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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.

May 30
EPA Releases Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Sulfur Oxides--Health Criteria
EPA has released the second external review draft of a document titled, "Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Sulfur Oxides--Health Criteria'' (EPA/600/R-08/047). The document was prepared by the National Center for Environmental Assessment within EPA's Office of Research and Development as part of the review of the primary (health-based) national ambient air quality standards for sulfur oxides. EPA is releasing this draft document solely for the purpose of seeking public comment and for review by the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (meeting date and location to be specified in a separate Federal Register notice). Comments must be received on or before July 25, 2008.

Human Studies Review Board Schedules Public Meeting
EPA's Office of the Science Advisor announces that the Human Studies Review Board (HSRB) will hold a public meeting June 24-25, 2008. in Arlington, Virginia. The purpose of the board is to advise the Agency on EPA's scientific and ethical review of human subjects research. Among the items on the agenda are (1) review of two associated protocols from the Agricultural Handlers Exposure Task Force, which collectively describe research to monitor exposure of subjects who apply an agricultural pesticide using airblast equipment in closed cabs, and (2) a report from a completed laboratory study to evaluate the efficacy of two registered products containing picaridin in repelling mosquitoes of the genus Culex. Requests to present oral comments will be accepted up to June 17, 2008. Written comments, identified by docket ID no. EPA-HQ-ORD-2008-0355, will be accepted at any time, but commenters are encouraged to submit them no later than noon, Eastern Time, June 17, 2008, so they may useful in the committee's deliberations.

May 29
New Safety Measures Will Protect Children, Wildlife From Rodent-Control Products
New safety measures announced by EPA will protect children from accidental exposure to rodent-control products. These measures will also reduce the risk of accidental poisonings of pets and wildlife. EPA is requiring that ten rodenticides used in bait products marketed to consumers be enclosed in bait stations, making the pesticide inaccessible to children and pets, and is also prohibiting the sale of loose bait, such as pellets, for use in homes. EPA is requiring that companies manufacturing these products respond to EPA within 90 days regarding their intention to comply with the new requirements.

May 28
Clean-up Completed at Abandoned Potato Farm in Massachusetts
EPA workers and contractors completed the clean-up of hazardous materials, including pesticides and asbestos, at the Albert Farms Property in Worthington, Mass. earlier this month. The action included consolidating the contents of 38 drums into 14 drums; removing the drums; removing a 275-gallon tank of hazardous substances; and removing 20 yards of asbestos containing materials from the site. All of the removed materials were disposed of at EPA-approved facilities. Air monitoring conducted during the removal did not detect asbestos which could pose a health concern for people. The cost of the clean up was $96,000.

May 27
U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Amendments to Treatments for Plant Pests
USDA has issued a final rule amending the regulations for the treatment of fruits, vegetables, and other articles to prevent the introduction or dissemination of plant pests or noxious weeds into or through the United States. The new rule removes two treatment options that a review found to be ineffective at neutralizing their target plant pests. USDA is also removing two treatment schedules that are no longer authorized for use, and clarifying the fruits and vegetables on which two methyl bromide treatments may be used.

Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Federal Advisory Committee (FRRCC) Presentations from Washington, DC Meeting Available
The PDF presentation files from the March 13-14, 2008 meeting in Washington, DC are available on the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Federal Advisory Committee (FRRCC) Web site.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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May 22
Pennsylvania Gets $42.4 Million for Water Projects
EPA has awarded $42.4 million to Pennsylvania to improve water quality. The funding has been awarded to Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) to further capitalize its Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which provides low interest loans for the construction of water treatment facilities, nonpoint source and estuary projects and other water quality management activities.

May 21
Final Guidance Available for Pesticide Registrants on Environmental Hazard General Labeling Statements on Outdoor Residential Use Products
The Agency is announcing the availability of a Pesticide Registration Notice (PR Notice) entitled "Environmental Hazard General Labeling Statements on Outdoor Residential Use Products.'' This PR Notice was issued by the Agency on May 9, 2008 and is identified as PR Notice 2008-1. PR Notices are issued by the Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) to inform pesticide registrants and other interested persons about important policies, procedures, and registration related decisions, and serve to provide guidance to pesticide registrants and OPP personnel. This particular PR Notice provides guidance to the registrant concerning new environmental hazard statements that are designed to replace language created for agricultural products with statements that are easier for consumers to understand. The new environmental hazard statements are divided by product type (e.g., liquid ready-to-use, broadcast granular), and recommends specific language for each product type to minimize risks to the human health and the environment, with emphasis on reducing risks to water. Revisions to product labels using these new statements may be made by notification.

May 20
EPA Settles With Illinois, Michigan Companies Over Hazardous Chemical Release
EPA Region 5 settled two cases involving hazardous chemical releases. The facilities cited are located in Lanark, Illinois, and Belleville, Michigan. Royster-Clark Inc., 25885 State Route 72, Lanark, paid a $10,478 penalty. The facility was cited for failure to promptly report an 800-pound release of anhydrous ammonia to the National Response Center on October 19, 2005. The NRC was notified more than two hours after the company knew of the incident. The chemical was released from a nurse tank during transport and lasted approximately 20 minutes. It was eight times the reportable quantity.

