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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.

November 30
EPA Notifies Four West Virginia Growers To Obtain Discharge Permits
EPA announced today that it has notified four poultry growers in West Virginia to cease discharging pollutants from farms to waterways and obtain the necessary permits that are required by the Clean Water Act. The Agency believes that some farmers in the Shenandoah Valley and West Virginia could benefit from more information about the federal requirements to reduce polluted stormwater runoff. EPA and national and state poultry industry associations are in discussions on developing a program to educate growers on water quality and compliance issues. EPA issued the orders following inspections this past June of five chicken and turkey operations in West Virginia. The inspections found that four of the five operations were concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) as defined by the Clean Water Act and that they had neither applied for nor obtained the required discharge permits. The fifth grower had already applied for the permit. Also, at four of the facilities inspected, man-made ditches draining stormwater away from the poultry houses and sheds containing manure and compost allowed pollutants to discharge to waterways during rain events.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

November 29
FPEAC Announces Webinar Series on Compliance Topics Exit EPA
The Food Processing Environmental Assistance Center (FPEAC) is committed to developing and promoting innovative strategies that achieve better environmental results, reduce costs, and promote environmental stewardship throughout the food processing industry. FPEAC's goal is to provide environmental information, resources, and training to small and medium-sized food processors in achieving environmental compliance and stewardship. The focus of this webinar series is to provide knowledge and information to food processors in regard to federal environmental compliance and regulations under the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Topic areas are presented under federal laws including the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Clean Air Act (CAA), and the Emergency Planning and Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), and how these laws pertain to the food industry and processors. The webinars are scheduled for January 24, January 31, and February 14, 2012.

Notice of Meeting of the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee
The Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee will hold an open meeting on Monday, December 12, 2011 from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, in Washington, DC. The purpose of this meeting is to review and finalize recommendations regarding effective approaches to addressing water quality issues associated with agricultural production.

November 21
Agrichemical Company To Pay $6,237 Civil Penalty for Failure To File Notice of Imported Pesticide
An agrichemical company in Liberty, Mo., has agreed to pay a $6,237 civil penalty to the United States for failing to provide EPA with a required notice that it had imported a nearly 25-ton shipment of pesticide from China. According to an administrative consent agreement filed by EPA Region 7 in Kansas City, Kan., the Agency was notified on May 19, 2011, that a 49,537-pound shipment of Drex-PH3 Aluminum Phosphide Fumigant Pellets was being held at the U.S. Customs Port of Entry at Kansas City, Mo., because the company had not filed a Notice of Arrival (NOA) with EPA prior to its importation. Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), importers of pesticides must file NOAs with EPA prior to importation of pesticides. Violation of the FIFRA regulation impacts EPA's ability to track potentially hazardous and toxic pesticide products. The pesticide involved in this case, aluminum phosphide, is highly toxic. It is commonly used as a fumigant for stored grains. As part of its settlement with EPA, the company has certified that it is presently in compliance with FIFRA and its regulations.

November 18
EPA Proposes Revisions to Existing Underground Storage Tank Requirements and New Requirements for Secondary Containment and Operator Training
EPA is proposing to make certain revisions to the 1988 underground storage tank (UST) technical, financial responsibility, and state program approval regulations. These changes establish federal requirements that are similar to key portions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005; they also update certain 1988 UST regulations. Proposed changes include: Adding secondary containment requirements for new and replaced tanks and piping; adding operator training requirements; adding periodic operation and maintenance requirements for UST systems; removing certain deferrals; adding new release prevention and detection technologies; updating codes of practice; making editorial and technical corrections; and updating state program approval requirements to incorporate these new changes. These changes will likely protect human health and the environment by increasing the number of prevented UST releases and quickly detecting them, if they occur. Comments must be received on or before February 16, 2012.

