News Archive: October 2006
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USDA and EPA Sign Water Quality Credit Trading Agreement, Offering Farmers and Ranchers Market-based Incentives To Improve Water Quality
On October 13, USDA and EPA officials signed a partnership agreement to establish and promote water quality credit trading markets through cooperative conservation. The agreement features a pilot project within the Chesapeake Bay basin to showcase the effectiveness of environmental markets. Water quality credit trading uses a market-based approach that offers incentives to farmers and ranchers who implement conservation practices that improve water quality. While reducing pollution, they can earn credits they can trade with industrial or municipal facilities that are required by the Clean Water Act and other laws to reduce the amount of pollution in wastewater.
Extension of Comment Period for Organic Arsenical Herbicides RED
EPA issued a notice in the Federal Register of August 9, 2006, concerning the availability of the reregistration eligibility decision (RED) for the organic arsenical herbicides MSMA, DSMA, DAMA, and cacodylic acid. EPA also issued a notice in the Federal Register of October 4, 2006, announcing the extension of the original comment period by 30 days. The comment period has now been extended until December 13, 2006. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA- HQ-OPP-2006-0201, must be received on or before December 13, 2006.
$13.9 Million Clean Air Act Settlement with Multinational Soybean and Corn Processor Secures Major Pollution Reductions in Eight States
A multi-state Clean Air Act (CAA) settlement, reached with oilseed processor Bunge North America, Inc. and three of its subsidiaries, will eliminate more than 2,200 tons of harmful pollution emissions per year when fully implemented. The $13.9 million settlement covers 12 plants in eight states, each of which has joined the United States as a co-plaintiff. The settlement covers 11 soybean processing plants -- in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kansas, Iowa, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois -- as well as a corn dry mill extraction plant also located in Illinois. The U.S. alleges that at some or all of these 12 plants, Bunge or a subsidiary violated the CAA by constructing major modifications that increased emissions without obtaining pre-construction permits and without complying with applicable standards of performance for new air pollution sources.
EPA Unveils Web-based Ecosystem Indicators for Puget Sound and Georgia Basin
As part of an ongoing international effort to restore and protect the Puget Sound Georgia Basin, EPA announced the launch of an online indicators report that will provide local citizens, businesses, organizations, and governments information about the current health of the ecosystem. The Puget Sound Georgia Basin Ecosystem Indicators (Indicators) Report is composed of nine environmental indicators specific to this ecosystem: Population Health, Urbanization and Forest Change, Solid Waste and Recycling, River, Stream and Lake Quality, Shellfish, Air Quality, Marine Species at Risk, Toxics in Harbor Seals and Marine Water Quality. Of the nine indicators, five are showing declining conditions and four are neutral. None are showing improvement.
Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates
- Cyfluthrin -- pesticide petitions for establishment or amendment to regulations for residues in or on grass, forage, and hay (October 27)
Growing Renewable Fuels to Keep America Going
Promoting the environmental benefits of renewable fuels is the focus of the new SmartWay Grow & Go program, launched by EPA. Expanding the successful SmartWay Transport Partnership, SmartWay Grow & Go companies are encouraged to make commitments toward improving the environment through the use of renewable fuels. The goal of the SmartWay Grow & Go program is to have 25 percent of EPA's SmartWay Transport partners using renewable fuels by 2012, and 50 percent by 2020. There are currently 481 SmartWay Transport partners including major truck and rail carriers as well as shipping and logistics companies. Renewable fuels are available today and provide environmental benefits. Ethanol reduces emissions of pollutants such as carbon monoxide and benzene, a known human carcinogen, and biodiesel provides significant reductions in carbon monoxide, particulate matter and sulfates. Use of ethanol and biodiesel results in less greenhouse gas emissions relative to conventional gasoline.
Extension of Comment Period for Carbofuran IRED
EPA issued a notice in the Federal Register of August 30, 2006, concerning the availability of the Interim Reregistration Eligibility Decision for the N-methyl carbamate pesticide carbofuran. The comment period has been extended for 30 days, from October 30, 2006, to November 30, 2006.
