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News Archive: October 2009

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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.

October 30
Final Mandatory GHG Reporting Preamble and Rule Text Published in Federal Register
The final greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting rule was signed by the Administrator on September 22, 2009. On October 30, 2009, the final rule was published in the Federal Register under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0508-2278. The rule will be effective December 29, 2009. This action includes final reporting requirements for 31 of the 42 emission sources listed in the proposal.

EPA Proceeds with Revoking Regulations Allowing Carbofuran Pesticide Residues on Food
EPA is moving forward to implement the Agency’s May 2009 final rule revoking tolerances for the pesticide carbofuran. EPA continues to find that dietary exposures to carbofuran from all sources combined are not safe. EPA’s May 2009 action to revoke carbofuran tolerances was the culmination of a regulatory process that began in 2006 when the Agency published its risk assessments for carbofuran and determined that no uses were eligible for reregistration. EPA reminds growers that carbofuran should not be applied to any food crops after December 31, 2009, and encourages growers to switch from carbofuran to safer pesticides or other environmentally preferable pest control strategies. Use of carbofuran after this date could result in adulterated food products, which would be subject to enforcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

EPA Publishes Indexes to CFR Part 180 Tolerance Information for Pesticide Chemicals in Food and Feed Commodities
EPA's Tolerance Index Web page describes information that may be helpful in finding specific pesticide tolerance information available in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at Part 180. The pesticide tolerance information provided in the index is intended to help registrants, scientists, importers, trade associations, and extension agents identify: tolerances (maximum residue levels) or exemptions from tolerance requirements for a food or feed commodity; pesticide chemicals that belong to a particular commodity, crop group, or crop subgroup; and pesticide chemicals that belong to a particular pesticide type or pesticide family.

October 26
EPA To Hold Public Meetings on Chesapeake Bay ‘Pollution Diet’
EPA will hold a series of public meetings to discuss the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) – a strict "pollution diet" to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its network of local rivers, streams and creeks. Fourteen public sessions will be held throughout the watershed’s six states – Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, New York – and the District of Columbia from early November through mid-December 2009. The Bay TMDL will establish the pollution reductions necessary for meeting Bay clean water standards. EPA officials will outline the Bay TMDL and receive public input during the sessions. A draft TMDL will be issued in August 2010, followed by a public comment period. A final TMDL will be established by EPA in December 2010. The public meeting schedule is available at EPA's Chesapeake Bay TMDL Web site.

October 23
Proposed Registration Review Decision for Disulfoton Open for Public Comment
This notice announces the availability of EPA's proposed registration review decision for the pesticide disulfoton and opens a public comment period on the proposed decision. Registration review is EPA's periodic review of pesticide registrations to ensure that each pesticide continues to satisfy the statutory standard for registration, that is, that the pesticide can perform its intended function without unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment. Disulfoton is an organophosphate insecticide registered for use on asparagus, beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cotton, coffee beans, lettuce, radish grown for seed, Christmas trees, Easter lilies, and residential ornamentals. Comments must be received on or before December 22, 2009.

EPA Cites Unlawful Filling of Wetlands at Wicomoco County, Md. Site
EPA has cited a Millersville, Md. couple and a Millsboro, Del. chicken processing company for unlawfully filling protected wetlands, a violation of the Clean Water Act. Citations were issued for filling in a non-tidal wetland on a property located northeast of the town of Willards, Wicomoco County, Md., which contains an unnamed ditch which flows to the Murray Branch, which flows to the Burnt Mill Branch, which flows to the Pocomoke River, which flows to the Chesapeake Bay. According to the complaint, the couple wanted to raise chickens on the site and relied on advice from Mountaire Farms that there were no wetlands on the site. During construction of chicken houses in June 2006, an inspector with the Maryland Department of the Environment noted that non-tidal wetlands were located on the property. Under the Clean Water Act, an Army Corps of Engineers permit is required before dredged or fill material may be discharged into wetlands areas. The permit requirement is designed to minimize the destruction of wetlands, which serve a number of critical environmental and economic functions -- including flood control, water filtration, wildlife habitat, and recreation. EPA seeks an $82,500 penalty for this alleged violation.

October 21
EPA Issues Test Orders for First 67 Chemicals Under the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program
EPA is initiating the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP) Tier 1 screening for the first group of 67 chemicals by issuing test orders from October 29, 2009, through February 26, 2010. The EDSP Tier 1 screening data required to satisfy an order are due within 2 years of the date of issuance of the order. Details on the status of the orders will be provided on EPA's EDSP Web site, including the order issuance date, the recipient(s) of the order, each order recipient's response and the order due date.

