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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.

May 28
EPA Provides Implementation Guidance on CAFO Regulations
"Implementation Guidance on CAFO Regulations - CAFOs That Discharge or Are Proposing to Discharge" provides guidance for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) owners and operators and NPDES permitting authorities for evaluating whether a CAFO discharges or proposes to discharge.

May 26
Notice of SFIREG Full Committee Public Meeting
The Association of American Pesticide Control Officials (AAPCO)/State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group (SFIREG) Full Committee will hold a 2-day meeting, beginning on June 21, 2010 and ending June 22, 2010 in Arlington VA. Tentative agenda topics are listed in the Federal Register notice. Potentially affected entities may include, but are not limited to, those persons who are or may be required to conduct testing of chemical substances under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act (FFDCA), or the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

May 24
Civil Enforcement Actions Taken against Beef Feedlots in Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska for Violations of Clean Water Act
EPA Region 7 has taken a series of civil enforcement actions against six beef feedlot operations in Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska for violations of the Clean Water Act, as part of an increased emphasis aimed at ending harmful discharges of pollutants from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) into the region’s rivers and streams. Runoff from CAFOs contains pollutants such as pathogens, heavy metals, hormones, antibiotics, sediment and ammonia, as well as nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous, all of which can harm aquatic life and impact water quality.

May 21
EPA Statement Regarding Pediatrics Article, “Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Urinary Metabolites of Organophosphate Pesticides”
A study published in the journal Pediatrics concludes that “organophosphate exposure, at levels common among U.S. children, may contribute to ADHD presence.” The Agency is taking this study very seriously and is incorporating its findings in EPA’s ongoing evaluation of the organophosphate pesticides, along with additional health data. EPA has completed a comprehensive reevaluation of all the organophosphate pesticides, and one of the outcomes of this process was the elimination of nearly all residential uses of organophosphate pesticides as well as some food uses to reduce risks to children. Data used in the Pediatrics study, from 2000-2004, would have been generated while these OP uses were being phased out and, thus, would not have reflected the new restrictions imposed by EPA.

May 19
EPA Seeks Public Comment on Draft Guidance for Pesticide Registrants on False or Misleading Pesticide Product Brand Names
EPA is announcing the availability of and seeking public comment on a draft Pesticide Registration Notice (PR Notice) entitled "False or Misleading Pesticide Product Brand Names." 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 draft PR Notice provides guidance to applicants, registrants and distributors concerning pesticide product brand names that may be false or misleading, either by themselves or in association with particular company names or trademarks. Comments must be received on or before June 18, 2010.

Public Teleconference Scheduled for the Science Advisory Board Integrated Nitrogen Committee
EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office announces a public teleconference of the SAB Integrated Nitrogen Committee on Tuesday, June 8, 2010 from 1 to 5 p.m. (Eastern Time). The SAB Integrated Nitrogen Committee is conducting a study to evaluate the need for integrated research and management strategies to reduce reactive nitrogen in the environment. At the global scale, reactive nitrogen from human activities now exceeds that produced by natural terrestrial ecosystems. Reactive nitrogen both benefits and impacts the health and welfare of people and ecosystems. Scientific information suggests that reactive nitrogen is accumulating in the environment and that nitrogen cycling through biogeochemical pathways has a variety of consequences. The purpose of the teleconference is for the SAB Integrated Nitrogen Committee to discuss its draft report addressing the environmental problems presented by reactive nitrogen and providing recommendations related to an integrated nitrogen management strategy.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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May 18
Wetland Program Development Grant Opportunities
The Wetland Program Development Grants (WPDGs) for Regions, initiated in FY90, provide applicants an opportunity to carry out projects to develop and refine comprehensive wetland programs. All proposed projects must be linked to environmental results and demonstrate how they will contribute to the ultimate goals of healthy communities and ecosystems.

May 14
EPA Plans New Limitations on Three Carbamate Pesticides To Protect Endangered and Threatened Salmon and Steelhead
EPA has announced plans to place additional limitations on the use of three N-methyl carbamate pesticides – carbaryl, carbofuran and methomyl – to protect endangered and threatened salmon and steelhead in California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The changes include the addition of buffer zones; application limitations based on wind speed, soil moisture and weather conditions; and a fish mortality incident reporting requirement. The buffers will apply to surface waters within the geographic range of 22 salmon or steelhead for which the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) indicated continued use of the pesticides would result in likely jeopardy to the species. The remaining limitations will apply to all surface waters within the geographic range of all 28 salmon and steelhead species in the four states. They will replace interim limitations put in place by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in 2004.

