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News Archive: May 2007

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May 31
Albertson’s Settles Alleged Pesticides Violations in Several Western States
As part of a recent settlement with EPA over federal pesticides violations, Albertson’s will fund an $200,000 outreach project aimed at educating retailers on regulations governing sales of pesticides and pay a $40,700 fine. The company’s stores or subsidiaries in California, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Utah, Washington, and Colorado were found to be selling and distributing hundreds of packages of “Grant’s Kills Ants - Ant & Spider Killer” containing chlorpyrifos. A January 2001 Cancellation Order issued by EPA made retail sale and/or distribution of certain products containing chlorpyrifos a violation after December 31, 2001.

May 30
EPA Slashes Sulfur Content of Diesel Fuel for Trains, Ships, and Nonroad Equipment
Harmful emissions from locomotives, most marine vessels, and land-based nonroad engines (those used in industries such as agriculture and construction) will be cut starting June 1, because of new standards for sulfur content in diesel fuel. Under a 2004 clean-air regulation established by EPA, refineries must reduce sulfur from current levels of about 3,000 parts per million in nonroad diesel fuel to a maximum of 500 ppm, with few exceptions. This is the latest step in EPA's campaign to clean up diesel fuel used in the United States. Last June, rules took effect requiring 80 percent of highway diesel to have an ultra-low sulfur level of 15 or fewer ppm. In 2010, sulfur levels in most nonroad diesel fuel will be reduced to the same ultra-low requirement, making it possible for engine manufacturers to use advanced emissions control systems that significantly reduce harmful pollutants. For locomotive and marine fuel, this step will occur in 2012.

Availability of 4-Aminopyridine Risk Assessment
This notice announces the availability of EPA's ecological risk assessments, and related documents for the pesticide 4-aminpyridine, and opens 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 4-aminopyridine through a modified, 4-Phase public participation process that the Agency uses to involve the public in developing pesticide reregistration decisions. Through this program, EPA is ensuring that all pesticides meet current health and safety standards. Comments must be received on or before July 30, 2007.

Availability of Revised Risk Assessments and Solicitation of Risk Reductions for Ethylene Oxide
This notice announces the availability of EPA's revised risk assessments for the fumigant/sterilant pesticide ethylene oxide (ETO). In addition, this notice solicits public comment on risk reduction options to protect ETO workers and a revised alternatives assessment. The Agency is having this second Phase-5 to focus on ETO's risks to workers under FIFRA. 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 ETO through the full, 6-Phase public participation process that the Agency uses to involve the public in developing pesticide reregistration and tolerance reassessment decisions. Through these programs, EPA is ensuring that all pesticides meet current health and safety standards. Comments must be received on or before July 30, 2007.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

May 25
Compliance Assistance Centers Seek Feedback
Compliance Assistance Centers, created through EPA sponsored partnerships with industry, academic institutions, environmental groups, and other agencies, help businesses, local governments, and federal agencies understand federal environmental requirements and save money through pollution prevention techniques. Through Web sites, telephone assistance lines, and e-mail discussion groups, the centers help address real-world issues. Once a year, the centers survey their users and first-time visitors on how well they are meeting their goals. The results of the surveys help the centers provide resources for environmental compliance.

EPA Offers an $8 Million Grant To Provide Environmental Assistance for Livestock Operators
EPA is requesting applications from organizations for a $7.9 million grant to provide technical assistance to livestock operators, including animal feeding operations, for the prevention of water discharges and reduction of air emissions. The grant recipient will provide livestock operations with two types of technical assistance at no cost to the operator: comprehensive assessments of water and air quality environmental challenges and recommendations for strategies to mitigate these challenges; and development or review of the facility's nutrient management plan, which specifies the amount of manure that can be applied to crops so the potential for runoff to waterbodies is minimized.

May 23
Extension of Comment Period on Potential Revisions to Current Production Regulations of Plant-Incorporated Protectants
EPA is extending the comment period for an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) document concerning potential revisions to current production regulations for producers of plant-incorporated protectants (PIPs) published in the Federal Register on April 4, 2007. This document extends the comment period for an additional 30 days. The comment period is extended because EPA received a request from the Association of American Pesticide Control Officials. The extended comment period will allow state regulators to consider the ANPRM at the State-FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group national meeting June 25-26, 2007, and submit comments representing the consensus of their membership. Comments must be received on or before July 13, 2007.

