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The news releases, reports, and other documents listed below have been selected by the Ag Center because they are of direct importance to the environmental compliance efforts of the agricultural community. The items are in chronological order, with the most recent listed first.

May, 2015
May 2015 Newsletter Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center

May's newsletter showcases the next webinar on "Micro Manure Management", a new article on neighbor relations, and registration for dairy systems & climate adaptation conference. In light of the avian influenza epidemic, the newsletter includes several resources on catastrophic mortality management for poultry. We end with a look at beef cattle implant hormones, composting bins and great events to add to your calendar. More...

May 28, 2015
Pesticide News Story: EPA Takes Strong Steps to Better Protect Bees from Pesticides
To further support President Obama's Federal Pollinator Strategy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing additional restrictions on the use of acutely toxic pesticides during times when bees are most likely to be present. Applications of acutely toxic pesticides would be prohibited when flowers are in bloom when bees are brought to farms for pollination services. While the proposed restrictions focus on managed bees, EPA believes that these measures will also protect native bees and other pollinators that are in and around treatment areas.

May 27, 2015
EPA Solicits Proposals for Development of Pesticide Safety Materials
EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs is soliciting applications for a cooperative agreement that supports the development, revision, or updating of pesticide safety materials for use by partners and stakeholders. EPA expects to provide up to $1.22 million annually, depending on the agency's budget, for a total of five years (2015 through 2020), for up to a total of $5 million. The grantee will work with EPA, partners, and stakeholders to identify resource needs and subject matter experts, and will manage the development and printing or electronic posting of resources.

Clean Water Rule Protects Streams and Wetlands Critical to Public Health, Communities, and Economy
In an historic step for the protection of clean water, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army finalized the Clean Water Rule today to clearly protect from pollution and degradation the streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation's water resources. The rule ensures that waters protected under the Clean Water Act are more precisely defined and predictably determined, making permitting less costly, easier, and faster for businesses and industry. The rule is grounded in law and the latest science, and is shaped by public input. The rule does not create any new permitting requirements for agriculture and maintains all previous exemptions and exclusions.
For more information, visit: EPA Clean Water Rule

May 22, 2015
EPA Amends Solicitations for Pesticide Safety Cooperative Agreements

EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs has made amendments to two solicitations for applications for cooperative agreements to support pesticide safety. The updated solicitations for National Farmworker Training (EPA-OPP-2015-001) and Funds Distribution Program (FDP) for Pesticide Safety Education Programs (PSEPs) (EPA-OPP-2015-003) are available on Grants.gov. The due dates have not changed.

May 21, 2015
EPA Solicits Proposals for Field Implementation Meeting Support Cooperative Agreement
EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs is soliciting applications for a cooperative agreement to facilitate a robust dialogue and collaboration with EPA's partners and stakeholders on pesticide safety programs for workers and handlers. Meetings will focus on increasing understanding of regulations on pesticide applicator certification and protection of agricultural workers and handlers. They will also evaluate implementation and discuss potential improvements to pesticide safety programs in general. The cooperative agreement covers the period of October 1, 2015, through September 30, 2020. The ultimate goal is to advance the protection of people, communities and ecosystems from the risk of pesticide poisoning, illness, and injury. EPA expects to provide an estimated $700,000 annually, depending on the agency's budget, for up to a total of $2.5 million over five years (2015-2020).

May 19, 2015
Pesticide News Story: White House Announces a National Strategy to Promote Pollinator Health
On Tuesday, May 19, the White House announced the National Strategy to Promote Pollinator Health. The strategy released today and its accompanying Pollinator Research Action Plan outline needs and priority actions to better understand pollinator losses, improve pollinator health, and to enhance pollinator habitat.

Pesticide News Story: EPA Announces Registration of Nanosilver Pesticide Product
EPA has issued a registration for a nanosilver-containing antimicrobial pesticide product named "NSPW-L30SS," or "Nanosilva." This silver-based product will be used as a non-food-contact preservative to protect plastics and textiles from odor- and stain-causing bacteria, fungi, mold and mildew. Items to be treated include, for example, household items, electronics, sports gear, hospital equipment, bathroom fixtures and accessories. EPA's decision was based on its evaluation of the hazard of nanosilver after reviewing exposure data and other information on nanosilver from the applicant, as well as data from the scientific literature.