May 13
EPA Sets Thresholds for Greenhouse Gas Permitting Requirements - Small Businesses and Farms Will Be Shielded
EPA today announced a final rule to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the largest stationary sources, while shielding millions of small sources of GHGs from Clean Air Act permitting requirements. The phased-in, common-sense approach will address facilities like power plants and oil refineries that are responsible for 70 percent of the greenhouse gases from stationary sources that threaten American’s health and welfare.

May 12
New Federal Strategy for Chesapeake Launches Major Initiatives and Holds Government Accountable for Progress
The new federal strategy for the Chesapeake region released today focuses on protecting and restoring the environment in communities throughout the 64,000-square-mile watershed and in its thousands of streams, creeks and rivers. The strategy includes using rigorous regulations to restore clean water, implementing new conservation practices on 4 million acres of farms, conserving 2 million acres of undeveloped land and rebuilding oysters in 20 tributaries of the bay. To increase accountability, federal agencies will establish milestones every two years for actions to make progress toward measurable environmental goals. These will support and complement the states’ two-year milestones. To restore clean water, EPA will implement the Chesapeake total maximum daily load (a pollution diet for the Chesapeake Bay and local waterways), expand regulation of urban and suburban stormwater and concentrated animal feeding operations and increase enforcement activities and funding for state regulatory programs. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide farmers and forest owners throughout the bay watershed with the resources to prevent soil erosion and keep nitrogen and phosphorous out of local waterways. USDA will target federal funding to the places where it will have the greatest water quality impact and ensure that agricultural producers’ conservation efforts are accurately reported. USDA will also lead a federal initiative to develop a watershed-wide environmental services market that would allow producers to generate tradable water quality credits in return for installing effective conservation practices.

EPA Releases Land Management Guidance to Reduce Water Pollution to Chesapeake Bay
On the same day the federal government announced a comprehensive strategy to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay, EPA today announced guidance to help federal facilities reduce their pollution to the bay. EPA is delivering to federal land managers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed the most effective tools and practices to reduce water pollution from a variety of nonpoint sources, including agricultural lands, urban and suburban areas and septic systems. This guidance to provide the technical tools that will be needed to restore the bay is in response to the Chesapeake Bay executive order issued by President Obama in May 2009.

May 10
EPA Publishes Proposed and Final Modifications to the Renewable Fuel Standard Program
EPA is taking direct final action to amend certain of the Renewable Fuel Standard program regulations published on March 26, 2010, that are scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2010 ("RFS2 regulations"). Following publication of the RFS2 regulations, promulgated in response to the requirements of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, EPA discovered some technical errors and areas within the final RFS2 regulations that could benefit from clarification or modification. This direct final rule amends the RFS2 regulations to make the appropriate corrections, clarifications, and modifications. This direct final rule is effective on July 1, 2010 without further notice, except to the extent that EPA receives adverse comment by June 9, 2010 or receives a request for a public hearing by May 25, 2010.

EPA is also proposing to amend certain of the Renewable Fuel Standard program regulations published on March 26, 2010, that are scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2010. This proposed rule would amend the RFS2 regulations to make the appropriate corrections, clarifications, and modifications. Written comments must be received by June 9, 2010. A request for a public hearing must be received by May 25, 2010.

May 7
Grant Opportunity: Support of Small Watershed Programs in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
EPA's Chesapeake Bay Program Office is announcing a request for proposals for support of the Small Watershed Grant Program for 2010-2016. Through this RFP, EPA seeks to identify an organization with a mission to support communities in their efforts to improve local watersheds within the Chesapeake Bay basin. EPA will develop a cooperative agreement with the selected organization to advertise for proposals, select subgrantees, oversee subgrants, monitor subgrants for completion of projects, and report on results and lessons learned. Funding for this program is appropriated each year by Congress. Since 2000, the Small Watershed Grants program has provided $23.6 million to support 587 projects.