EPA Issues Guidance for Testing and Labeling Pesticide Products that Help Prevent the Spread of H1N1 Influenza A Virus
In response to the emerging threat posed by the spread of Pandemic 2009 H1N1 influenza A Virus, EPA is clarifying testing requirements and providing labeling options for pandemic 2009 H1N1. EPA has previously posted information on its Web page regarding this virus, including a list of antimicrobial products registered for use against Influenza A viruses. This document provides guidance for antimicrobial pesticides sold as dilutable liquids and powders, ready-to-use or spray formulations, and towelettes, which are used to treat hard non-porous surfaces in healthcare facilities, commercial, industrial, institutional, and residential settings against Pandemic 2009 H1N1 influenza A Virus.

October 20
Proposed Registration Decision for Ulocladium Odemansii (U3 strain) Available for Public Comment
EPA is making its proposed registration decision for Ulocladium odemansii available for comment. The Biopesticides Registration Action Decision (BRAD) contains EPA's proposed registration decision and risk assessment. In addition, EPA is making the proposed product labels available for comment. Comments will be accepted through November 19, 2009.

October 16
Draft Ecological Risk Assessment Available for Urea Sulfate Registration Review
As directed by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) section 3(g), EPA is reviewing the pesticide registration for urea sulfate to ensure that it continues to satisfy the FIFRA standard for registration-- that is, that urea sulfate can still be used without unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment. Urea sulfate is a herbicide used as a desiccant on cotton as a cotton harvest aid/defoliant. EPA has completed a comprehensive draft ecological risk assessment, including an endangered species assessment, for all urea sulfate uses and is announcing the availability of the draft ecological risk assessment. Comments must be received on or before December 15, 2009.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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October 16
EPA Releases Test Guidelines and Schedule for Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program
As EPA prepares to order a comprehensive screening of chemical effects on hormones, the Agency is making available today the battery of scientific assays and test guidelines for conducting the assays, as well as a schedule for issuing test orders to manufacturers for each of 67 chemicals during the next three months. Now that the assays and test guidelines are available, EPA shortly will be issuing and announcing test orders to manufacturers to compel generation of the needed data. Data required under the test orders will provide information to help EPA identify whether chemicals have the potential to interact with the estrogen, androgen, and/or thyroid hormone systems, which regulate growth, metabolism, development, and reproduction. This program, which has been developed through a multi-year research program and validated through a transparent technical review process, will eventually screen all pesticide chemicals. The data generated from the screens will provide robust and systematic scientific information that will help EPA identify and regulate as appropriate potential endocrine disrupting chemicals. Pre-publication copies of the Notices on the assays and test guidelines and the schedule are available at EPA's Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program Web site.

October 15
Proposed Registration Decision for Cold Pressed Neem Oil Open for Public Comment
Risk assessments and the proposed registration decision have been added to the docket for Cold Pressed Neem Oil (docket ID# EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-0996). Comments are due November 14, 2009.

October 14
Pesticide Registration Notice Available Announcing Establishment of the Antimicrobial Exposure Assessment Task Force II
EPA is announcing the availability of a Pesticide Registration Notice (PR Notice) regarding the formation of the Antimicrobial Exposure Assessment Task Force II (AEATF II). 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 (PR-2009-0337) provides information concerning the formation of an industry-wide task force to jointly develop mixer, loader, applicator and post-application exposure data for antimicrobial pesticides used in commercial, institutional, occupational, and consumer settings. EPA has established a docket for this action under docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0337.

EPA Releases Report to Congress: The Clean Diesel Program Protects Health and the Environment
EPA today released a report to Congress detailing the health, environmental and economic benefits of the agency’s Diesel Emission Reduction Program. The program, funded at $50 million last year, allowed EPA to fund the purchase or retrofitting of 14,000 diesel-powered vehicles and pieces of equipment, preventing respiratory illnesses and saving money in communities nationwide. The resulting benefits from the program include reducing 46,000 tons of nitrogen oxide, a key contributor to elevated smog levels, and 2,200 tons of particulate matter over the lifetime of diesel vehicles; conserving 3.2 million gallons of fuel annually under the SmartWay Clean Diesel Finance Program, which saves operators $8 million annually; and generating public health benefits between $500 million to $1.4 billion.