May 15, 2015
Notice for Registrants of Pesticide Products
Effective June 1, 2015: Changes to User Fee Collection Process The United States Department of the Treasury is changing the accepted ways to submit payments for various United States government fees, including PRIA payments and maintenance fee payments. There are two phases to this change, which will ultimately result in the elimination of checks, bank drafts, or money orders as acceptable forms of payment by September 30, 2015.

EPA Responds to Citizen Petition for a Ban on Triclosan
EPA is responding to the Citizen Petition for a Ban on Triclosan filed by Food & Water Watch and Beyond Pesticides by granting one request and denying others. The petition requested that EPA take a variety of actions - including cancelling registered pesticide products containing triclosan and assessing risks - under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act; Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; Clean Water Act; Safe Drinking Water Act; and Endangered Species Act (ESA).

EPA announces availability of $1 million for tribes to upgrade diesel engines
San Francisco - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is announcing the availability of $1 million in grant funding for tribal applicants to establish clean diesel projects aimed at reducing air pollutants from diesel exhaust such as nitrogen oxides (NOX) and particulate matter (PM), which are linked to respiratory problems. Under this grant competition, EPA anticipates awarding approximately up to five tribal assistance agreements between $30,000 and $800,000 each. Projects may include school buses, transit buses, heavy-duty diesel trucks, marine engines, locomotives, energy production generators and other diesel engines. Proposals from tribal applicants must be received by July 15, 2015. To submit a grant proposal, visit: http://epa.gov/cleandiesel/prgtribal.htm

May 8, 2015
EPA Solicits Proposals for a Funds Distribution Program for Pesticide Safety Education
EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs is soliciting applications for a cooperative agreement to distribute funds to Pesticide Safety Education Programs (PSEPs) at state Cooperative Extension Services for the education and training of certified pesticide applicators.

May 6, 2015
EPA Announces Availability of Clean Diesel Grants for Communities Across the Country/Local governments, tribal agencies and nonprofits can win grants up to $2.14 million
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the availability of $13.5 million in grant funding to help governments and nonprofit organizations switch to cleaner diesel engines. Local governments, tribal agencies and nonprofits can win grants up to $2.14 million each. Eligible applicants include regional, state, local or tribal agencies, and port authorities with jurisdiction over transportation or air quality. Nonprofit organizations may apply if they provide pollution reduction or educational services to diesel fleet owners or if their principal purpose is promoting clean transportation or air quality.

May 5, 2015
EPA Identifies Misbranded Pesticide at Kansas City, Kan., Pesticide Distributor
Auto-Chlor System, LLC, a pesticide registrant and distributor headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., has agreed to pay a $6,750 civil penalty to the United States to settle allegations related to the sale and distribution of a misbranded pesticide. The violation occurred at a dealer facility located at 310 Kansas Ave. in Kansas City, Kan.

May 1, 2015
Dairy Company Owner Sentenced to Six Months of Home Detention and Ordered to Pay $15,000 Fine for Discharging 11,000 Gallons of Cow Feces into the French Broad River
The owner of one of North Carolina’s largest dairy farms located in Fletcher, N.C., was sentenced Thursday to four years of probation, six months of which he has to spend in home detention, for his role in the discharging of cow feces into the French Broad River, announced Jill Westmoreland Rose, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. U.S. Magistrate Judge Dennis L. Howell also ordered him to pay a $15,000 fine. The dairy company, Tap Root Dairy, LLC (Tap Root), was also fined $80,000 and was placed on a four-year probationary term. The company is also required to abide by a comprehensive environmental compliance plan.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

April, 2015
April 2015 Newsletter Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center

The April installment reminds about the webinar on manure & tile drainage. We also take a look at farming systems - especially on grazing strategies. Many minds are on spring manure application and nutrient management as well as the finalized "Waters of the U.S. Rule". Check out the Events section for many great gathering opportunities. More...

April 30, 2015
EPA Issuing Interim Guidance Concerning Antimicrobial Data Requirements
Today, EPA is issuing interim guidance that clarifies EPA’s toxicology data requirements for antimicrobial pesticides used on food contact surfaces. In general, if pesticide residues in food resulting from use on food contact surfaces are 200 parts per billion (ppb) or less, EPA requires certain toxicology data. If residues are greater than 200 ppb, additional data may be required, depending on other conditions such as test results. The interim guidance clarifies that the 200 ppb trigger is based on total estimated daily dietary intake for an individual and not on the amount of residue present on a single food. This interpretation is consistent with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) policy.