May 5
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 now available. Topics include: June webcast is “Clearing the Air: Greenhouse Gases and Animal Agriculture;” New Page - Preferential Flow of Manure in Tile Drainage; Sustainable Ag Coalition Public Relations Toolkit for farmers and ranches; USDA NASS to conduct an On-Farm Energy Production survey; USDA NRCS funding opportunities for farm energy audits and the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative; and more. The next webcast, scheduled for June 11, 2010 at 2:30 pm (Eastern), is entitled “Animal Ag’s Role in Greenhouse Gas Production: A Closer Look.” Given all the discussion about the extent of the effect that greenhouse gases may have on worldwide climate and debate about ways to limit climate change, a natural question is, “What is the role of animal agriculture as a source of greenhouse gases?” Some publications and media commentary have identified livestock production as a leading source of greenhouse gases. In the June 11th webcast, Frank Mitloehner from UC Davis will counter information presented in Livestock's Long Shadow, a widely read and referenced book, that implicated consumption of red meat and other animal products as a primary contributor to climate change.

Iowa Agrichemical Company To Pay $27,360 Civil Penalty for Alleged Importation of Misbranded Pesticide from Argentina
An agrichemical company based in Ankeny, Iowa, has agreed to pay a $27,360 civil penalty to the United States to settle allegations related to the importation of nearly 1,000 tons of misbranded pesticide from Argentina. According to a consent agreement and final order filed in Kansas City, Kan., the company violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) by importing a total of 1,990,440 pounds of the misbranded pesticide 2,4-D Acid to the Kansas City Port of Entry during March and April. Under FIFRA, the bags were considered to be misbranded because they did not have required labeling that must include directions for the safe and proper use and handling of the pesticide. The company was ordered to hold the material until it was relabeled with the correct information.

EPA Soliciting Comments on Request To Renew Existing ICR "Plant-Incorporated Protectants; CBI Substantiation and Adverse Effects Reporting"
This Information Collection Request (ICR) addresses the two information collection requirements described in regulations pertaining to pesticidal substances that are produced by plants (PIPs) and which are codified in 40 CFR part 174. A PIP is defined as "the pesticidal substance that is intended to be produced and used in a living plant and the genetic material necessary for the production of such a substance." Many, but not all PIPs are exempt from registration requirements under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Registrants sometimes include in a submission to EPA for registration of a PIP information that they claim to be Confidential Business Information (CBI). CBI is protected by FIFRA and generally cannot be released to the public. Under 40 CFR part 174, whenever a registrant claims that information submitted to EPA in support of a registration application for PIPs contains CBI, the registrant must substantiate such claims when they are made, rather than provide it later upon request by EPA. In addition, manufacturers of PIPs that are otherwise exempted from the requirements of registration must report adverse effects of the PIP to the Agency. Such reporting will allow the Agency to determine whether further action is needed to prevent unreasonable adverse effects to the environment. Submission of this information is mandatory. This ICR is currently scheduled to expire on January 31, 2011. Entities potentially affected by this ICR include producers and importers of PIPs. Comments must be received on or before July 6, 2010.

Wetland Program Development Grant Opportunities
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.

Grant Opportunity: Chesapeake Bay Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Program
EPA's Chesapeake Bay Program Office is announcing a request for proposals for support of the Chesapeake Bay Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Program for 2010-2016. The Chesapeake Bay Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Program (the Program) is a competitive grant program to support efforts within the Chesapeake Bay watershed to vastly accelerate nutrient and sediment reductions with innovative, sustainable and cost-effective approaches. This RFP sets forth the process that will be used to select a grant recipient who will develop and implement the Program, with the primary focus of making subawards to organizations to meet the specified expected environmental results of the program. An estimated $6 million to $10 million is expected to be available annually for a six year period, depending upon funding availability, the amount of fiscal year funds ultimately received in the Agency’s operating plan, and the quality of proposals received. EPA plans to award one agreement under this announcement. Closing date for applications: June 16, 2010.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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May 3
EPA Administrator and Agriculture Secretary Team Up To Promote Farm Energy Generation

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a new interagency agreement promoting renewable energy generation and slashing greenhouse gas emissions from livestock operations. The agreement expands the work of the AgStar program, a joint EPA-USDA effort that helps livestock producers reduce methane emissions from their operations. EPA and USDA’s enhanced collaboration will provide up to $3.9 million over the next five years to help the farms overcome obstacles preventing them from recovering and using biogas. The collaboration will expand technical assistance efforts, improve technical standards and guidance for the construction and evaluation of biogas recovery systems, and expand outreach to livestock producers and assist them with pre-feasibility studies.

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