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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.

January 31
Washington Tribe's Dungeness Watershed Based Plan Certified
The Jamestown S'Klallam tribe, based in Sequim, Washington, is the first native American tribe to achieve EPA certification of a watershed based plan. Certification was based on compliance with federal tribal nonpoint source program guidelines. The purpose of the plan, titled "Protecting and Restoring the Waters of the Dungeness," is to characterize the Dungeness watershed area, highlighting the causes and sources of nonpoint source pollution. The detailed plan describes watershed area goals along with management measures for protecting water quality and restoring impaired water bodies. Numerous water bodies in the Dungeness watershed are impaired by low dissolved oxygen, fecal coliform contamination, loss of habitat, and the presence of heavy metals.

January 28
EPA Takes Enforcement Action To Protect Streams in Missouri
EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and the Missouri Department of Conservation conducted a joint investigation of an illegal discharge of pollutants in Hermondale, Missouri, leading to criminal charges against a Missouri farm for violating the Clean Water Act. The investigation began in October 2007, when an anonymous call was received by the Missouri Department of Conservation stating that a tanker truck was observed discharging its contents into Belle Fountain Ditch in Hermondale. Upon arrival, state and federal emergency responders found that an undetermined amount of decomposing glycerin that was generated from Natural Biodiesel Plant LLC had been released into the ditch. Approximately 100,000 fish and other aquatic life were killed.

Human Studies Review Board Plans Public Teleconference To Review Draft Report
In a public teleconference on February 11, 2008, EPA Human Studies Review Board (HSRB) will discuss the draft report from its October 24-26, 2007, meeting. The meeting, which will take place via telephone only, will last from 2 p.m. to approximately 5 p.m. ET. Members of the public who wish to obtain the call-in number and access code to participate in the telephone conference, request a current draft copy of the Board's report, or obtain further information may contact Lu-Ann Kleibacker, EPA, Office of the Science Advisor, (8105R), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460; telephone (202) 564-7189 or via e-mail at kleibacker.lu-ann@epa.gov. Written comments should be identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-ORD-2007-0942.

EPA To Propose Rule Requiring Pesticide Container Recycling
EPA plans to propose regulations that, once finalized, would require registrants of agricultural and professional specialty pesticides to recycle plastic pesticide containers. After careful deliberation and consideration of all possible options, the Agency is moving forward expeditiously with a proposed pesticide container recycling rule. Given the extensive time necessary for the rulemaking process, EPA is following an aggressive schedule that allows publishing the proposed regulations by fall 2008. The Agency will provide the public a 60-day comment period on the proposed rule.

EPA Seeks Data About Nanoscale Materials
What are the human health and environmental risks and benefits of nanoscale chemical products? That's what EPA wants to find out with its Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program (NMSP). Engineered nanoscale materials range in size from 1-100 nanometers (nm), and may have very different properties than the same materials at a larger scale. The program calls on manufacturers, importers, processors, and users of engineered nanoscale materials to report to EPA key information about these materials within 6 months. The Agency will evaluate the information to help ensure the safe manufacture and use of these nanoscale materials.

Sixty-First Report of Toxic Substances Control Act Interagency Testing Committee Available for Comments
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Interagency Testing Committee (ITC) transmitted its 61st ITC Report to the EPA administrator on December 18, 2007. In the report, the ITC is revising the TSCA section 4(e) priority testing list by adding four cresols and removing 35 High Production Volume (HPV) Challenge Program orphan chemicals. The cresols were added to obtain dermal sensitization data. The 35 HPV Challenge Program orphan chemicals are being removed from the priority testing list because either: commitments were made to sponsor these chemicals under EPA's HPV Challenge Program, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development HPV Screening Information Data Set Program, and/or the International Council of Chemical Associations HPV Initiative; or the substances were determined by EPA to no longer be HPV chemical substances. Comments must be received on or before February 27, 2008.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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January 24
Emission Standards for Stationary Diesel Engines
EPA has issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking to solicit comment on several issues concerning options the Agency can pursue through federal rulemaking under the Clean Air Act to regulate emissions of pollutants from existing stationary diesel engines, especially those from larger, older stationary diesel engines. EPA has taken several actions over the past several years to reduce exhaust pollutants from stationary diesel engines. The Agency continues to be interested in exploring opportunities to further reduce these pollutants, particularly those from engines that have not been subject to federal standards. Comments must be received on or before February 25, 2008.

FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel To Meet on Endocrine Disruptor Screening
The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) will meet in Arlington, Virginia, March 25-28, 2008, to consider and review the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP) proposed Tier-1 screening battery.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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January 18
Final Registration Review Work Plans Available for Seven Pesticides
EPA has posted final work plans for registration review of seven pesticides. These work plans include the expected time lines for registration review. They also address any public comments on the Preliminary Work Plans in the Summary Documents in the initial registration review dockets, or any other comments on these dockets. The Summary Document provides information on (1) what EPA knows about the pesticide and (2) what additional risk analyses and data or information the Agency believes are needed to make a registration review decision. The seven chemicals are:

Information for Pesticide Exporters
U.S. exporters of pesticides can now find information on EPA's Pesticides International Activities Web site about how to obtain a Pesticide Product Certificate of U.S. Registration (Gold Seal Letter).  A Gold Seal Letter is sometimes required by customs officials in other countries before they will allow a product to enter their country.

Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling (GHS) of Chemicals
EPA has revised its Web pages about the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling (GHS) of Chemicals to make it easier for the general public to access and make use of GHS information. The site does not contain new information or announce new decisions on implementation questions, but is a compilation of existing information on GHS that is geared toward a larger audience. The information on the GHS Web pages is intended to educate the public on what GHS is, its potential benefits, where EPA and other key U.S. agencies are with implementation, and how the public, pesticide users, and other stakeholders would be affected by implementation. Improvements include a multi-page layout, details on GHS pictograms that would be seen on pesticide products, and sample labels that show how GHS elements could be incorporated on pesticide product labels.

January 17
EPA's Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program Helps Almond Growers
An EPA grant funded development of the California Almond Pest Management Alliance's award-winning publication, "A Seasonal Guide to Environmentally Responsible Pest Management Practices in Almonds." The Almond Pest Management Alliance is one of eight organizations that will be honored by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation as 2007 Integrated Pest Management Innovators, for promoting natural pest solutions to build a healthier environment with less reliance on chemicals. The guide, written by the University of California’s Cooperative Extension, is based on research and demonstration projects conducted for five years in three primary almond growing areas in the state.

January 16
Comment Period Extended for Petition Requesting Cancellation of  M-44 Sodium Cyanide Capsules, Sodium Fluoroacetate
EPA issued a notice in the November 16, 2007, Federal Register concerning a petition that EPA received from Sinapu; Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility; Beyond Pesticides; Forest Guardians; Predator Defense; Western Wildlife Conservancy; Sierra Club; The Rewilding Institute; Animal Defense League of Arizona; and Animal Welfare Institute. The petition requested EPA to issue a notice of intent to cancel the registrations of M-44 sodium cyanide capsules and sodium fluoroacetate (compound 1080). The Agency is seeking further substantive comment on this petition, and will post a document with specific questions under docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP- 2007-0944. Comments must be received on or before March 5, 2008.

Diiodomethyl p-tolyl sulfone (Amical 48) Risk Assessments Available for Comment
EPA has released its risk assessments and related documents for the pesticide Diiodomethyl p-tolyl sulfone (Amical 48), 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 Diiodomethyl p-tolyl sulfone through a modified, four-phase public participation process. Comments must be received on or before March 17, 2008.

Risk Assessments for Organic Esters of Phosphoric Acid Available for Comment
EPA has released its risk assessments and related documents for organic esters of phosphoric acid 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 organic esters of phosphoric acid through a modified, four-phase public participation process. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-1166, must be received on or before March 17, 2008.

January 14
Final EPA Release of Water Quality Standards Database
In December 2007, EPA posted the ninth and last release of the Water Quality Standards Database. Direct access to water quality standards (WQS) information has many benefits, including enabling more informed public participation in establishing and revising state WQS. As part of EPA's efforts to enhance access to WQS information, EPA is helping states establish state-level WQS databases on their own Web sites, so that information can be kept current as states revise their standards. This final version of the WQSDB is scheduled to be removed from the EPA Web site in February 2008. 