April 29, 2015
Keeping Your School Free of Stinging Insects – EPA Webinar, May 19
EPA’s Center of Expertise for School Integrated Pest Management (IPM) will host a webinar, “Keeping Your School Free of Stinging Insects,” on May 19 from 2:00-3:30 p.m. Eastern Time. This webinar will teach you how to identify these pests and will present the steps you can take to manage them as part of an IPM program. The webinar will feature:

April 24, 2015
EPA Solicits Proposals for the National Farmworker Training Cooperative Agreement
EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs is soliciting applications for a cooperative agreement that supports national farmworker training aimed at reducing exposure to pesticides for agricultural workers, their families and the agricultural community. This training will help ensure that farmworkers are aware of the strengthened protections they are afforded under the final worker protection standards that EPA expects to release in September 2015. To implement the program, EPA expects to provide up to $500,000 annually, depending on the Agency’s budget, for a total of five years.

April 23, 2015
Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee Meeting May 14 -15, 2015
EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs will hold a public meeting of the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) on Thursday, May 14, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on Friday, May 15, from 9:00 a.m. to noon. The meeting will be held in EPA’s first floor conference center at One Potomac Yard South, 2777 South Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202. A draft agenda will be available prior to the meeting on the PPDC webpage.

April 21, 2015
DOI, EPA, NOAA announce Resilient Lands and Waters Initiative to prepare natural resources for climate change
The Department of the Interior (DOI), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) today recognized four collaborative landscape partnerships across the country where Federal agencies will focus efforts with partners to conserve and restore important lands and waters and make them more resilient to a changing climate. Building on existing collaborations, these Resilient Lands and Waters partnerships – located in southwest Florida, Hawaii, Washington and the Great Lakes region – will help build resilience in regions vulnerable to climate change and related challenges. They will also showcase the benefits of landscape-scale management approaches and help enhance the carbon storage capacity of these natural areas.

April 20, 2015
Settlements Emphasize that Pesticides Need to be Labeled Correctly, Protecting Public and Environment from Misbranded Products

EPA has reached three settlements with companies that produce and/or market pesticides, resolving EPA allegations that the companies or their agents distributed and sold pesticide products which lacked required labels or were missing critical information required by the EPA-approved labels, in violation of the federal law regulating pesticide use in the United States (the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, aka “FIFRA”). The settlements are between EPA and Bayer CropScience LP of Research Triangle Park, N.C., for an $85,500 penalty; E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. of Wilmington, Del., for a $22,200 penalty; and with Dow AgroSciences LLC of Indianapolis, Ind., which will pay a civil penalty of $182,640 and implement an environmentally-beneficial project worth about $231,000. The supplemental project requires that Dow develop a widely-available, web-based FIFRA training with a focus on “supplemental distribution,” which will assist entities that make, import, sell or distribute pesticide products, and other stakeholders to understand FIFRA requirements and ensure full compliance.

April 17, 2015
EPA Seeks Comment on Change to XML Format for Pesticide Product Information System
Beginning in March 2015, EPA began converting the format of the Pesticide Product Information System (PPIS) flat files to Extensible Markup Language (XML). XML is one of today’s modern standards for making large amounts of data available for reuse by others. It provides a simple and common format that facilitates accessing and using data in applications built by outside parties. XML files are readable by both computers and people.

April 15, 2015
EPA Mobile Lab Screens Austin Residents’ Soil

Scientists from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) used a mobile lab facility to screen soil samples from Austin residences recently. Participants were able to bring soil from their garden or yard and have it assessed for heavy metals. Scientists from EPA’s lab facility in Houston worked with representatives from Texas A&M’s AgriLife Extension Service and the city of Austin to provide the service. The mobile lab accepted 79 soil samples for analysis during the day-long event, as part of Austin’s Fusebox Festival. The city of Austin continued the screening for two more days with help from a technical grant from EPA’s Brownfields program, which helps communities restore blighted or contaminated properties to more productive use.

April 13, 2015
Major Egg Producer to Reduce Water Pollution Discharges at Mississippi Facility
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division announced today a settlement with Cal-Maine Foods, Inc., one of the nation’s largest egg producers, that resolves Clean Water Act violations at the company’s poultry egg production facility in Edwards, Miss. Under the settlement, Cal-Maine will bring the facility into compliance with its state-issued water discharge permit, significantly reduce nutrient pollution discharges, and improve environmental data collection and reporting practices. The company will also pay a $475,000 penalty to be split evenly between the U.S. Federal and Mississippi governments.