EPA Releases Fact Sheet on Aminopyralid in Manure and Compost
Aminopyralid is an herbicide registered for use on rangeland, pastures, and non-cropland areas such as industrial sites, rights of way, ditch banks, and natural areas. Aminopyralid residues may remain in treated plant material or in manure from animals that have grazed in treated pastures or have been fed hay or forage harvested from treated pastures or crops. There have been cases where people have raised concerns about possible damage to sensitive vegetable crops following the use of compost or manure that contains residues of aminopyralid. If manure or compost containing residues of aminopyralid is applied to certain vegetable crops, it may cause unwanted plant damage.

November 17
EPA Proposes Efficacy Data Requirements for Prion Products: Comment Period Opens for Proposed Amendment To Clarify Product Performance Data for Products with Prion-Related Claims and Draft Test Guidelines
EPA is proposing to amend its product performance data requirements to clarify that efficacy data are required for all products with prion-related claims. In addition, EPA is announcing the availability for public review and comment of draft efficacy test guidelines on generating the product performance data for prion-related products. This is a supplement to the January 2011 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to declare a prion (i.e., proteinaceous infectious particle) a "pest" under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), and to amend EPA's regulations to expressly include prion within the regulatory definition of pest. The intent of issuing the supplemental rule and draft efficacy test guidelines now for public comment is so that they can be issued final at the same time that the prion rule is issued final in late 2012. That way, the final test requirement and efficacy test guidelines can be issued final at simultaneously with the final prion rule that declares a prion to be a pest and amends the current regulations to include prion in the definition of pest. The Federal Register notice announcing these actions provides interested parties 60 days to comment on both the proposed amendment to EPA’s product performance data requirements to add products with prion-related claims and EPA’s draft test guidelines concerning the generation of product performance data for prion-related products. Comments can be submitted at www.regulations.gov in docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0427 until January 17, 2012.

November 2011 SPCC Compliance Deadline Extended to May 2013 for Agricultural Facilities; EPA Providing Compliance Assistance to Farms for SPCC Rule
EPA has recently extended the date that agricultural facilities must come into compliance with the new Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule to May 10, 2013. Many of the changes to the 1974 rule now streamline the requirements for farmers and small facilities, especially those storing up to 10,000 gallons of oil. Agricultural facilities that began storing oil before August 16, 2002 must revise their SPCC plan to meet the 2002 changes by the May 2013 deadline.

New Pesticide Chemical Search Makes it Easier To Find Regulatory Information on Pesticides
EPA has released Pesticide Chemical Search, a new Web-based application that will allow users to easy access to chemical-specific information from the Office of Pesticide Programs’ website and several other important sources. Pesticide Chemical Search is designed to consolidate information related to pesticide chemicals (active ingredients), making it easier to find related regulatory and scientific information. The new application collects existing Web pages on specific chemicals on EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs’ website and allows users access to this information through a single portal. Users will also be able to quickly find the current status of a chemical and where it is in the review process. Another key feature is the ability to determine if there are any dockets open for public comment for a given chemical.

November 16
Notice of Public Meeting of the FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel
There will be a 3-day meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) to consider and review Common Effects Assessment Methodology developed in the Office of Pesticide Programs and Office of Water. The meeting will be held on January 31, 2012 to February 2, 2012, from 9 a.m. to approximately 5:30 p.m. in Arlington, VA.