Public Meeting of the Association of American Pesticide Control Officials/State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group
The Association of American Pesticide Control Officials/State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group will hold a two-day meeting, beginning on June 25, 2007 and ending June 26, 2007. The meeting will be held on June 25, 2007, from 8.30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and June 26, 2007, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon, in Arlington, VA. Some of the tentative agenda topics that are agriculture-related include:

Aliphatic Esters Reregistration Eligibility Decision Available for Comment
EPA has released its Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for the pesticide aliphatic esters, and opens a public comment period on this document. The Agency's risk assessments and other related documents also are available in the aliphatic esters docket. The aliphatic esters case contains six active ingredients, but only one active ingredient, the methyl esters of fatty acids, is registered and in only one product. The methyl esters of fatty acids are used as a pinching agent and applied as a foliar spray on ornamentals kept inside and outside of greenhouses. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-0235, must be received on or before June 22, 2007.

Comments Invited on Inorganic Sulfites Reregistration Eligibility Decision
EPA has released its Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for the pesticide inorganic sulfites, and opens a public comment period on this document, related risk assessments, and other support documents. The inorganic sulfites case includes sulfur dioxide and sodium metabisulfite. Sulfur dioxide is applied as a compressed gas and is typically used to treat for Botrytis cinerea, the fungus which causes bunch rot or gray mold disease on grapes. The sodium metabisulfite products are composed of the anhydrous, solid active ingredient contained in semisealed pads which are added to containers holding grapes prior to shipping. The pads absorb moisture generated by grapes, and release low levels of sulfur dioxide. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0335, must be received on or before July 23, 2007.

Rotenone Reregistration Eligibility Decision Available for Comment
EPA has released its Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for the pesticide rotenone, and opens a public comment period on this document. The Agency's risk assessments and other related documents also are available in the rotenone docket. Rotenone is a restricted use pesticide applied directly to water, primarily by Federal and state agencies, to eliminate invasive or unwanted fish species. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0494, must be received on or before July 23, 2007.

Proposed Expansion of the Pesticide Tolerance Crop Grouping Program
EPA is proposing revisions to its pesticide tolerance crop grouping regulations, which allow establishment of tolerances for multiple related crops, based on data from a representative set of crops. The present revision would create a crop group for edible fungi (mushrooms), expand existing crop groups by adding commodities, establish crop subgroups, and revise the representative crops in some groups. Additionally, EPA is revising the generic crop group regulation to add a subsection explaining how the Agency will implement revisions to crop groups. EPA expects these revisions to promote greater use of crop groupings for tolerance-setting purposes and, in particular, will assist in retaining or making available pesticides for minor crop uses. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0766, must be received on or before July 23, 2007.

EPA Recognizes Environmental Leaders in South Dakota
EPA Region 8 Administrator, Robert E. Roberts, was in Pierre at the Capitol Lake Visitor's Center to present Environmental Achievement Awards to representatives from 3M Brookings, Homestake Mining Company, and the South Dakota Grasslands Management and Planning Project sponsors. The South Dakota Grasslands Management and Planning Project is recognized for outstanding leadership in providing livestock producers information and technical assistance necessary for them to voluntarily adopt grazing practices which reduced non-point source pollution in the State of South Dakota.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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May 21
EPA Launches Chinese Web Site
EPA has launched a consolidated Chinese-language Web site as part of its ongoing effort to provide environmental information in English, Spanish, and Chinese. The site compiles EPA Chinese-language materials on a wide variety of issues from lead poisoning prevention, energy efficiency, clean water, and proper management of pesticides. The site also serves as a valuable tool in delivering important health and environmental information to the Chinese-speaking community, both in the U.S. and worldwide, to help protect local communities, as well as the global environment.

EPA and Landowner Agree on Restoration of Kenai Salmon Rearing Stream
An owner of private land in Kenai, Alaska, and EPA have agreed on a strategy to restore a salmon rearing stream and nearby wetlands. EPA issued an Administrative Order to resolve a Clean Water Act violation for unauthorized dredging and fill activities that occurred in the summer of 2006. EPA's complaint alleges that the owner used heavy equipment to discharge excavated fill materials into wetlands for the purpose of diverting Boat Launch Creek to the northwestern boundary of his property without a required Clean Water Act permit. The owner and EPA created a Restoration and Mitigation Work Plan to restore the damaged wetlands and juvenile salmon habitats near Boat Launch Creek.

