News Archive: March 2010
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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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.
EPA Issues 18-Month Stay for Inclusion of Fugitive Emissions
EPA is issuing a stay for 18 months of the inclusion of fugitive emissions requirements in the federal Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program published in the Federal Register on December 19, 2008, in the final rule entitled, "Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Nonattainment New Source Review (NSR): Reconsideration of Fugitive Emissions" (Fugitive Emissions Rule). This action puts in place an additional stay for 18 months, which we believe will allow for sufficient time for EPA to propose, take public comment on, and issue a final action concerning the inclusion of fugitive emissions in the federal PSD program.
Region 7 Wetland Program Development Grant Opportunity
EPA Region 7 is soliciting Proposals for Wetland Program Development Grants to provide eligible applicants an opportunity to conduct projects that promote the coordination and acceleration of research, investigations, experiments, training, demonstrations, surveys, and studies relating to the causes, effects, extent, prevention, reduction, and elimination of water pollution. Project implementation must be within the states of EPA Region 7 specifically Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and/or Nebraska. Proposals must be received by May 20, 2010.
- Link to full announcement (PDF) (42 pp, 256K, About PDF)
- More information on Region 7 grant opportunities
EPA Recognizes Pesticide Reduction Grant Recipients
The University of California at Berkeley, the Central Coast Vineyard Team, and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation were all recipients of grants through the Pesticide Registration Improvement Renewal Act (PRIA) program, which aims to promote the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approaches to reduce pesticide risk. The grants will support the demonstration of innovative IPM practices, technologies, outreach and education. The three grants funded a range of projects. The University of California at Berkeley was awarded $249,687 for a project titled “Implementing Reduced Risk Alternatives for Management of Codling Moth in Walnuts.” The Central Coast Vineyard Team in Paso Robles, California, was awarded $225,000 for a project titled “Reducing Pesticide Risk through the Adoption of Integrated Farming Practices in Central Coast Vineyards and Marketing Certified Sustainable Products.” Lastly, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation was awarded $159,484 for their efforts in “Reducing Volatile Compound Emissions from Pesticide Use in Nuts and Tree Fruit Orchards in California's San Joaquin Valley.” Assistant Administrator Owens congratulated the grant recipients, presented them each with a check, and spoke about the importance of incorporating IPM practices into the agriculture industry.
EPA Formally Announces Phase-in of Clean Air Act Permitting for Greenhouse Gases; No Stationary Source Requirements Until 2011
Under a final decision issued today by the EPA, no stationary sources will be required to get Clean Air Act permits that cover greenhouse gases (GHGs) before January 2011. EPA has pledged to take sensible steps to address the billions of tons of greenhouse gas pollution that threaten Americans’ health and welfare, and is providing time for large industrial facilities and state governments to put in place cost-effective, innovative technologies to control and reduce carbon pollution. Today’s announcement is the first step in EPA’s phased-in approach to addressing GHG emissions laid out by Administrator Lisa P. Jackson earlier this month.
Request for Public Comment on Review of National Primary Drinking Water Regulations
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requires EPA to conduct a periodic review of existing National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWRs) and determine which, if any, need to be revised. The purpose of the review, called the Six-Year Review, is to identify those NPDWRs for which current health effects assessments, changes in technology, and/or other factors provide a health or technical basis to support a regulatory revision that will improve or strengthen public health protection. EPA has completed its detailed review of 71 NPDWRs and at this time believes that four NPDWRs are candidates for regulatory revision. These four NPDWRs are acrylamide, epichlorohydrin, tetrachloroethylene, and trichloroethylene. EPA requests public comment and/or relevant information that will assist the Agency as we move forward with regulatory action to revise these four NPDWRs. In addition to the 71 NPDWRs discussed in detail in today's action, this review also includes 14 other NPDWRs that need no detailed review because of recent or ongoing revision actions. Comments must be received on or before May 28, 2010.
Changes to Renewable Fuel Standard Program
Under the Clean Air Act Section 211(o), as amended by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), EPA is required to promulgate regulations implementing changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard program. The revised statutory requirements specify the volumes of cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel that must be used in transportation fuel. This action finalizes the regulations that implement the requirements of EISA, including the cellulosic, biomass- based diesel, advanced biofuel, and renewable fuel standards that will apply to all gasoline and diesel produced or imported in 2010. The final regulations make a number of changes to the current Renewable Fuel Standard program while retaining many elements of the compliance and trading system already in place. This final rule also implements the revised statutory definitions and criteria, most notably the new greenhouse gas emission thresholds for renewable fuels and new limits on renewable biomass feedstocks. This final rule is effective on July 1, 2010, and the percentage standards apply to all gasoline and diesel produced or imported in 2010.