Farmer-Owned Cooperative To Pay $96,588 Penalty for Failure To Develop Facility Response Plan
A farmer-owned cooperative involved in the acquisition, processing and marketing of grain products, has agreed to pay a $96,588 civil penalty to the United States for its failure to develop and implement a Facility Response Plan for its soybean processing facility in Mason City, Iowa. According to an administrative consent agreement filed by EPA Region 7 in Kansas City, Kan., the Agency inspected the Mason City facility in January 2009. The inspection found that although the facility has a documented storage capacity of more than 1 million gallons of soy oil and/or fuel oil (actually 5.6 million gallons of capacity) it had not submitted a Facility Response Plan to EPA, as required by the federal Clean Water Act. The facility also had not developed or implemented a facility response training program or a drill/exercise program, as required by the regulations. The facility is located within 300 feet of a perennial stream, Cheslea Creek, which flows through two small lakes, then into Willow Creek and the Winnebago River. Without a Facility Response Plan, the Mason City facility was not adequately prepared for a worst-case discharge to the nearby waters, including potential negative impacts to wetland habitat areas.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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November 14
Nitrogen and Phosphorus Webinar Series: Tools for Developing State Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Reduction Strategies
Join us November 30 for a webinar entitled "Nitrogen and Phosphorus Webinar Series: Tools for Developing State Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Reduction Strategies." This webinar will help states and others understand key tools they can use to combat this serious and growing environmental problem. Over the last 50 years, the amount of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) pollution entering our nation's waters has escalated dramatically. For example, 30 percent of U.S. streams have high levels of N and P pollution. Also, reported drinking water violations for nitrates have doubled in the last eight years. The webinar will highlight tools that states can use to develop state N and P pollution reduction strategies. The webinar will demonstrate EPA's new N and P Pollution Data Access Tool (NPDAT) that is designed to help states develop N and P reduction strategies. The webinar will also demonstrate the new, interactive SPARROW Decision Support System (DSS), designed by U.S. Geological Survey. The DSS can be used by water managers, researchers, and the general public to map long-term average water-quality conditions and source contributions by stream reach and catchment, as well as track N and P transport to downstream receiving waters, such as reservoirs and estuaries.

November 9
Oregon Pesticide Vendors Violated Laws Aimed at Protecting Consumers from Mishandling Products
Three Oregon companies violated federal pesticide laws designed to protect consumers, according to three separate settlements with EPA. The three vendors will pay $127,000 for selling mislabeled pesticide products in Oregon.

EPA Proposes Revisions to Pesticide Tolerance Crop Grouping Regulations
EPA is proposing revisions to its pesticide tolerance crop grouping regulations, which allow the establishment of tolerances for multiple, related crops based on data from a representative set of crops. The present revisions would expand existing crop groups for stone fruits and tree nuts by establishing new crop subgroups and/or adding new commodities. EPA expects these revisions to promote greater use of crop groupings for tolerance-setting purposes and, in particular, to assist in making available lower risk pesticides for minor crops, both domestically and in countries that export food to the United States. This is the third in a series of planned crop group updates expected to be proposed over the next several years. Comments must be received on or before January 9, 2012.

Notice of SFIREG Full Committee 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 December 5, 2011, and ending December 6, 2011, in Arlington, VA. Tentative agenda topics are listed in the Federal Register notice.

Pyrethrins/Pyrethroid Cumulative Risk Assessment Confirms Safety of Current Uses; Supports Consideration of New Uses
EPA's recently completed cumulative risk assessment indicates that exposures from the many current uses of pyrethrins and pyrethroid insecticides do not pose risk concerns for children or adults. Further, the cumulative assessment supports consideration of registering additional new uses of these pesticides. EPA therefore is issuing this final pyrethrins/pyrethroid cumulative risk assessment and requesting comment, including information that may be used to further refine the assessment. Once the agency completes and approves pyrethroid single chemical assessments, it is likely that new uses of these pesticides will be added, providing tools that may alleviate challenging new pest management situations such as the invasive stink bug and bed bugs. Interested parties are invited to submit comments and input on the Pyrethrins/Pyrethroid Cumulative Risk Assessment by January 9, 2012, to docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0746 at Regulations.gov. The assessment and supporting documents are available in this docket. See also the Agency’s Assessing Pesticide Cumulative Risk website.

New Occupational Pesticide Exposure Data
In an effort to increase transparency, EPA has recently developed new web pages that contain technical information and the most current guidance for assessing pesticide exposure for workers who work with pesticides or where they have recently been applied. This information is intended for anyone conducting occupational pesticide exposure assessments. Updated information includes the "Occupational Pesticide Handler Unit Exposure Surrogate Reference Table," September 2011, and the "Science Advisory Council for Exposure (ExpoSAC) Policy 3," June 2011. The Agency uses the term "handler" to describe individuals who are involved in, and may be exposed to pesticides during the pesticide application process in agricultural and non-agricultural settings. Handlers can include mixers, loaders, applicators and flaggers. The agency uses "unit exposures" as the basis for assessing handler exposure to pesticides. The updated "Occupational Pesticide Handler Unit Exposure Surrogate Reference Table" contains the current recommended unit exposures for standard agency occupational pesticide handler exposure scenarios.