May 17
Effects Determination for Diazinon and Metolachlor on the Barton Springs Salamander
Endangered species effects determinations for diazinon and metolachlor on the Barton Springs Salamander are available. The data available includes effects memorandums and chemical analysis of diazinon and metolachlor on the Barton Springs Salamander. EPA is committed to assuring that pesticide registrants and the affected public have full access to information about the Agency's activities pursuant to the Endangered Species Act, including effects determinations and the content of materials supplied to the Services as part of the consultation process under the Act.

Water Quality Standards Academy Basic Course Presented
The Office of Science and Technology presented the Water Quality Standards Academy Basic Course at the FDIC Seidman Center in Arlington, VA. The course is a comprehensive and highly structured course that introduces students to all aspects of the Water Quality Standards program, and is designed for those with less than six months experience with standards and criteria. There was standing-room only, as more than 80 participants representing EPA HQ and Regions, states, 11 Tribes, Guam, and the Virgin Islands were in attendance. Several federal agencies, counties and municipalities, non-profit organizations, colleges and universities, and many other regulated and environmental communities were also represented.

EPA Pours $3.2 Million into Watersheds
Six finalists are eligible to apply for $3.2 million grant from EPA's Targeted Watersheds Grants to provide support to watershed organizations throughout the nation. These capacity-building grants will range from $300,000 to $800,000 each. They are awarded to organizations that promote the growth and development of local watershed partnerships through training and technical assistance. This year, two finalists have a national focus, and four will support watershed groups in three regions: the Great Plains, arid West, and Appalachia. The nationally-focused projects will offer training to up-and-coming watershed organization leaders, create a community of capacity-builders to help the watershed community grow, and develop a clearinghouse to provide direct assistance to watershed organizations.

Gulf of Mexico Program Citizens Advisory Committee Meeting
EPA gives notice of a meeting of the Gulf of Mexico Program Citizens Advisory Committee. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 19, 2007, from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST and Wednesday, June 20, 2007, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. EST. The meeting will be held at the River House, Stennis Space Center, Mississippi. The proposed agenda includes the following topics: Gulf of Mexico Program Updates; Presentation on Liquefied Natural Gas Facilities; Nature Conservancy Presentation; Priority Interests of the Citizens Advisory Committee; and Citizens Advisory Committee membership status. The meeting is open to the public.

May 16
University of Georgia Receives EPA Grant To Study Pollution from Hormones in Chicken Waste
The University of Georgia received an EPA grant to study the environmental fate and transport of hormones in broiler chicken litter. Broiler chicken litter is a mixture of manure, feathers, feed, water, and bedding. Broilers produce natural hormones, including higher amounts of estradiol and testosterone than other animals, which become concentrated in litter. Litter is often recycled as compost, fertilizer, cattle feed, and even biofuel, and the hormones can seep into ground and surface water and soil. Nationally, many broilers are raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Due to the volume of waste generated, CAFOs pose risks to the environment and public health.

EPA and Idaho Produce Company Settle Waste Water Case
Magic Valley Produce, Inc., of Paul, Idaho, has reached a $60,000 settlement with EPA for violating its federal waste water discharge permit. During an EPA inspection of the plant on January 19, 2006, the inspector noted that the facility had failed to conduct required discharge sampling under its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. From November 2003 to January 2006, the Company accrued a very large number of “failure to sample” violations for the various pollutants in its discharge, which runs into the Snake River. The pollutants that the company failed to sample for include: total suspended solids, pH, phosphorus, biochemical oxygen demand, ammonia, nitrate-nitrite, and E. coli.

FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel Public Meeting
There will be a four-day meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) to review a set of issues being considered by the Agency pertaining to two separate topics. On August 14 and 15, 2007, the Panel will consider a review of EPA/ORD/NERL's SHEDS-Multimedia Model, aggregate Version 3. On August 16 and 17, 2007, FIFRA SAP will review "Assessing Approaches for the Development of PBPK Models of Pyrethroid Pesticides." The meeting will be held at EPA's Conference Center in Arlington, VA, on August 14 through 17, 2007, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., EST.