Extension of Comment Period for Pentachloronitrobenzene (PCNB) RED
EPA issued a notice in the Federal Register of August 2, 2006, concerning the availability of the PCNB reregistration eligibility decision (RED) and the opening of a 60-day public comment period. The original comment period was to close on October 2, 2006. The Agency subsequently issued a notice in the Federal Register of September 29, 2006, extending the comment period to November 1, 2006. The Agency is now extending the comment period for an additional interval, to December 4, 2006.
EPA Recognizes Land Conservancy of Adams County for Protecting Drinking Water in Gettysburg Area
EPA presented an award to the Land Conservancy of Adams County for its efforts to protect drinking water sources for more than 12,000 residents in the Gettysburg area. By focusing its efforts on protecting large parcels of land in the Marsh Creek watershed from development, the conservancy has been protecting valuable drinking water sources in an area where soil and groundwater had been previously threatened by a nearby Superfund site.
Guidance on Pesticide Product Warranty Statements Available
Most, if not all, pesticide labels contain some type of warranty disclaimer language. EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) has posted on its Web site a document that provides a discussion and examples of pesticide product warranty statements that the Agency considers either acceptable or unacceptable. These examples do not represent any change in EPA policy concerning warranties and disclaimers of liability for pesticide products. Rather, they are intended to assist pesticide registrants in complying with existing policy, as well as provide guidance to Agency staff who review product labels.
- OPP Guidance on Warranty Statements (PDF) (11 pp, 60K)
Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates
- Di-n-Alkyl (C8-10) Dimethyl Ammonium Chloride -- initial filing of pesticide petitions proposing to amend tolerances on food contact surfaces in public eating places, dairy processing equipment, and food processing equipment and utensils (October 25)
- Dichlorvos -- At registrant's request, certain uses terminated: mushroom house (hand-held fogger); greenhouse (hand-held fogger); warehouse (hand-held fogger); crack and crevice use; total release fogger, lawn, turf, and ornamentals; 21-, 65-, 80-, and 100-gram pest strips (October 20)
- Ethylene Oxide -- evaluation of carcinogenicity; correction (October 20)
- Flucarbazone sodium -- establishment or amendment of regulations for residues in or on wheat forage, grain, straw, and hay; milk; meat and meat byproducts of cattle, goats, sheep, horses, hogs (October 20)
- Methoxyfenozide -- establishment or amendment of regulations for residues in or on various commodities (October 20)
- Novaluron -- establishment of a tolerance for residues in or on sugarcane when used for control of sugarcane borer in Louisiana under an emergency exemption. (Time-limited tolerance effective October 20, 2006, and ends December 31, 2009)
EPA Revamps Climate Change Web Site
To provide the public with the most up-to-date information on climate change, EPA is updating its climate change Web site. The site provides the latest scientific information and highlights a wide range of U.S. government programs that are actively addressing climate change at the local, state, national, and international levels. The updated Web site still contains all information that was on EPA's global warming Web site but organizes it for easier access and adds new information. The climate change site was developed by EPA in collaboration with other federal agencies. The scientific information it contains reflects consensus findings from U.S. and international organizations.
EPA Finalizes PM-10 Attainment Finding for San Joaquin Valley
EPA finalized approval of the state of California's request to find that the San Joaquin Valley air basin is attaining coarse particulate matter, or PM-10, standards. The valley has not violated the PM-10 standards from 2003 through the present. The finding is based on the California Air Resources Board's May 2006 request to find Valley air quality in attainment of the PM-10 standards based on the three years of clean air monitoring data -- 2003, 2004, and 2005. The data are reported to EPA from the Air Resources Board and the San Joaquin Valley air district's official air monitoring network.
EPA Settles With Springs Industries, Inc. for FIFRA Violations
EPA announced the settlement of an administrative enforcement action against Springs Industries, Inc. in Fort Mill, South Carolina, for alleged violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The settlement requires Springs to comply with FIFRA and pay a $104,422.50 penalty. The violations were discovered during an inspection conducted by the Clemson University Department of Pesticide Regulation in November 2004. EPA contends that, at the time of the inspection, the labels for two products, "Amicor Pure Pillows" and "Amicor Pure Mattress Pads," contained claims of pesticidal activity related to the control of dust mites. These products should have been registered with EPA before being legally sold or distributed in the United States.
Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee Schedules Public Meeting
EPA's Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee has scheduled a public meeting of its Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA) Process Improvement Workgroup on November 2, 2006, in Arlington, Virginia. An agenda for this meeting is being developed and will be posted on EPA's Web site. The workgroup is developing advice and recommendations on topics related to EPA's registration process.
AAPCO/SFIREG Working Committee on Water Quality and Pesticide Disposal Plans Two-Day Public Meeting
The Association of American Pesticide Control Officials (AAPCO)/State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group (SFIREG) Working Committee on Water Quality and Pesticide Disposal will meet November 6-7, 2006, in Arlington, Virginia. The Federal Register notice includes a tentative agenda for the meeting.
USDA and EPA Sign Water Quality Credit Trading Agreement
USDA Natural Resources and Environment under Secretary Mark Rey and Benjamin Grumbles, Assistant Administrator of EPA's Office of Water, signed a partnership agreement to establish and promote water quality credit trading markets through cooperative conservation. The agreement features a pilot project within the Chesapeake Bay basin to showcase the effectiveness of environmental markets. Water quality credit trading uses a market-based approach that offers incentives to farmers and ranchers who implement conservation practices that improve water quality. While reducing pollution, they can earn credits they can trade with industrial or municipal facilities that are required by the Clean Water Act and other laws to reduce the amounts of pollution in wastewater.
Comment Period Extended on Draft Toxicological Review of Dichlorobenzenes
EPA has extended until October 17, 2006, the public comment period on its final draft document, "Toxicological Review of Dichlorobenzenes: In Support of Summary Information on the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS)" (EPA/635/R-03/015). The document concerns the inhalation reference concentration (RfC) and inhalation cancer assessment for 1,4-dichlorobenzene. In addition, the external peer review meeting has been rescheduled for November 3, 2006, and the format has been changed to include both a face-to-face meeting and a teleconference option for participation. The docket for this action is under docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2004-0002.
Comment Period Extended on Carcinogenicity of Ethylene Oxide
EPA has extended until December 8, 2006, the public comment period for the draft document "Evaluation of the Carcinogenicity of Ethylene Oxide" (EPA/635/R-06/003). The document was prepared by the National Center for Environmental Assessment within EPA's Office of Research and Development. As stated in the original September 22 Federal Register notice, EPA is releasing this draft document solely for the purpose of seeking public comment and for review by EPA Science Advisory Board at a meeting to be held later. The document has not been formally disseminated by EPA, and it does not represent and should not be construed to represent any Agency policy or determination. EPA will consider any public comments submitted in accordance with this notice when revising the document. Comments should be identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD 2006-0756.
EPA Awards $5.5 million to National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for Chesapeake Bay Clean-up Efforts
EPA has awarded the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation $5.5 million to fund water quality restoration projects throughout the Chesapeake Bay’s 64,000 square-mile watershed. The foundation will use the funds to manage the Chesapeake Bay Targeted Watersheds Grant Program, which has a goal of reducing the nitrogen and phosphorus pollution that harm the bay and its tributaries. The foundation will administer grants through a competitive process to organizations and local governments that propose specific projects. The grant program strives to expand the collective knowledge on the most innovative, sustainable and cost-effective strategies for reducing excess nutrient loads within specific tributaries to the Chesapeake Bay.
Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates
- Carbaryl -- petition to revoke established tolerances (October 13)
- Chloantraniliprole -- filing of a petition for establishment of regulations for residues in or on apple, celery, cucumber, head lettuce, leaf lettuce, pear, pepper, spinach, squash, tomato, and watermelon (October 13)
- Chloantraniliprole -- request of an experimental use permit (EUP) for end use formulations (October 18)
- Coumaphos -- initial filing of a pesticide petition proposing the establishment of regulations for residues in or on honey or honeycomb (October 18)
- Difenacoum -- application to register a pesticide product to control Norway rats, roof rats, and house mice (October 18)
- Flumioxazin -- time-limited tolerance for residues in or on alfalfa forage and alfalfa hay. The tolerance is effective starting October 18, 2006 and is revoked on December 31, 2009. (October 18)
- Propylene Oxide -- receipt of requests for amendments to delete uses (October 18)
EPA “WaterSense” Program to Spark Consumer Demand for Water Efficient Products and Promote Water Conservation
“Every drop counts.” That’s the motto for a new partnership program called WaterSense that EPA recently launched to stimulate more efficient use of water in homes and businesses. Growing demands for water and the need to protect water sources have prompted water and wastewater utilities, along with agriculture and industry to rely on water efficiency as a low-cost approach to meet customer and business needs. A recent U.S. Government Accountability Office survey underscored the need to develop a national ethic of water efficiency. The survey reported that 36 states anticipate local, regional or statewide water shortages by 2013, even without drought conditions. Managing the nation’s water supply is a rising concern for communities across the country. In response, EPA announced the WaterSense program last summer. This voluntary partnership promotes water efficiency and primes market demand for water-efficient products and services. WaterSense takes its cue from the successful ENERGY STAR program which promotes energy-efficient products.
