News Archive: November 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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.
2009 Critical Use Exemption from the Phaseout of Methyl Bromide
EPA is proposing an exemption to the phaseout of methyl bromide to meet the needs of 2009 critical uses. Specifically, EPA is proposing uses that qualify for the 2009 critical use exemption and the amount of methyl bromide that may be produced, imported, or supplied from existing pre-phaseout inventory for those uses in 2009. EPA is taking action under the authority of the Clean Air Act to reflect a recent consensus decision taken by the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer at the Nineteenth Meeting of the Parties. EPA is seeking comment on the list of critical uses and on EPA's determination of the amounts of methyl bromide needed to satisfy those uses. Comments must be submitted by December 29, 2008.
Modifications to Renewable Fuel Standard Program Requirements
Due to adverse comment, EPA is withdrawing several provisions of the direct final rule to amend the Renewable Fuel program requirements as published October 2, 2008.
Intent to Suspend Certain Pesticide Registrations
EPA has issued a Notice of Intent to Suspend to The Scotts Company pursuant to sections 3(c)(2)(B) and 4 of FIFRA. The Notice was issued following issuance of a Section 4 Reregistration Data Requirements Notice by the Agency and the failure of the registrant subject to take appropriate steps to secure the data required to be submitted to the Agency. The Notice of Intent to Suspend described in this Notice was received by the registrant and the products have been suspended by operation of law. The Notice of Intent to Suspend has become an effective suspension order.
Formaldehyde Emissions from Pressed-Wood Products To be Investigated
EPA will develop a risk assessment on potential adverse-health effects of formaldehyde emissions from wood products, evaluate the costs and benefits of possible control technologies and approaches, and determine whether EPA action is needed to address any identified risks. In addition to the 60-day public comment period, EPA has scheduled five public meetings to obtain more input. Formaldehyde is commonly used as a preservative and is found in certain pressed-wood products, where it is a component of glues and adhesives. Additionally formaldehyde is both an irritant and probable human carcinogen. For more information please visit Formaldehyde Emissions from Pressed Wood Products webpage and federal registrar (fr03de08-15). Comments must be received on or before February 2, 2009.
Grants Awarded for Wetland Protection and Management Projects in Region 7
EPA awarded six grants, totaling $1,174,834, for wetland protection and management projects in Region 7. The winners include:
- Curators of the University of Missouri, Columbia Missouri
- Curators of the University of Missouri, Kansas City Missouri
- Kansas Water Office, Topeka Kansas
- Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Jefferson City Missouri
- Mid-America Regional Council, Kansas City Missouri
- Oklahoma State University, Stillwater Oklahoma
Fall 2008 Regulatory Agenda
EPA has published the semiannual regulatory agenda online. The agenda updates the public about regulations and major policies currently under development, reviews of existing regulations and major policies, and rules and major policymakings completed or canceled since the last agenda.
Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates
- Diazinon -- modifies the revocation of the tolerance for mushrooms (November 26)
- Diflubenzuron -- establishes time-limited tolerances for combined residues in or on alfalfa, forage and alfalfa, hay (November 28)
Pollution Caps for the Chesapeake Bay
EPA outlines plans to set pollution caps needed to meet water quality standards through the Bay's watershed in an effort to speed Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts. Administrator Johnson said that leadership in the development of a Bay-wide pollution cap, known as a Total Maximum Daily Load, or TMDL, will be among EPA's significant contributions. The Bay-wide TMDL is scheduled to be completed in December 2010 and will identify pollutant caps by major river basin in the 64,000-square-mile Bay watershed. The TMDL will allocate "loadings" of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment to all jurisdictions in the watershed, including New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
Revised Guidelines for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations in Response to the Waterkeeper Decision
EPA is revising the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting requirements and Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards (ELGs) for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in response to the order issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Waterkeeper Alliance et al. v. EPA, 399 F.3d 486 (2d Cir. 2005). This final rule revises several aspects of EPA's current regulations governing discharges from CAFOs. EPA is modifying the requirement to apply for a permit. This final rule also responds to the court's remand orders regarding water quality-based effluent limitations (WQBELs) and pathogens. These final regulations are effective December 22, 2008.