November 8
Partnership Grants Promote Agricultural and Community-Based Integrated Pest Management
EPA has awarded grants totaling nearly $500,000 for projects that promote agricultural and community-based Integrated Pest Management approaches to pesticide risk reduction. IPM is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. Through stewardship efforts, this grant program seeks to develop public-private partnerships focused on reducing the risks associated with the use of pesticides. These grants will help formalize and expand stewardship and collaborative pesticide risk-reduction efforts.

November 7
Final National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Pesticide General Permit for Point Source Discharges From the Application of Pesticides
This notice announces the NPDES general permit for point source discharges from the application of pesticides to waters of the United States, also referred to as the Pesticide General Permit (PGP). A draft PGP was published on June 4, 2010 for public comment. 75 FR 31775. All ten EPA Regions today are issuing the final NPDES PGP, which will be available in those areas where EPA is the NPDES permitting authority. This action is in response to the Sixth Circuit Court's ruling that vacated an EPA regulation that excluded discharges of biological pesticides and chemical pesticides that leave a residue from the application of pesticides to, or over, including near waters of the United States from the need to obtain an NPDES permit if the application was done in accordance with other laws. EPA requested and was granted a stay of the Court's mandate to provide time to draft and implement the permit noticed today. The stay of the mandate expires on October 31, 2011; after which, NPDES permits will be required for such point source discharges to waters of the United States.

National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center November Newsletter and Webcast Exit EPA
The November edition of the National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPELC) newsletter is now available. Topics include: December webcast on EPA's proposed CAFO regulations; November webcast on manure transport from vulnerable watersheds; New publications on manure storage covers; New manure management DVD from Iowa Learning Farms; New NRCS report "Conservation Benefits of Rangeland Practices: Assessment, Recommendations, and Knowledge Gaps"; How will rising carbon dioxide levels affect rangelands?; and Two reports indicate farmers are reducing nutrient runoff to the Great Lakes. The next webcast is titled "Economics of Using and Transporting Manure" and will be held on November 18. Transporting manure nutrients out of and using manure in vulnerable watersheds, such as the Chesapeake Bay and the Illinois River basin, has become an issue receiving increased national attention. Researchers have studied sustainable use of manure in these watersheds and alternative storage systems that can make transport of poultry litter more feasible and economical. Learn more about those systems as well as the economical implications of moving nutrients outside of these watersheds. Presenters will be: Dr. Jeff Vitale, Oklahoma State University; Erik Lichtenberg, University of Maryland; Dr. Bill Lazarus, University of Minnesota; and Dr. Josh Payne, Oklahoma State University. It broadcasts at 2:30 Eastern (1:30 pm Central, 12:30 pm Mountain, 11:30 am Pacific).

November 2
NAFTA Biopesticide Registration Workshop November 18, 2011
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Technical Working Group (TWG) on Pesticides will hold a workshop on "Biopesticide Regulation: Registration Approaches and Processes" on November 18, at the US EPA Offices at Potomac Yard in Arlington, VA. During the workshop, Health Canada's Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency, Mexican pesticide officials and EPA's Biopesticide and Pollution Prevention Division will discuss regulatory improvements and lessons learned through the NAFTA TWG Biopesticide joint review process. This workshop will encompass additional subject areas, such as various registration process improvements, not included during the April 2011 Biopesticide Registration Improvement Course, which focused mainly on improving the quality of applicant submissions in order to facilitate the registration review process. The Workshop's keynote speaker, Dr. Tracey Leskey, Research Entomologist from UDSA's Appalachian Fruit Research Station, will review her research on developing effective monitoring tools and behaviorally based management strategies for a number of insect pests, including the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, to reduce insecticide use in orchard agroecosystems.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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