Grant Solicitation for Activities to Advance Methane Recovery and Use as a Clean Energy Source
EPA is requesting proposals to fund projects and activities that support the Methane to Markets Partnership. The partnership is an international initiative to reduce global methane emissions by promoting methane capture-and-use projects in four major sectors including agriculture (animal waste management), coal mining, landfills, and oil and gas systems. EPA expects to award up to 20 cooperative agreements through this announcement, ranging from $25,000 to $300,000 per award, for a total of $2.5 million. EPA is requesting proposals for projects that support the partnership broadly, but that may include the following types of activities: directly identify, characterize, or implement methane capture-and-use projects – including technology transfer, feasibility and pre-feasibility studies, training and capacity building, or database development for potential sites.
EPA Publishes Schedule for Review of Pesticide Registrations
EPA has released its schedule for the pesticide registration review mandated in section 3(g) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Publication of the schedule is intended to inform the public and to help interested stakeholders prepare for the initiation of the registration reviews scheduled for the first 4 years of the program. To develop the schedule, EPA used procedures set forth in its August 9, 2006, final rule. The schedule shows how the Agency plans to sequence pesticide reviews to meet the goal of reviewing each pesticide's registration every 15 years. Although there is not a comment period for this document, the Agency may consider issues raised by the public or the registrants. This schedule will take effect on October 10, 2006, the effective date of the registration review regulation.
Notification to the Secretary of Agriculture on Plant-Incorporated Protectants
The Administrator of EPA has forwarded to the Secretary of Agriculture a draft proposed rule as required by section 25(a) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). As described in the Agency's semi-annual Regulatory Agenda, the draft proposed rule would add certain plant-incorporated protectants based on viral coat protein genes (PVCP-PIPs) to its plant-incorporated protectants exemptions at 40 CFR part 174. Substances that plants produce for protection against pests and the genetic material necessary to produce them are pesticides under FIFRA if humans intend these substances to "prevent, repel or mitigate any pest.''
Seattle’s International District Stores Ordered by EPA to Stop the Sale of Illegal Imported Pesticide Products
EPA issued orders requiring Lucky An Dong, Inc. and Viet Wah Supermarket, two stores in the Little Saigon Neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, to stop selling two illegal, unregistered pesticide products. The two pesticide products named in the stop sale orders are “Miraculous Insecticide Chalk” and “Talent naphthalene BALL” (moth balls) which are imported from China and Taiwan. EPA inspected the two stores on August 29, 2006. At this time, the stores removed the illegal pesticide products from their store shelves upon EPA request. EPA is especially concerned about children’s potential exposure to “Miraculous Insecticide Chalk.” Children can easily mistake this product for common blackboard chalk. The active ingredient in “Miraculous Insecticide Chalk” is a chemical called deltamethrin, which is in the pyrethroid group of insecticides. The packaging contains no list of ingredients or consumer warnings. In fact, the package claims the product is "harmless to human beings and animals" and "safe to use." Inadvertent overexposure (such as a child ingesting or inhaling a large amount of deltamethrin) can produce serious health effects, including vomiting, stomach pains, convulsions, tremors, coma, and death due to respiratory failure. Serious allergic reactions are also possible.
