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News Archive: March 2011

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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.

March 30
EPA Seeks Comment on Request To Require Pesticide Products To Be Labeled in English and Spanish
The Migrant Clinicians Network and other farm worker interest groups have petitioned EPA to require all pesticide labels be available in both English and Spanish. The Agency is taking public comment on the request before responding to the petitioners. Comments must be received on or before June 28, 2011.

March 29
Agricultural Company To Pay EPA Penalty and Conduct Safety Workshops
An agricultural company has agreed to settle a series of alleged violations of the Clean Air Act at its facilities for $35,200. This includes a $15,500 civil penalty and $19,700 which will be used to conduct several agricultural ammonia safety workshops in multiple states including North and South Dakota. These workshops will include information on how the EPA Risk Management Program requirements apply to agricultural ammonia facilities and how these facilities can meet these requirements. The organization will also remove large tanks of ammonia (a toxic substance) from the Garretson, SD city center.

March 23
Public Meeting of the FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel
There will be a 3-day consultation 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 Integrated Approaches to Testing and Assessment strategies (IATA): Use of new computational and molecular tools. The meeting will be held on May 24-26, 2011, from approximately 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., in Arlington, VA.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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March 21
EPA's Watershed Academy Presents Free Webcast, "Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Series: Nitrate in Ground Water"
Join us for a webcast titled "Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Series: Nitrate in Ground Water." This webcast will highlight an emerging issue of increased nitrate loading to ground water, a growing national concern. The webcast is scheduled for Tuesday, March 29, 2011, at 1:00 pm Eastern.

March 17
EPA Invites Public Comment on Fumigant Iodomethane Petition
EPA is posting for public comment a petition requesting that all registrations of iodomethane (also called methyl iodide) be suspended and cancelled. The petition was filed on March 31, 2010, by Earthjustice, on behalf of several non-governmental organizations. Following a 30-day public comment period, EPA will evaluate the petitionerís request consistent with the statutory standards set forth in the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. Comments can be submitted to the docket (EPA–HQ–OPP–2010–0541) at the Federal eRulemaking Portal.

March 10
U.S. Commerce Department Announces Launch of i6 Green Challenge to Promote Clean Energy Innovation and Economic Growth
The U.S. Commerce Departmentís Economic Development Administration (EDA) and its Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship today announced the opening of its $12 million i6 Green Challenge in partnership with the U.S. departments of Agriculture and Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, and Commerceís National Institute of Standards and Technology and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. EDA will award up to $1 million to each of six teams around the country with the most innovative ideas to drive technology commercialization and entrepreneurship in support of a green innovation economy, increased U.S. competitiveness and new jobs. Its partner agencies will award more than $6 million in additional funding to i6 Green winners. EPA joined the i6 Challenge this year to support the development of technology geared toward protecting human health and the environment. EPA funding will be targeted to technology that has a high priority in those areas such as improving energy efficiency in water treatment, renewable energy from wastewater sludge and animal waste, and recycling of e-waste. Funding will also broadly support actions to commercialize environmental technologies.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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March 8
Pesticide Registration Improvement Renewal Act (PRIA 2) Partnership Grants Available (PDF) (25 pp, 278K, About PDF)
EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) is 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.

March 5
National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center March Newsletter and Webcast Exit EPA
The March edition of the National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPELC) newsletter is now available. Topics include: Looking Forward to the April Webcast - Reducing Odor Risk; Dairy Phosphorus Research; New Publications on Digesters and Ag Regulations, GHG Inventory, Water Conference Proceedings; Grazing Research, Watershed Wiki, and Grants. The next webcast is scheduled for March 25, 2011, and is entitled "The Soil Health Paradigm: A Holistic Approach to Managing Manure in Agroecosystems." Soil Health is the capacity of a specific kind of soil to function, within natural or managed ecosystem boundaries, to sustain plant and animal productivity, maintain or enhance water and air quality, and support human health and habitation. The soil health paradigm provides a holistic framework for managing manure which accounts for the soil biology. The soil biota greatly impacts soil function and predominately regulates nutrient loss pathways. Presenters will be Ray Archuleta and William Boyd of the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service. It broadcasts at 2:30 Eastern (1:30 pm Central, 12:30 pm Mountain, 11:30 am Pacific).