Region 10 Wetland Program Development Grant Opportunity
EPA is soliciting proposals from eligible applicants to build or refine state/tribal/local government wetland programs in Region 10. Wetland Program Development Grants (WPDGs) provide eligible applicants an opportunity to conduct projects that promote the coordination and acceleration of research, investigations, experiments, training, demonstrations, surveys, and studies relating to the causes, effects, extent, prevention, reduction, and elimination of water pollution.
EPA To Hold Additional Public Hearings on Proposed Water Quality Standards
EPA is holding three additional public hearings in April to receive more input from Floridians on the agency’s proposed Florida water quality standards. The agency held three public hearings in Florida in February on the proposed standards. The standards will protect people’s health, aquatic life and the long-term recreational uses of Florida’s waters, which are a critical part of the state’s economy. In 2009, EPA entered into a consent decree with the Florida Wildlife Federation to propose limits to this pollution. The proposed action, released for public comment and developed in collaboration with the state, would set a series of numeric limits on the amount of phosphorus and nitrogen, also known as “nutrients,” that would be allowed in Florida’s lakes, rivers, streams, springs and canals.
EPA Releases Public Database on Risk Assessments
Today, EPA is releasing the Health and Environmental Research Online (HERO) database, a milestone in transparency. HERO provides access to the scientific studies used in making key regulatory decisions, including EPA’s periodic review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for six major pollutants. It is part of the open government directive to conduct business with transparency, participation, and collaboration. The publicly accessible HERO database provides an easy way to review the scientific literature behind EPA science assessments, which are used to support agency decision-making. The database includes more than 300,000 scientific articles including the authors, titles, dates, and abstracts. In addition, through a simple keyword search, anyone can see information from the articles that were used to develop specific risk assessments.
Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates
- Ammonium salts of fatty acids (C8-C18 saturated) -- exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues applied pre- and post-harvest on all raw agricultural commodities when applied/used as a surfactant (March 24)
- Antimicrobial pesticides -- registration review dockets opened for review and comment (March 31)
- Antimicrobial pesticide products -- applications to register new antimicrobial pesticide products containing new active ingredients (March 31)
- Antimicrobial pesticide products -- applications to register new uses for pesticide products containing currently registered active ingredients (March 31)
- Bacillus subtilis -- availability of final registration review decision (March 31)
- Biopesticide products -- registration review dockets opened for review and comment (March 31)
- Bromine -- final registration review decision (March 31)
- Clopyralid -- establishment of tolerances for residues in or on Swiss chard and bushberry subgroup 13-07B; amendment to an existing tolerance in or on strawberry (March 24)
- Cloquintocet-mexyl -- amendment to 40 CFR 180.560 to add a reference to the active ingredient flucarbazone-sodium (wheat only) to the tolerance for the inert ingredient cloquintocet-mexyl (acetic acid [(5-chloro-8- quinolinyl) oxy]-, 1-methylhexyl ester; CAS Reg. No. 99607-70-2) and its acid metabolite (5-chloro-8-quinolinoxyacetic acid) on wheat forage, wheat grain, wheat hay, and wheat straw (March 31)
- Dicloran -- order for amendment to terminate a use of DCNA pesticide registrations (March 31)
- Flutriafol -- proposed registration decision, related risk assessments, and the proposed product labels available for comment (March 19)
- Kasugamycin -- application for emergency exemption, solicitation of public comment (March 31)
- Pesticide products -- registration review dockets opened for review and comment (March 31)
- Pox viral coat protein gene -- proposed registration decision for a new plant incorporated protectant (PIP) active ingredient, including the risk assessment and proposed product label (April 1)
EPA Releases Draft Guidance for Federal Lands Management in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
EPA announces the availability of a draft Guidance for Federal land management in the Chesapeake Bay watershed describing proven, cost-effective tools and practices that reduce water pollution. This guidance will have chapters addressing the following categories of activity: Agriculture; Urban areas, including Turf (excluding sources regulated as point sources); Onsite/Decentralized Treatment Systems; Forestry; Riparian Areas; and Hydromodification. Comments on the draft guidance must be submitted on or before April 23, 2010.