Pesticide Registration Review Final Rule
EPA's final pesticide registration review rule was published in the Federal Register on August 9, 2006, and took effect on October 10, 2006. The registration review program was mandated by the Food Quality Protection Act. All pesticides distributed and sold in the United States must be registered by EPA, based on scientific data showing that they will not cause unreasonable risks to human health, workers, or the environment when used as directed on product labeling. The new registration review program makes sure that, as the ability to assess risk evolves and as policies and practices change, all registered pesticides continue to meet the statutory standard of no unreasonable adverse effects.
Virginia Company Settles Alleged Violations of Federal Pesticide Law
Care-A-Lot, Inc., a pet supply warehouse in Virginia Beach, Virginia, has agreed to pay a $30,000 penalty to settle alleged violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The alleged violations involved unregistered and misbranded pesticide products for dogs and cats. According to EPA, the company offered for sale or distribution various tick and flea control products under "Advantage" and "Frontline" labels that were not registered with EPA as required by FIFRA, and were misbranded with labels of EPA-registered pesticide products. The products were offered for sale in the company's store, catalogue, and website.
Pennsylvania Farm and Garden Store Settles EPA Pesticide Case
Wurster Farm and Garden, Inc., of Dublin, Pennsylvania, has agreed to pay a $6,450 penalty to settle alleged violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. An April 20, 2005, EPA inspection discovered that Wurster Farm was selling an unregistered pesticide product, "Gardeners Disinfectant Betacide Plus+". The store was also selling a misbranded pesticide device, "Barn and Stable Fly Trap," that did not have the required production facility registration number.
EPA Settles with Cook County Wood Preserving, Inc., for Misuse of CCA, Sale of Illegally Treated Wood
EPA announced the settlement of an administrative enforcement action against Cook County Wood Preserving, Inc. in Adel, Georgia, for alleged violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The settlement requires Cook County Wood to comply with FIFRA and pay a penalty of $50,400. The violations at Cook County Wood were discovered during an inspection conducted by EPA in August 2005. EPA contends it is a misuse of the chromated copper arsenate (CCA) label to treat dimensional wood for uses not listed on the label. The label does not permit CCA-treated wood to be used to construct poultry houses and trailers to haul animals on farms. In addition, the improperly treated wood is considered an unregistered pesticide. All facilities that produce pesticides are required to register with EPA. Cook County Wood is not registered with EPA as a pesticide-producing facility.
Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates
- Buprofezin -- initial filing of pesticide petitions proposing the establishment or amendment of regulations for residues in or on group 12 stone fruit; black and mamey sapote; canistel; mango; papaya; sapodilla; star apple; grapes; and grape rasins (October 11)
- Dichlorvos -- petition to revoke tolerances (October 11)
- Lambda-Cyhalothrin -- initial filing of pesticide petitions proposing the establishment or amendment of regulations for residues in or on pistachio (October 11)
- Oxytetracyline -- initial filing of a pesticide petition proposing the establishment or amendment of regulations for residues in or on apples (October 11)
2006 National Carcass Disposal Symposium (NCDS)
The 2006 National Carcass Disposal Symposium will be held December 5-7, 2006, at the UMUC Inn and Conference Center in Adelphi, Maryland. Applications for papers and posters to be presented at the 2006 NCDS were due on August 15, 2006. The symposium and subsequent conference proceedings will stimulate future research and influence public policy concerning animal mortality disposal. Animal disposal is a major concern for livestock and poultry operators and policy makers. This symposium will highlight current research, current and emerging disposal methodology and public policy issues concerning carcass disposal. Themes to be addressed will include:
- Research and public policy on carcass disposal in response to routine mortalities; natural disasters; and disease outbreaks
- New & emerging carcass disposal technologies
- Carcass treatment options
- Final product disposition
- Public policy on disposal of wildlife; marine mammals; and agricultural mortalities
- State and agency response and training
- Call for papers flyer (PDF) (1 pg, 60K)
Extension of Comment Period of Reregistration Eligibility Decision for Organic Arsenical Herbicides
EPA issued a Federal Register notice on August 9, 2006, announcing the availability of the reregistration eligibility decision for the organic arsenical herbicides MSMA, DSMA, CAMA, and cacodylic acid and starting a 60-day comment period. The comment period has been extended for 30 days, from October 10, 2006, to November 9, 2006. Comments, identified by docket ID number EPA- HQ-OPP-2006-0201 must be received on or before November 9, 2006.
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