May 14
Methyl Bromide Inventory Continues Downward Trend
The methyl bromide inventory held by U.S. companies at the end of 2006 continues to shrink, according to data released by EPA. The data show a steady decline in the inventory since 2003, when the Agency began collecting such information. Methyl bromide is an ozone-depleting chemical that has been used as a general pesticide across a wide range of agricultural sectors for many years. Under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and the Clean Air Act, the United States phased out production and import of methyl bromide, except for allowable exemptions for users who have no technically and economically feasible alternatives.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

Enhancing Environmental Outcomes From Audit Policy Disclosures Through Tailored Incentives for New Owners
EPA requests comment on whether, and to what extent, the Agency should consider offering tailored incentives to encourage new owners of regulated entities to discover, disclose, correct, and prevent the recurrence of environmental violations. The Agency is considering whether actively encouraging such disclosures has the potential to yield significant environmental benefit. Any tailored incentives for new owners would be beyond those offered as EPA is currently implementing EPA's April 11, 2000, policy, "Incentives for Self-Policing: Discovery, Disclosure, Correction, and Prevention of Violations." Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OECA-2007-0291, must be received on or before July 13, 2007. Comments may also be communicated orally at two public meetings EPA will hold during the comment period. One meeting will be in Washington, D.C. on June 12, 2007, and the other in San Francisco, California on June 20, 2007. Both meetings will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. EDT.

May 11
EPA Extends SPCC Compliance Dates
EPA has issued a final rule to extend the compliance dates for facilities affected by the Oil Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) regulations. EPA has extended the compliance dates to provide the time necessary for the regulated community to comply with the revised requirements that EPA expects to propose in 2007. If a farm started operations on or before August 16, 2002, it must maintain its existing SPCC plan and amend and implement the plan when EPA promulgates a rule specific for farms. If a farm began operations after August 16, 2002, it must prepare and implement an SPCC plan when EPA promulgates a rule specific for farms.

May 10
EPA Proposes To Extend Some NPDES Compliance Dates for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations
EPA proposes to extend certain compliance dates in the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting requirements and Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards (ELGs) for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), while the Agency works to complete rulemaking. This proposal would revise the dates established in the 2003 CAFO rule and later modified by a rule published in the Federal Register on February 10, 2006, by which facilities newly defined as CAFOs are required to seek permit coverage, and by which all permitted CAFOs are required to develop and implement their nutrient management plans (NMPs). Under the proposal, operations defined as CAFOs as of April 14, 2003, and not defined as CAFOs prior to that date, as well as those that become defined as CAFOs after April 14, 2003, would be required to seek NPDES permit coverage by February 27, 2009 (extended from July 31, 2007). The same extension would apply to the deadline by which permitted CAFOs are required to develop and implement NMPs. Comments on this proposed action, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OW-2005-0036, must be received on or before June 11, 2007.

May 9
EPA, USDA Sign Partnership Agreement for Chesapeake Bay
EPA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced additional measures for coordination and cooperation among the two agencies in prioritizing and implementing nutrient reduction activities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The Chesapeake Bay watershed is home to nearly 17 million residents and covers more than 64,000 square miles extending over the District of Columbia and parts of six states: Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Crop and pasture use account for 25 percent of the Bay watershed. USDA and EPA will focus nutrient reduction activities on septic systems, municipal wastewater, storm water runoff from growing urban and suburban areas, and agricultural contributions from livestock, cropping, and forestry operations. Major environmental challenges affecting the Chesapeake Bay watershed include landscape change, toxic chemical contaminants, air pollution, sediment, and excess nutrients, primarily nitrogen and phosphorus.

May 8
Five Pesticide Web Pages Available in Spanish
Pesticide Web pages concerning pesticide safety, pest control, emergency information, illegal pesticide products, and protecting children have been translated into Spanish and posted on EPA's Pesticide Web site. They are:

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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May 4
Plant-Incorporated Protectants: Guidance on Small-Scale Field Testing and Low-Level Presence in Food
EPA has published a Pesticide Registration Notice (PR Notice) titled "Guidance on Small-Scale Field Testing and Low-Level Presence in Food of Plant-Incorporated Protectants (PIPs).'' This PR Notice provides guidance to registrants concerning the process by which EPA reviews and ensures the safety of low-level residues of PIPs in food or feed, and the conditions under which a tolerance or exemption from the requirement of a tolerance would be required for field tests for biotechnology-derived food and feed crop plants containing PIPs.

