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News Archive: February 2006

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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.

February 27
California Fertilizer Company Fined $5,800 for Distributing Mislabeled Fungicide
EPA has fined Britz Fertilizers, Inc. of Fresno, California, $5,800 for allegedly distributing a mislabeled fungicide, in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). An October 2004 inspection by a Tulare County investigator revealed that the company had distributed “Britz Botran Dust 6" with a label displaying the signal words “Warning” and “Caution.” Federal laws permit use of only one precautionary term.

February 24
Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) Consumer Label Workgroup to Meet
The Consumer Label Workgroup of the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee will meet March 8 from 1-4 p.m. in Arlington, Virginia. The agenda includes stakeholder outreach and participation – progress report and future activities; label communication of environmental hazards/directing desirable user behaviors – progress report and discussion of white paper, development/refinement of actionable label statements; effective communication of safe use practices – position paper review and discussion; and future meeting schedule. The meeting is open to all interested parties.

Comments Invited on Proposed Settlement Agreement Regarding Endangered Species
EPA is publishing for public comment a proposed settlement agreement that would resolve a lawsuit brought against EPA by the Natural Resources Defense Council. The proposed settlement agreement establishes a series of deadlines for the Agency to make “effects determinations” for the pesticide atrazine to determine its potential effect on any of 21 named endangered or threatened species, or their designated critical habitat. Pursuant to the proposed settlement agreement, if the Agency determines that atrazine “may affect and is likely to adversely affect” one or more of the species or habitats, EPA will initiate consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0516, must be received on or before March 13, 2006.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

February 22
Comment Period Open for Boric Acid/Sodium Borate Salts Risk Assessments
EPA has released risk assessments and related documents for the pesticide boric acid/sodium borate salts and has opened a 60-day public comment period on these documents. The public is encouraged to suggest risk management ideas or proposals to address the risks identified. EPA is developing a Tolerance Reassessment Decision for boric acid/sodium borate salts through a modified, four-phase public participation process. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0062, must be received on or before April 24, 2006.

Comment Period Open for Ethylene Oxide (ETO) Revised Risk Assessments
EPA has released revised risk assessments for the fumigant/sterilant pesticide ethylene oxide (ETO) 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. EPA is developing a Reregistration Eligibility Decision for ETO through the full six-phase public participation process. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0203, must be received on or before April 24, 2006.

Comment Period Open for Tridemorph Tolerance Reassessment Decision
EPA has released its Tolerance Reassessment Decision (TRED) for tridemorph, and has opened a public comment period on this document, related risk assessments, and other supporting documents. EPA has reviewed the low-risk pesticide tridemorph through a modified, streamlined version of the public participation process. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0505, must be received on or before March 24, 2006.

February 21
Federal Agencies' Food and Agriculture Incident Response Roles Described in New Document
EPA announces an important new homeland security resource document for government agencies and industries associated with the food and agriculture sector of the United States. "Federal Food and Agriculture Decontamination and Disposal Roles and Responsibilities" is a collaborative product of USDA, FDA, EPA, DHS, and DOD. The purpose of the document is to provide government agencies at all levels and industry and others involved in protecting the nation's food and agriculture with information on the roles, responsibilities, and capabilities of federal agencies for addressing decontamination and disposal of animal, crop, and food commodities contaminated with chemical or biological agents. Key activities, lead and support agencies, and capabilities are described for a variety of representative threat scenarios. Summaries of pertinent federal statutes, plans for protecting this sector, and important government contacts are also provided. This document can be an important resource for understanding federal roles and responsibilities and for further planning and preparedness for significant incidents that could disrupt the nation's food and agriculture sector.

February 17
Closure of the OPP Docket Email Box
Future Federal Register notices for opening dockets will no longer offer the option of submitting comments to the Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) Docket Email Box. This option has been discontinued because comments sent to the OPP Docket Email Box cannot link to the new federal-wide document management system (www.regulations.gov). The OPP Docket Email Box will remain open through April 10, 2006, so that the docket staff can continue to process comments submitted to the OPP Email Box for dockets that were opened before the week of February 8, 2006. A public user guide with detailed information about using the new system is available from OPP. Users can also contact the help desk for regulations.gov at 1-877-378-5457, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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February 15
Comment Period Open for Oxytetracycline Risk Assessments
EPA has released risk assessments and related documents for the pesticide oxytetracycline, 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. EPA is developing a Tolerance Reassessment Decision for oxytetracycline through a modified, four-phase public participation process. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0492, must be received on or before April 17, 2006.

Comment Period Open for Propiconazole Risk Assessments
EPA has released risk assessments and related documents for the triazole fungicide propiconazole and its free triazole metabolites, and has opened a public comment period on these documents. EPA has conducted an aggregate risk assessment for the free triazole metabolites to ensure that aggregate exposure and risk from these common metabolites meet the current safety standards. The public is encouraged to suggest risk management ideas or proposals to address the risks identified. EPA is developing a Reregistration Eligibility Decision for propiconazole through a modified, four-phase public participation process. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0497, must be received on or before April 17, 2006.

Comment Period Open for Streptomycin Risk Assessments
EPA has released risk assessments and related documents for the pesticide streptomycin, 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. EPA is developing a Tolerance Reassessment Decision for streptomycin through a modified, four-phase public participation process. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0493, must be received on or before April 17, 2006.