May 19
Annual State Lakes Managers' Meeting Focuses on Improving Fisheries and Lake Water Quality Management
Each year for over two decades, state lake program managers have gathered in Chicago to discuss approaches for improving the states’ lake management programs. The April 29-May 2, 2008 program focused on the importance of fisheries in developing comprehensive lake management strategies. Over 150 lake water quality and fisheries specialists examined approaches for enhancing fisheries interactions with other lake management objectives, such as water quality, recreation, and overall ecosystem health.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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May 16
Massachusetts Cleaning Company Faces Fine for Pesticide Violations
A Brighton, Mass. soap and specialty cleaning company faces a penalty of up to $16,000 for allegedly violating pesticide production reporting requirements under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. According to EPA, Spectrowax Corp. failed to file production reports by the March 1 deadline for the reporting years of 2005, 2006, and 2007. Spectrowax is being penalized as a second time offender for each of these alleged violations because of a prior penalty action against the company in 2003.

May 15
Michigan Sugar Settles Clean Air Act Permit Violations
Michigan Sugar, a grower-owned sugar cooperative located in Bay City, Mich., will use pollution reduction measures valued at more than $13 million at its processing facility to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act, EPA, and the Justice Department announced. Along with the pollution reduction measures, Michigan Sugar will also pay a $210,000 civil penalty.

Massachusetts Race Course Ordered To Reduce Bacterial Waste in Stormwater
EPA has ordered the Suffolk Downs horse racing track of East Boston to take immediate action to reduce pollutants being discharged to Sales Creek, a tributary to Boston Harbor. Suffolk Downs is violating the federal Clean Water Act due to horse manure, urine, bedding material, and stable wash water that are entering the waterways through stormwater runoff. EPA order also requires Suffolk to submit an application for the appropriate discharge permit from EPA. Suffolk is required to develop and submit a plan for interim measures to eliminate or reduce to the maximum extent possible the discharge of pollutants until the required permit – a "National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System" (NPDES) permit for a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation – is issued to the facility.

May 14
Naphthalene Risk Assessments, Risk Reduction Options Available for Comments
This notice announces the availability of EPA's risk assessments, and related documents for the pesticide naphthalene, and opens a public comment period on these documents (phase three of four phase process). 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 naphthalene through a modified, four 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 14, 2008.

May 13
Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee Sets Public Meeting
Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, EPA sets a public meeting of the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC). A draft agenda has been developed that includes web-based labeling; toxicity testing; harmonization and global registration activities; endangered species; pesticide program resources; updates on spray drift, cause marketing, volatilization, endocrine disruptors, and inerts; and reports from the PPDC PRIA Process Improvements Work Group. The PPDC meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 21, 2008, from 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., and Thursday, May 22, 2008, from 9 a.m. to noon.

Web Site for Electronic Integrated Reporting of Water Quality Assessment and Total Maximum Daily Loads
This site provides information reported by the states to EPA about the conditions in their surface waters. This information is required every two years under Clean Water Act Sections 305(b) and 303(d). Because of differences in state assessment methods, the information in this site should not be used to compare water quality conditions between states or to determine water quality trends.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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May 12
FY 2009 National Water Program Guidance Is Released
EPA's National Water Program has released the final Fiscal Year 2009 National Water Program Guidance.  This is the second annual water program guidance to implement the EPA 2006-2011 strategic plan. The guidance describes water program priorities and strategies, including the suite of water performance measures and their targets, for the coming fiscal year. The National Water Program thanks stakeholders who provided comments on the draft guidance for their contribution to the revision of the draft document.

May 7
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 (LPELC) newsletter is available. Topics include: "Managing Manure on Small Farms" Will Be Presented in the June Webcast; Are We Doing Our Job? Tell Us in the Impact Survey; Coming Soon! Air Quality Series of Webcasts; Hot Off the Press! Research Information on Pharmaceuticals and Manure; and Report Is Critical of the Impact of Large-Scale Animal Production. The next Webcast will be on May 16, 2008, and will feature Suzy Friedman, Environmental Defense Fund, Jim Jensen, Environmental Credit Corporation, and Dale Dewing, Cornell University. They will discuss "Market Based Conservation: Implications for Manure Management."

Triclosan Risk Assessment, Risk Reduction Options Available for Comments
EPA has released risk assessments and related documents for the pesticide triclosan, 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 (RED) for triclosan through a modified, four-phase public participation process. Comments must be received on or before July 7, 2008.

May 5
EPA To Conduct Cleanup of Carman Chemical in Missouri

EPA Region 7 will begin work to remove the last of several aging containers of pesticides from a Monroe County, Missouri, agricultural chemical business, finishing a Superfund cleanup operation that owners of the business had been ordered to complete 4 years ago. Carman Chemical, Inc. (CCI) officially received a unilateral administrative order from EPA on May 7, 2004. At that time, owners were directed by EPA to remove a number of pesticide containers, some of which were leaking or unlabeled, from their business property.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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May 2
Request for Critical Use Exemption Applications for Methyl Bromide

EPA is soliciting applications for the critical use exemption from the phaseout of methyl bromide for 2011 and beyond. In addition, applicants who missed last year's deadline to submit a critical use application for an exemption in the year 2010 may file a supplemental application. This is an annual exemption. All applicants must provide EPA with technical and economic information to support a "critical use" claim, and must do so by the deadline even if they have previously applied for an exemption. Interested parties are also invited to provide EPA with new data on the technical and economic feasibility of methyl bromide alternatives. Applications for the critical use exemption must be postmarked on or before July 31, 2008.

May 1
May is American Wetlands Month

This May marks the 18th anniversary of American Wetlands Month, a time when EPA and its partners in federal, state, tribal, local, non-profit, and private sector organizations celebrate the vital importance of wetlands to the nation's ecological, economic, and social health. It is also a great opportunity to discover and teach others about the important role that wetlands play in our environment and the significant benefits they provide -- improved water quality, increased water storage and supply, reduced flood and storm surge risk, and critical habitat for plants, fish, and wildlife.

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