Dairy Operation To Pay $26,288 Civil Penalty for Discharge of Animal Waste Without Proper Permit
A dairy operation in Sioux County, Iowa, has agreed to pay a $26,288 civil penalty to the United States to settle allegations that it discharged animal waste pollutants from its facility into a tributary of the Orange City Slough without having a necessary permit. According to a consent agreement and final order filed today in Kansas City, Kansas, the dairy operation did not have a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit at the time of an April 2009 inspection by EPA Region 7. In November 2009, EPA inspectors documented an illegal discharge at the dairy operation. NPDES permits are required for operations that contain 700 or more dairy cattle, under requirements of the federal Clean Water Act. A permit is required even if the facility contains livestock in separate open and closed facilities within operation. At the time of the inspection, the dairy was confining approximately 1,260 dairy cows at the location, making it subject to regulation as a large concentrated animal feeding operation.
Public Meetings of the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee
EPA announces a public meeting of the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) on April 29 and 30, 2010, in Arlington VA. A draft agenda is under development that will include reports from and discussions about current issues from the following PPDC work groups: Work Group on 21st Century Toxicology/New Integrated Testing Strategies; Work Group on Web- Distributed Labeling; and Work Group on Comparative Safety Statements for Pesticide Product Labeling. Discussion topics will also cover National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit issues regarding pesticides and current Endangered Species Act issues. PPDC work group meetings are also being scheduled and are open to the public. The PPDC PRIA Process Improvements Work Group will meet on April 28, 2010, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Information about all PPDC work group meetings can be found on EPA's PPDC Web site.
Request for Nominations to the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee
EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs is inviting nominations of qualified candidates to be considered for appointment to the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC). EPA values and welcomes diversity. In an effort to obtain nominations of diverse candidates, EPA encourages nominations of women and men of all racial and ethnic groups. Vacancies are expected to be filled by late spring 2010. Additional sources may be utilized in the solicitation of nominees. Nominations must be e-mailed or postmarked no later than April 20, 2010.
SFIREG Environmental Quality Issues Working Committee Schedules Public Meeting
The Association of American Pesticide Control Officials (AAPCO)/State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group (SFIREG), Environmental Quality Issues (EQI) Working Committee will hold a 2-day meeting, beginning on April 26, 2010, and ending April 27, 2010 in Washington DC. Topics may include but are not limited to: Interpreting drinking water detections of pesticides; NPDES permitting-an update; Evaluating risks from semi-volatile pesticides; Endocrine disruption screening program; EPA to disclosure of inert ingredients-an update.
EPA To Amend General Provisions for Mandatory Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reporting Rule
EPA is taking direct final action to amend the general provisions for the Mandatory Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reporting Rule. The amendments do not change the requirements of the regulation for facilities and suppliers covered by the 2009 final rule. Rather, the amendments are minor changes to the format of several sections of the general provisions to accommodate the addition of new subparts in the future in a simple and clear manner. These changes include updating the language for the schedule for submitting reports and calibrating equipment to recognize that subparts that may be added in the future would have later deadlines. These revisions do not change the requirements for subparts included in the 2009 final rule. EPA is also proposing minor changes including updating the language for the schedule for submitting reports and calibrating equipment to recognize that subparts that may be added in the future would have later deadlines. Written comments must be received on or before April 15, 2010.
New EPA Manual Available on Pesticide Registration Process
The Pesticide Registration Manual is a resource for companies and individuals who want to have their pesticide products registered for sale in the United States. It is an update of "General Information on Applying for Registration of Pesticides in the United States," which was commonly called the "Blue Book." It provides basic information on how to apply for a pesticide registration and describes what needs to be submitted for the most common types of pesticide registration applications in one location. Links are provided where additional information is available on a topic.
EPA Makes Chemical Information More Accessible to Public
As part of Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s strong commitment to increase information on chemicals, for the first time, EPA is providing web access, free of charge, to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Chemical Substance Inventory. This inventory contains a consolidated list of thousands of industrial chemicals maintained by the agency. EPA is also making this information available on Data.Gov, a website developed by the Obama Administration to provide public access to important government information. This action represents another step to increase the transparency of chemical information while continuing to push for legislative reform of the 30 year old TSCA law. Until now, the consolidated public portion of the TSCA Inventory has only been available by purchase from the National Technical Reports Library or other databases. By adding the consolidated TSCA Inventory to the Agency’s website and to Data.Gov, EPA is making this information readily available to the public at no cost. For access to the TSCA Inventory, see EPA's TSCA Web page.
Opportunity for Public Hearing and Additional Comment on California State Nonroad Engine Pollution Control Standards
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has notified EPA that it has adopted amendments to its emission standards for fleets that operate nonroad, diesel fueled equipment with engines 25 horsepower (hp) and greater. EPA has scheduled a public hearing CARB's request on April 14, 2010, beginning at 10 a.m. in Washington, DC. Comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0691, must be received by May 18, 2010.