Comment Period Open for Triadimefon Risk Assessments
EPA has released risk assessments and related documents for the triazole fungicide triadimefon and its free triazole metabolites, and has opened a public comment period on these documents. EPA has conducted an aggregate risk assessment for the free triazole metabolites to ensure that aggregate exposure and risk from these common metabolites meet the current safety standards. The public is encouraged to suggest risk management ideas or proposals to address the risks identified. EPA is developing a Reregistration Eligibility Decision for triadimefon through a modified, four-phase public participation process. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0258, must be received on or before April 17, 2006.

Comment Period Open for Triadimenol Risk Assessments
EPA has released risk assessments and related documents for the triazole fungicide triadimenol and its free triazole metabolites, and has opened a public comment period on these documents. EPA has conducted an aggregate risk assessment for the free triazole metabolites to ensure that aggregate exposure and risk from these common metabolites meet the current safety standards. The public is encouraged to suggest risk management ideas or proposals to address the risks identified. EPA is developing a Tolerance Reassessment Decision for triadimenol through a modified, four-phase public participation process. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0038, must be received on or before April 17, 2006.

FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel Meeting Canceled
The April 4-6, 2006, meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) to consider the Review of Worker Exposure Assessment Methods has been cancelled. This meeting was originally announced in the Federal Register of January 25, 2006.

February 10
Full Tribal Pesticide Program Council (TPPC) Public Meeting
The Tribal Pesticide Program Council (TPPC) will meet March 8-10, 2006, in Arlington, Virginia. This notice announces the location and times for the meeting, and sets forth the tentative agenda topics. One tribal caucus is scheduled each day.

Comment Period Open for Rotenone Risk Assessments
EPA has released risk assessments and related documents for the pesticide rotenone, 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. EPA is developing a Reregistration Eligibility Decision for rotenone through a modified, four-phase public participation process. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0494, must be received on or before April 11, 2006.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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February 8
Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee Workgroup on Pesticide Worker Safety Regulations
EPA's Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) Workgroup on Pesticide Worker Safety Regulations will hold a public meeting on February 27, 2006, in Arlington, Virginia. The workgroup will provide input and advice on regulatory changes being considered to the Worker Protection Standard (40 CFR part 170) and the Certification of Pesticide Applicators (40 CFR part 171).

Comment Period Open on Risk Assessments for Lindane, Other Hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) Isomers
EPA has released risk assessments for the organochlorine pesticide lindane, gamma hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), and the other HCH isomers, and has opened a public comment period on these documents. Lindane is currently used as a seed treatment on six agricultural crops: barley, corn, oats, rye, sorghum, and wheat. The other HCH isomers are byproducts of the manufacture of lindane. The public is also invited to submit risk reduction options for lindane and the other HCH isomers. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0034, must be received on or before April 10, 2006.

February 7
Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation Water Permit Application Deadline Extended
Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) will have additional time to seek water permit coverage and implement nutrient management plans (NMPs) as required by EPA's 2003 CAFO rule. Under a final rule, facilities newly defined as CAFOs will have until July 31, 2007, to seek National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit coverage. In addition, all CAFOs will have until July 31, 2007, to implement NMPs. This action will not affect other aspects of the CAFO NPDES permitting program.

February 6
Iodomethane Risk Assessment Comment Period Extended
EPA issued a notice in the Federal Register of January 6, 2006, concerning the availability of the human health risk assessment and related documents for the fumigant pesticide iodomethane. At that time the Agency established a comment period that was to end on February 6, 2006. The comment period has been extended for 15 days. Iodomethane is a new chemical under consideration by the Agency for registration and has been identified as a potential partial replacement for methyl bromide. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0252, must be received on or before February 21, 2006.

February 3
Comments Invited on "For Use Only By" Labeling Statements
EPA issued a notice in the Federal Register of January 6, 2006, concerning the availability of the human health risk assessment and related documents for the fumigant pesticide iodomethane. At that time the Agency established a comment period that was to end on February 6, 2006. The comment period has been extended for 15 days. Iodomethane is a new chemical under consideration by the Agency for registration and has been identified as a potential partial replacement for methyl bromide. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0252, must be received on or before February 21, 2006.

Federal Plan for Certification of Restricted Use Pesticide Applicators in Navajo Indian Country
EPA is announcing its intention to implement a federal program to certify applicators of restricted-use pesticides in Navajo Indian Country. The program will be administered by EPA Region 9 located in San Francisco. EPA is soliciting comments on its intent to implement this certification program and on its proposed federal plan. Written comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2004-0262, must be received on or before March 6, 2006

February 2
EPA Authorizes Critical Uses of Methyl Bromide for 2006
In accordance with the Clean Air Act and Montreal Protocol, EPA finalized a rule exempting methyl bromide production and import for 2006 critical uses. EPA also authorized those uses that will qualify for the 2006 critical use exemption. The exemptions for continued production and import of methyl bromide will honor the U.S. commitment to obtain methyl bromide for American farmers, in a manner consistent with the Montreal Protocol, while protecting the ozone layer.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

February 1
Comment Period Open for Inorganic Chlorates Risk Assessments
EPA has released risk assessments and related documents for the inorganic chlorates, 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. EPA is developing a Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for inorganic chlorates through a modified, four-phase public participation process. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0507, must be received on or before April 3, 2006.

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