2008 Performance and Accountability Report
A new report has been released that describes EPA's environmental and financial progress over the past year. The Performance and Accountability report highlights the agency's efforts to dramatically reduce air pollution, improve water quality, make significant strides in cleaning up Superfund sites, increase health and environmental safety through pesticide and chemical evaluation, and avoid pollution through strong enforcement actions in fiscal year 2008. Full 2008 Performance and Accountability Report is available online from EPA.
Webcasts Planned for CAFO Rule
EPA has finalized a rule helping to protect the nation's water quality by requiring concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to safely manage manure. A national webcast and a regional webcast to provide detailed information about the new rule, are scheduled for Nov. 19. EPA national headquarters and Region 7 headquarters will sponsor separate webcasts on Nov. 19. Visit Region 7 webcast portal to view the archived webcast.
Additional information on the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation Rule is available.
EPA Region 7 Rolls Out Environmental Manual for Biodiesel Facilities
User-friendly manual, developed by EPA Region 7, identifies environmental regulatory rules and requirements for the construction and operation of biodiesel facilities. The manual provides practical examples to ensure compliance with environmental regulations. A contact directory of key federal and state officials is included in the manual. EPA Region 7 staff members are available to answer questions about the applicability of environmental requirements to renewable fuel facilities.
EPA Gives North Whitehall Township Residents Bottled Water In Light of Contaminated Wells
Private drinking water wells of North Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania show elevated lead levels. All the residents live on property formerly owned by Mohr Orchards or other commercial fruit growers. EPA recently conducted water sampling from about 75 randomly selected homes in the area as part of an investigation into arsenic soil contamination from pesticide use on the property and lead. Results of those tests so far show 47 homes with elevated lead levels above 11 parts per billion, a precautionary action level set for this site. Lead results ranged from non-detect to 604 parts per billion. All test results are preliminary, and action is being taken to be precautionary and protective. Retesting is needed to confirm and further understand these results.
EPA Reaches Settlements with Four Companies for Violations of Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)
Two agricultural chemical companies, Genesis Agri-Products, Inc. and Kleenco Products, Inc (Kleenco) have agreed to pay $4,800 and $800 penalties (respectively) to settle claims that they had submitted late annual pesticide production reports required under FIFRA more than once in a three year period. Buckman Laboratories, Inc (manufacturer), and CH2O, Inc (Distributer), agreed to pay $35,100 and $11,700 (respectively) for producing and selling a misbranded pesticide. EPA found that product labels were missing critical updates to the first aid statement, directions for use, and the directions for proper disposal.
EPA Fines Los Angles Distributor for Selling Illegal Pesticides
EPA fines Four Quarters Wholesale, Inc., a Los Angles California distributor of general merchandise, $6,000 for distributing unregistered pesticides in violation of federal pesticide law. The EPA determined that the Four Quarters Wholesale, Inc., distributed disinfectants and a mothball product on 22 separate occasions. According to the EPA, in early 2006, Four Quarters Wholesale, Inc. distributed these products to a variety of grocery stores in Los Angeles and Long Beach, as well as in Yuma, Ariz., San Elizario, Texas, Church Rock, N.M. and Las Vegas, Nev. These violations were identified based on an inspection performed by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation in March 2006.
Damages to Rock Creek from Discharged Material Result in $35,000
Schell and Twin Peaks Excavating, Inc. of Erie Colorado agree to pay a civil penalty of $35,000 for alleged unauthorized discharges of excavated material to Rock Creek, located in Lafayette Colorado. The alleged violations of the Clean Water Act occurred during the spring of 2007, when Schell and Twin Peaks excavated a new stream channel in Rock Creek and filled adjacent wetlands and approximately 150 feet of the original channel. In December of 2007, EPA issued a compliance order which required Schell and Twin Peaks to correct the environmental damage and restore the impacted creek and wetlands. In March of 2008, EPA approved Schell and Twin Peaks' restoration plan which is being implemented in accordance with an approved schedule.
Amendment to Emergency Planning and Notification
EPA proposed four major revisions and provided draft guidance on various reporting options that States and local agencies may wish to consider in implementing the hazardous chemical reporting requirements. This action addresses only those changes proposed under the heading "Other Regulatory Changes" described in the preamble to the 1998 proposed rule. This final rule is effective December 3, 2008.
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