Scientific Advisory Panel To Hold Meeting To Continue Review of Atrazine Health Effects
The FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) is scheduled to meet on April 26 - 29, 2010 in Washington DC to review a set of scientific issues related to EPA’s reevaluation of the human health effects of the pesticide atrazine. Although the April SAP meeting was originally planned to be held earlier in the month, the meeting dates were changed to address scheduling issues. The April meeting will focus on a preliminary review of mammalian in vivo and in vitro studies on toxicological effects and modes of action, and on statistical approaches for evaluating monitoring frequency in community water systems.
EPA Seeks Public Comment on the 15th Annual U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory
EPA is seeking public comment on the annual Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2008 draft report. The inventory tracks annual greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 to 2008 at the national level. Overall, emissions have grown by 13.6 percent from 1990 to 2008. The draft report shows that in 2008, overall greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions have decreased by 2.9 percent. This downward trend was attributed to a decrease in carbon dioxide emissions associated with fuel and electricity consumption. The gases covered by this inventory include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride. The inventory also calculates carbon dioxide emissions that are removed from the atmosphere by “sinks,” e.g., through the uptake of carbon by forests, vegetation, and soils. Comments are due April 14, 2010.
Request for Nominations to the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee
EPA established the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee (CAAAC) on November 19, 1990, to provide independent advice and counsel to EPA on policy issues associated with implementation of the Clean Air Act of 1990. The Committee advises on economic, environmental, technical scientific, and enforcement policy issues. EPA invites nominations of qualified candidates to be considered for appointments to the CAAAC and its subcommittees. Suggested deadline for receiving nominations is April 9, 2010.
New National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines
EPA is promulgating national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants for existing stationary compression ignition reciprocating internal combustion engines that either are located at area sources of hazardous air pollutant emissions or that have a site rating of less than or equal to 500 brake horsepower and are located at major sources of hazardous air pollutant emissions. In addition, EPA is promulgating national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants for existing non-emergency stationary compression ignition engines greater than 500 brake horsepower that are located at major sources of hazardous air pollutant emissions. Finally, EPA is revising the provisions related to startup, shutdown, and malfunction for the engines that were regulated previously by these national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants. This final rule is effective on May 3, 2010.
Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates
- Difenzoquat -- registration review case closure (March 17)
- Fipronil -- emergency exemption request from the Oregon Department of Agriculture to use the pesticide to treat up to 600 acres of rutabagas and turnips to control the cabbage maggot (March 19)
- Hexythiazox -- revision to the tolerance for combined residues of hexythiazox in or on grape (March 17)
- Mammalian Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH) -- registration approval of a pesticide product containing an active ingredient not included in any previously registered products (March 10)
- Pesticide chemicals -- petitions proposing the establishment of regulations for residues of pesticide chemicals in or on various commodities (March 10)
- Pesticide chemicals -- correction to terminology for fluazifop-p-butyl; comment period extension (March 10)
- Pesticide chemicals -- petitions proposing the establishment or modification of regulations for residues of pesticide chemicals in or on various commodities (March 19)
- Pesticide products -- applications to register pesticide products containing active ingredients not included in any previously registered pesticide products (March 10)
- Pesticide products -- applications to register new uses for pesticide products containing currently registered active ingredients (March 12)
- Pesticide products -- applications to register new uses for pesticide products containing currently registered active ingredients (March 19)
- S-Abscisic Acid, (S)-5-(1-hydroxy-2,6,6-trimethyl-4-oxo-1- cyclohex-2-enyl)-3-methyl-penta-(2Z,4E)-dienoic Acid (ABA) -- amendment to the current temporary exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues in or on all food commodities when applied or used preharvest as a plant regulator (March 12)
- Spirotetramat -- applications for emergency exemptions; solicitation of public comment (March 12)
- Tetraethoxysilane, polymer with hexamethyldisiloxane -- exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues when used as an inert ingredient in a pesticide chemical formulation under 40 CFR 180.960 (March 17)
EPA Releases Handbook for Clean Water Act Section 319 Tribal Program
EPA's Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds recently released the Handbook for Developing and Managing Tribal Nonpoint Source Pollution Programs Under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act. EPA developed the Handbook to support the continued growth and sophistication of Tribal participation in the Clean Water Act Section 319 program. In the Handbook, all aspects of the grants funding process are clearly explained, demonstrating how Tribes can use Section 319 program funds to implement programs and projects to reduce pollution and restore water quality. It also provides a great deal of technical information regarding nonpoint source pollution; how to develop and assess available data to develop a plan of action; and how to implement activities to solve the problem. The Handbook is posted on the Tribal Nonpoint Source Web site.