National Wetlands Award Deadline Extended Exit EPA
The deadline for submitting nominations for the 2008 National Wetlands Awards Program has been extended to January 31. The awards program honors individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to the conservation and restoration of  U.S. wetlands. The 2008 awards will be given in six categories: Education and Outreach; Science Research; Conservation and Restoration; Landowner Stewardship; State, Tribal, and Local Program Development; and Wetland Community Leader.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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January 9
Rhode Island Pool Supply Company Fined for Violating Pesticide Laws
A Rhode Island swimming pool company has paid a $10,400 penalty for violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Modern Swimming Pool Supply Company, Inc. of North Providence produces, distributes, and sells pool supply products, including the pool disinfectant and pesticide sodium hypochlorite. Two routine EPA inspections of the Modern Pool facility revealed that the company repackaged and sold a sodium hypochlorite solution on multiple occasions without first obtaining a distribution agreement with the product's manufacturer. The distribution of a pesticide without a supplemental distribution agreement amounts to the sale of an unregistered pesticide. Modern Pool came into compliance with FIFRA soon after becoming aware of its violations.

EPA's Pesticide Worker Safety Training Handbooks
Region 1 developed EPA's Pesticide Worker Safety training handbooks in various languages. Each handbook includes an English translation.

EPA Orders Restoration of Damaged Colorado Creek and Wetlands
EPA has ordered an excavating company in Lafayette, Colorado, to restore a section of Lafayette's Rock Creek and adjacent wetlands that they damaged in violation of the Clean Water Act. Acting without a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit, the company excavated a new stream channel in Rock Creek, filled adjacent wetlands with sidecast materials and then filled approximately 150 feet of the original channel during the time period of March-April 2007. The violations occurred on the City of Lafayette's open space property without the city's permission or knowledge. The Federal Clean Water Act prohibits discharges of dredged or fill material unless authorized by a Corps permit.

January 8
Docket Open for Carbofuran Scientific Advisory Panel Meeting
EPA is submitting to the independent Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) a draft Notice of Intent to Cancel (NOIC) all carbofuran registrations. EPA has opened a docket (EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-1088) containing the materials provided to the SAP, which is convening in Arlington, Virginia, on February 5-8. In this public meeting, the panel will review the scientific assessment underlying the NOIC and will respond to questions posed by the Agency concerning the proposal's impact on health and the environment. Details on how and when to submit oral and written comments are provided in the Agency’s Federal Register notice announcing the meeting.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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January 7
National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center January Newsletter and Webcast Exit EPA
The January edition of the National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPELC) newsletter is available. Topics include: February Webcast: Impact of Ethanol Co-Products on Nutrient Planning and Manure Management; Past Webcasts (and More!) Available at the Archive; Nutritionists Become Certified in Feed Management; Environmental Management Resources for Small Farms; and Comment Period on Exempting Animal Waste from CERCLA and EPCRA Reporting Requirements is Open. The next Webcast will be on January 18, 2008, and will feature Shawn Shouse, Iowa State University and Kevin Janni, University of Minnesota.  They will discuss the dry manure housing systems for beef and dairy operations.

January 2
EPA Fines Saipan Company $26,000 for Pesticide Violations
EPA has settled with Japan Water Systems of Capitol Hill, Saipan, for $26,000 for allegedly distributing an unregistered water disinfectant in violation of federal pesticide laws. EPA cited the company for allegedly selling and distributing an unregistered water disinfectant "Tosoh Cube." The product, a 12 percent sodium hypochlorite solution, was imported from Japan and sold to hotels and other businesses in Saipan for private water system disinfection. The products, labeled almost entirely in Japanese, lacked directions for use, precautionary statements, and other labeling required by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

Technical Amendment of Pesticide Tolerance Crop Grouping Program
EPA issued a final rule in the Federal Register of December 7, 2007, concerning amendments and revisions to the pesticide tolerance crop grouping regulations. This document is being issued to correct an omission in one of the crop grouping tables and to remove unnecessary scientific names from another table. This final rule is effective January 2, 2008.

Comment Period Extended for Endosulfan Updated Risk Assessments and Usage Information
EPA issued a notice in the Federal Register of November 16, 2007 concerning the availability of EPA's updated human health and ecological effects risk assessments for the organochlorine pesticide endosulfan, based in part on data submitted by endosulfan registrants as required in the 2002 Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED). The Agency is seeking comment on these updated assessments, as well as EPA's analysis of endosulfan usage information since the 2002 RED and its preliminary determinations regarding endosulfan's importance to growers and availability of alternatives. Comments must be received on or before February 19, 2008.

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