April 9, 2015
EPA Takes Action to Protect the Public from an Unregistered Pesticide/EPA issues order to stop the sale of OxiTitan
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued an order to EcoActive Surfaces, Inc. in Pompano Beach, Fla.; WellShield, LLC in Boca Raton, Fla.; and, BioRelief, Inc. in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. to stop the sale, use or removal of “OxiTitan.” The order includes other trade names such as “Bio Defender OxiTitan Anti-Microbial Treatment,” and any related products containing the same formulation. OxiTitan is being marketed by these companies for use in sites that include hospitals and schools.

April 7, 2015
EPA Solicits Applications for Technical Support for the Tribal Pesticide Program Council
EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs is soliciting applications to provide technical support for the Tribal Pesticide Program Council (TPPC) as it works to strengthen tribal pesticide programs. The TPPC informs member tribes of pesticide issues, promotes pesticide education and awareness, and assists in the establishment, development, and implementation of comprehensive tribal pesticide programs. The TPPC also is a forum for tribal pesticide and environmental officials to raise tribal pesticide program implementation issues to EPA, offer input on national pesticide policy that affects tribes and offer a network for officials to share information.

South Carolina and Missouri Pesticide Companies to Pay Civil Penalties for Selling Antimicrobial Pesticide with Unapproved Claims
Integrated Environmental Technologies (IET), a South Carolina based pesticide registrant, and Seriously Clean, Ltd., of Nixa, Mo., a firm that served as an authorized distributor of IET’s product under a different brand name, have agreed to pay civil penalties of $87,344 and $91,829, respectively, to settle alleged violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

EPA, NASA, NOAA and USGS Creating Early Warning System to Detect Harmful Algal Blooms
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it is developing an early warning indicator system using historical and current satellite data to detect algal blooms. EPA researchers will develop a mobile app to inform water quality managers of changes in water quality using satellite data on cyanobacteria algal blooms from three partnering agencies-- NASA, NOAA, and the U.S. Geological Survey.

EPA Recognizes National Healthy Schools Day; Encourages Smart, Sensible, Sustainable Approach to School Pest Control
Protecting children’s health where they live, learn, and play is a top priority for the EPA. Today, April 7, 2015, is National Healthy Schools Day, a day dedicated to promoting healthy school environments for children. Today and throughout the year, EPA supports the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), a safer, healthier and usually less costly option for effective pest management in schools. Children in the United States face risks from exposure to pests and pesticides in schools. EPA encourages the use of IPM, a smart, sensible and sustainable approach to pest control that focuses on addressing the underlying issues that make schools attractive to pests. Schools that practice IPM may see a noticeable improvement in attendance and academic performance.

April 3, 2015
Distribution of Certain Mouse and Rat Control Products Ends
On April 1, 2015, Reckitt Benckiser ceased all distribution of 12 d-CON products that do not meet EPA’s current safety standards. EPA reached an agreement with Reckitt, the manufacturer, to cancel these products because they are sold without a protective bait station and pose risks to children and pets. Additionally, eight of the 12 products pose unacceptable risks to certain wildlife. Retailers may sell and consumers may buy these products according to the label until stocks are exhausted. Users of these d-CON products must read and follow the product label instructions.

April 2, 2015
Assessing Risks to Endangered and Threatened Species from Pesticides – 4th Interagency Workshop on Joint Interim Approaches to NAS Recommendations
On April 15, 2015, EPA and its federal partners, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, will hold a one-day workshop. This workshop will provide a forum for stakeholders to offer scientific and technical feedback on the ongoing efforts to develop draft Biological Evaluations (BEs) for three pilot chemicals (chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion) by EPA, FWS, NMFS and USDA in response to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report entitled, “Assessing Risks to Endangered and Threatened Species from Pesticides.”

EPA Announces It Is Unlikely to Approve New Outdoor Neonicotinoid Pesticide Uses
As part of EPA's ongoing effort to protect pollinators, the Agency has sent letters to registrants of neonicotinoid pesticides with outdoor uses informing them that EPA will likely not be in a position to approve most applications for new uses of these chemicals until new bee data have been submitted and pollinator risk assessments are complete. The letters reiterate that the EPA has required new bee safety studies for its ongoing registration review process for the neonicotinoid pesticides, and that the Agency must complete its new pollinator risk assessments, which are based, in part, on the new data, before it will likely be able to make  regulatory decisions on imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotefuran that would expand the current uses of these pesticides.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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