failing to comply with federal pesticide worker safety laws. The nursery misused the pesticides Round-Up Pro, Lontrel, and Amine 4 2,4 Weedkiller during applications in May and June 2008. The company failed to comply with label directions that require it to minimize the risk of exposure by notifying workers and handlers of recent pesticide applications on particular fields, and failed to provide workers with nearest emergency medical care facility information in case of exposure. The EPA fined the nursery $5,440 for these three violations.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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August 7
EPA Posts Peer Review of Renewable Fuel Standard Lifecycle Analysis
EPA, under the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007, is responsible for revising and implementing regulations to ensure that gasoline sold in the United States contains a minimum volume of renewable fuel. The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program will increase the volume of renewable fuel required to be blended into gasoline from 9 billion gallons in 2008 to 36 billion gallons by 2022. The new RFS program regulations are being developed in collaboration with refiners, renewable fuel producers, and many other stakeholders. One of the requirements in the EISA of 2007 is for EPA to examine the lifecycle greenhouse gas emission impacts associated with different types of renewable fuels. The statute specifically requires that this assessment take into account "the full fuel lifecycle," including, "significant indirect emissions, such as significant emissions from land use changes." EPA initiated this independent peer review to help respond to stakeholder concerns and to ensure that the Agency makes decisions based on the best science available. The peer review of the renewable fuel standards lifecycle analysis is now available online.

August 6
National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center August Newsletter and Webcast Exit EPA
The August edition of the National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPELC) newsletter is available. Topics include: September Webcast: Ways to Reduce Air Quality Problems Associated with Land Application of Manure; New Additions to the LPE Website; USGS Conducts Assessments of Nutrient Concentration and Loads in Streams; EPA Releases Literature Review Documents Related to Recreational Water Quality Risks (Pathogens); Smaller Dead Zone in Gulf of Mexico; Snapshot Assessment of Nutrient Use Efficiency on Dairy Farms; and "Energy Production from Anaerobic Digestion of Dairy Manure" Short Course. The next webcast, on August 29, 2009, will focus on “Evaluating Innovative Manure Treatment Technology Through Farm Pilot Project Coordination.” The webcast will highlight demonstration projects conducted through FPPC, Inc. and some of the lessons learned in implementing them. The speakers are: Lawrence Clark, USDA NRCS (retired), Bob Monley, FPPC, Inc. and Bill Boyd, USDA NRCS.

August 4
EPA Issues Final NPDES General Permit for Discharges From New Mexico CAFOs
EPA Region 6 has issued a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permit for discharges from eligible owners/operators of existing concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in New Mexico, except those discharges on Indian Country. All currently operating animal feeding operations that are defined as CAFOs or designated as CAFOs by the permitting authority and that are subject to 40 CFR part 412, subparts A (horses) and C (dairy cows and cattle other than veal calves) are eligible for coverage under this permit. This permit covers the types of animal feeding operations listed above which meet the definition of a CAFO and discharge or propose to discharge pollutants to waters of the United States. A copy of the Region's responses to comments, a fact sheet, and the final permit may be obtained from EPA's Region 6 CAFO Program Web site.

Comments Requested on TSCA ITC Report
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) authorizes the Administrator of EPA to promulgate regulations requiring testing of chemicals and chemical groups in order to develop data relevant to determining the risks that such chemicals and chemical groups may present to health or the environment. Section 4(e) of TSCA established the Interagency Testing Committee (ITC) to recommend chemicals and chemical groups to the Administrator for priority testing consideration, and directs the ITC to revise the Priority Testing List at least every 6 months. The Priority Testing List includes 2 alkylphenols, 12 lead compounds, 16 chemicals with insufficient dermal absorption rate data, and 207 HPV Challenge Program orphan chemicals. In the June 25, 2009 TSCA ITC report to the Administrator, no revisions to the Priority Testing List are recommended. Comments must be received on or before September 3, 2009.

August 3
eRulemaking Enhances Regulations.gov for Access to Federal Regulations
EPA is the managing partner of the inter-agency eRulemaking Program, which operates regulations.gov. The eRulemaking Program has launched a significant upgrade to the Web site that provides one-stop, public access to information related to current and forthcoming regulations issued by the federal government. Enhancements to regulations.gov include improved search capabilities, new navigation tools, and easier access to areas for the public to provide comments on proposed regulations. Visitors to regulations.gov can now streamline search results with date ranges, select specific U.S. government departments or agencies, and view results by docket or file folder. Other changes include interactive icons and links to common user tasks that pre-populate search fields to help users find regulations and comments. The Web site also provides quick access, simplified navigation and additional information sharing, such as social bookmarking and RSS feeds by specific government departments or agencies.

EPA's Data Finder Goes Live
EPA has recently launched Data Finder, a single place to find EPA's data sources so users can access and understand environmental information. Users are encouraged to suggest new content and comment on its functionality.

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