National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center March Newsletter and Webcast
The March edition of the National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPELC) newsletter is available. Topics include: Website Additions & Updates; LPELC YouTube Channel Now Active; Air Quality in Animal Agriculture; Calling All Photographers; Innovative Manure and Mortality Technologies Now on YouTube; and ARS Water Quality Model Passes Long-Term Test. The next live webcast is scheduled for March 19, 2010, and is called "Advances in Precision Phosphorus Feeding of the Dairy Cow." The overall goal is to refine the assessment of Phosphorus (P) supplied through feedstuffs and animal P requirements so that P supplied through feed and P requirements of the animal are more accurately aligned. Speakers are Charlie Stallings, Bob James, Mark Hanigan, all of Virginia Tech.
Notice of Public Meeting of the FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel
There will be a 4-day meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) to consider and review a set of scientific issues related to the Re-Evaluation of Human Health Effects of Atrazine: Review of Experimental Animal and In Vitro Studies and Drinking Water Monitoring Frequency. The meeting will be held on April 26-29, 2010, in Washington, DC.
EPA Region 6 Strategic Agricultural Initiative (SAI) Grant Opportunity
EPA Region 6 is seeking applications from eligible organizations that will promote the transition to reduced-risk pest management practices in agriculture to protect human health and the environment. The total estimated funding for this competitive opportunity is approximately $125,000. EPA Region 6 anticipates awarding two (2) grant(s) from this announcement, subject to the availability of funds, the quality of proposals received, and other applicable considerations. Applications are due by April 30, 2010.
Pesticide Registration Improvement Renewal Act (PRIA 2) Partnership Grants Available
EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) and Office of the Science Advisor (OSA) are soliciting initial proposals to advance partnerships that focus on pesticide risk management issues with a special focus on integrated pest management (IPM) approaches. Awards are intended to support a diverse set of project types, including, but not limited to demonstrations, transfer of innovative IPM technologies, outreach, and education. This announcement provides qualification and application requirements to those interested in submitting initial proposals for fiscal year 2010. The total amount of funding available for award is expected to be $900,000 which is authorized by the Pesticide Registration Improvement Renewal Act and from the Science and Technology appropriation from the Office of the Science Advisor. The number of awards to be made under this announcement will depend on individual proposal costs, the availability of funds, and the quality of proposals received. Initial proposals must be received by April 19, 2010.
Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Advisory Committee Charter Renewal Approved
The Charter for EPA’'s Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Advisory Committee (FRRCC) will be renewed for an additional two-year period, as a necessary committee which is in the public interest, in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. App.2. The purpose of the FRRCC is to provide advice to the Administrator of EPA on environmental issues and policies that are of importance to agriculture and rural communities. It is determined that the FRRCC is in the public interest in connection with the performance of duties imposed on the Agency by law.
Agricultural Merchant To Pay $14,560 Civil Penalty To Settle Allegations of Unauthorized Repackaging of Four Pesticides
A Missouri agricultural merchant has agreed to pay a $14,560 civil penalty to the United States to settle allegations that it repackaged and sold four different pesticides without proper authorization at its facility in Waverly, Mo., in 2008. According to a consent agreement filed this week in Kansas City, Kan., the merchant was found to be in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) as a result of an inspection of its facility by the Missouri Department of Agriculture in November 2008. The inspection and subsequent review of records revealed that the business distributed or sold repackaged forms of the pesticides Medal II; Atra-5; Lo-Vol 4 2,4-D; and Parallel; all without having prior written authorization from the legal registrants of those products, as required by FIFRA. As a result of the enforcement action, the merchant has since obtained the necessary written authorizations for all pesticide products that it repackages at the facility.
Public Meeting of the Tribal Pesticide Program Council Scheduled
The Tribal Pesticide Program Council (TPPC) will hold a 2-day meeting on Wednesday, March 17, 2010 and Thursday, March 18, 2010, in Arlington, VA. Tentative agenda topics include: Worker Protection Standard; Container/Containment rule; Tribal presentations; EPA regional report; Update on Tribal Integrated Pest Management; and Bed bugs.
EPA Region 1 Strategic Agricultural Initiative (SAI) Grant Opportunity
EPA Region 1 is seeking applications from eligible organizations that will promote the transition to reduced-risk pest management practices in agriculture to protect human health and the environment. The total estimated funding for this competitive opportunity is approximately $100,000. EPA Region 1 anticipates awarding two (2) grant(s) from this announcement, subject to the availability of funds, the quality of proposals received, and other applicable considerations. Applications are due by April 27, 2010.
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