National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center May Newsletter and Webcast Exit EPA
The May edition of the National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPE) newsletter is available. Topics include: June Webcast Is Value Added Processing of Manure; Webcast Planning Underway; Alternative Technologies Web Resources Now Available; FPPC Program Offers Cost Share for Innovative Manure Technologies; and Iowa State To Host a Conference on Anaerobic Treatment of Ag Wastes. The May 18 Webcast features Dr. John Lory and Dr. Ray Massey of the University of Missouri, speaking on "The Value of Manure in Land Application Systems."

EPA Releases Nonpoint Source Outreach Toolbox
The Nonpoint Source Outreach Toolbox is a comprehensive set of Web-based resources designed to assist communities in conducting effective stormwater and watershed education and outreach activities. It includes a searchable catalog of nearly 800 print, radio, and TV ads and outreach materials in the following categories: lawn and garden care, motor vehicle care, pet care, septic system care, household chemicals and waste, and general stormwater and storm drain awareness. The toolbox is designed to inspire educators and to promote sharing of materials among communities.

May 3
EPA Proposes Extension of Animal Feeding Operation Water Deadlines
EPA is proposing for public comment the extension of certain compliance deadlines for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). One extension applies to water permit application deadlines for facilities that EPA defined as CAFOs for the first time in 2003. The other extension applies to certain CAFOs that have to develop and implement nutrient management plans (NMPs). A NMP is a plan that specifies the amount of manure that can be applied to crops so the potential for nutrient runoff to water bodies is minimized. The proposed extensions announced are necessary to allow EPA to respond adequately to an array of public comments on issues raised in the court decision. The extensions will also provide time for the agricultural community to adjust to the new requirements once they are finalized. EPA is proposing to extend the dates for newly-defined CAFOs to seek permit coverage and for permitted CAFOs to develop and implement NMPs from July 31, 2007 to Feb. 27, 2009.

May 2
EPA Seeks Public Comment on Risk-Reduction Options for Soil Fumigants
As part of EPA's ongoing evaluation of soil fumigant pesticides, the Agency is seeking public comment on risk-reduction options for the soil fumigants methyl bromide, metam sodium, dazomet, and chloropicrin. Another soil fumigant, 1,3-dichloropropene, is included for comparison purposes, but its reassessment is complete, and no regulatory changes are anticipated. All comments are due by July 2, 2007. EPA also will host public meetings on these soil fumigants in Washington on May 22 and in Florida on June 6, and will participate in a public meeting in California on May 30. The public meetings will allow the Agency to obtain first-hand comments on possible risk mitigation options from all stakeholders.

Chlorflurenol Reregistration Eligibility Decision Available
EPA has released its Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for the pesticide chlorflurenol. The Agency's risk assessments and other related documents also are available in the chlorflurenol docket. Chlorflurenol is an herbicide and a plant growth regulator registered for use in agricultural, commercial, and residential settings. Chlorflurenol has no food/feed uses and, therefore, has no tolerances associated with its use. Because few substantive comments were received during the 60-day comment period, and all issues related to this pesticide were resolved through consultations with stakeholders, EPA is issuing the chlorflurenol RED without a further comment period.

Comments Invited on Lime-Sulfur (Inorganic Polysulfides) Reregistration Eligibility Decision
EPA has released its Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for the pesticide lime-sulfur (inorganic polysulfides also called calcium polysulfide), and has opened a public comment period on this document, related risk assessments, and other support documents. EPA has reviewed this low-risk pesticide through a modified, streamlined version of the public participation process. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-0008, must be received on or before July 2, 2007.

May 1
Workshop for Pesticide Registration Applicants: How To Submit an Electronic Label
EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs is inviting pesticide registration applicants to attend a short workshop on how to format and submit an electronic label. EPA encourages applicants to submit labels on electronic media (in PDF format) to facilitate its review, and is currently training regulatory staff in reviewing electronic labels. Topics to be covered in the workshop include formatting, printing, and submitting an electronic label, and how the Agency will review the label, prepare comments, and communicate with the applicant to address comments. The workshop will be held on Thursday, May 10, 2007, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the pesticide program offices in Arlington, Virginia.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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