March 3
EPA Requests Extension on Clean Water Act Permit Requirement for Pesticide Discharges
EPA is requesting an extension to allow more time for pesticide operators to obtain permits for pesticide discharges into U.S. waters. EPA is requesting that the deadline be extended from April 9, 2011 to October 31, 2011. During the period while the court is considering the extension request, permits for pesticide applications will not be required under the Clean Water Act. The final permit will reduce discharges of pesticides to aquatic ecosystems, thus helping to protect the nationís waters and public health. The extension request is important to allow sufficient time for EPA to engage in Endangered Species Act consultation and complete the development of an electronic database to streamline requests for coverage under the Agencyís general permit. It also allows time for authorized states to finish developing their state permits and for permitting authorities to provide additional outreach to stakeholders on pesticide permit requirements.

EPA Seeks Input on National Marine Fisheries Service’s Draft Measures To Protect Endangered Pacific Salmon from Six Pesticides
EPA is seeking comments from pesticide users, registrants, and other interested parties on draft Reasonable and Prudent Measures (RPMs) and Alternatives (RPAs) included in a draft Biological Opinion (PDF) (1087 pp, 41MB, About PDF) received from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on March 1, 2011. This draft Biological Opinion addresses the potential effects from six pesticides on Pacific salmon and steelhead listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Comments on the draft RPMs and RPAs must be submitted by April 5, 2011, about 30 days after the Biological Opinion was included in the docket, in order for EPA to consider these comments in its final response to the draft Biological Opinion. Comments received by EPA on other aspects of the draft Biological Opinion will be forwarded to NMFS for its consideration. No extensions to this comment period will be provided because NMFS has a legal deadline to issue the final Biological Opinion by April 30, 2011.

FY 2010 Annual Report on Implementing the Pesticide Registration Improvement Renewal Act Now Available
The 2010 annual report required by the Pesticide Registration Improvement Renewal Act (PRIA 2) is available on EPA's website. This detailed report describes EPA activities and accomplishments during Fiscal Year 2010 in implementing PRIA 2.

March 2
Texas A&M Receives EPA Grant To Address Pesticides Use
EPA has awarded $53,000 to Texas AgriLife Extension Service to promote Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The project will develop data to track patterns of insecticide use and how it affects black margined aphids. IPM is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. The program breaks down the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. The information is combined with available pest control methods and used to manage pest damage by the most economical means and the least hazardous to people, property and the environment.

EPA Announces Pesticide Reregistration Performance Measures and Goals
This notice announces EPA's progress in meeting its performance measures and goals for pesticide reregistration during fiscal years 2009 and 2010. The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) requires EPA to publish information about EPA's annual achievements in this area. This notice discusses the integration of tolerance reassessment with the reregistration process, and describes the status of various regulatory activities associated with reregistration and tolerance reassessment. The notice gives the total numbers of products reregistered and products registered under the "fast-track" provisions of FIFRA.

March 1
Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee Meeting Scheduled
The Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee (FRRCC) will hold an open meeting on Tuesday, March 29 and Wednesday, March 30, 2011, in Arlington, VA. The purpose of this meeting is to advance discussion of specific topics of unique relevance to agriculture such as effective approaches to addressing water quality issues associated with agricultural production, in such a way as to provide thoughtful advice and useful insights to the Agency as it crafts environmental policies and programs that affect and engage agriculture and rural communities. A copy of the meeting agenda will be posted at EPA's FRRCC Meeting Calendar Web page.

New Enable the Label On-line Discussion Forum Topic: LRM Chapter 9 - Physical and Chemical Hazards Statements
EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs has posted an update to Enable the Label, our online discussion forum that's used to improve clarity and usefulness for Label Review Manual users. The discussion topic for February is Chapter 9, which describes physical and chemical hazards statements that are required for certain pesticide products. The focus areas are on criteria for declaring non-flammability, labeling for explosive potential, and other physical and chemical hazard statements. After the discussion thread closes at the end of March, we will review comments received and incorporate useful ones into future revisions of the Label Review Manual.

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