Three Clean Diesel Funding Opportunities Available From EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality
EPA is soliciting proposals nationwide for projects that reduce diesel emissions through a variety of diesel emission reduction strategies. Closing date for applications is December 8, 2009:

New Container Policy Reduces Pesticide Pollution and Waste
Under an interim policy announced today, retailers and distributors of pesticide products may be allowed to repair minor damage to pesticide containers. EPA developed the interim policy to ensure that such repairs are consistent with federal requirements for pesticide registration, production, and labeling. By allowing minor repairs to containers, the policy would enable products to be used as intended rather than being disposed of. The interim policy has very specific requirements, including an application and review process. Each applicant's “minor repair program” must receive specific approval from EPA for that individual proposal. For more information on the interim policy, please see EPA's Pesticide Container and Containment Web site.

Dichlorvos Docket Reopened for Review and Comment
EPA is opening an additional 30-day public comment period for the registration review of dichlorvos (DDVP). EPA established a registration review docket for DDVP (EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0209) and opened a 60-day public comment period for its registration review in the Federal Register issue of June 24, 2009. However, during this public comment period, the DDVP registration review docket was missing supporting documents listed in the "Reader's Guide to Dichlorvos (DDVP) Docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0209." The Agency has since included these supporting documents in the docket and has chosen to open an additional 30-day comment period for the public to review and comment on the registration review of DDVP. Comments must be received on or before November 13, 2009.

October 7
EPA Solicits Comments on Draft Exposure Factors Handbook: 2009 Update
EPA is announcing a 60-day public comment period for the external review draft document titled, "Exposure Factors Handbook: 2009 Update" (EPA/600/R-09/052A), which was prepared by the National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) within EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD). The Exposure Factors Handbook provides a summary of the available statistical data on various factors used in assessing human exposure. This Handbook is aimed at exposure assessors inside the Agency as well as those outside who use data on standard factors to calculate human exposure to toxic chemicals. These factors include: drinking water consumption; mouthing behavior; soil ingestion rates; inhalation rates; dermal factors, including skin area and soil adherence factors; consumption of fruits and vegetables, fish, meats, dairy products, and homegrown foods; breast milk intake; human activity factors; consumer product use; and residential characteristics. The draft document is available on the NCEA Exposure Factors Handbook 2009 Update Web page. Technical comments should be in writing and must be received by EPA by December 7, 2009.

Six New England Companies Settle with EPA for Pesticide Violations
Six New England companies that produce pesticide products recently settled with EPA for failing to properly submit annual production reports, as required by federal law. The law that governs pesticide use in the U.S., the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), requires pesticide manufacturers to submit annual production reports to EPA. An EPA review concluded that each of the six companies has failed to properly submit this information.

EPA Solicits Comments on Petition To Suspend the Registration of Rozol Prairie Dog Bait and Cancel Certain Application Sites
EPA is publishing for public comment a June 5, 2009 petition from World Wildlife Fund (WWF) available in docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0684, requesting that the Agency suspend the registration of the chlorophacinone product, Rozol Prairie Dog Bait (EPA Reg. No. 7173-286), and cancel certain application sites for the product. The primary basis for the petition is the potential effect of this product on non-target species, including certain predators and scavengers of the black-tailed prairie dog. Comments must be received on or before November 6, 2009.

FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel Meeting Scheduled To Discuss Re-evaluation of Atrazine
There will be an informational meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) to present the approach to re-evaluate atrazine. The meeting will be held on November 3, 2009 in Arlington, VA.

Rescheduled FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel Meeting on Pesticides Containing Nanoscale Materials
EPA issued a notice in the Federal Register of September 16, 2009, concerning a 4-day consultation meeting of the FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel to consider and review a set of scientific issues related to the assessment of hazard and exposure associated with nanosilver and other nanometal pesticide products. The meeting was originally scheduled to begin on November 3, 2009 at 8:30 a.m. The time for the November 3, 2009 meeting has been changed from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (eastern time). All of the other information concerning the November 3, as well as the November 4 - 6, 2009 meeting, remains the same.

EPA Issues Pesticides Brochure Highlighting Work To Ensure Public Health and Environmental Protection in Indian Country and Alaska Native Villages
As part of its agenda to protect tribes from pesticide exposure, EPA's National Pesticide Tribal Program has released a brochure entitled, "The National Pesticide Tribal Program: Achieving Public Health and Environmental Protection in Indian Country and Alaska Native Villages" (PDF) (19 pp, 2.3MB, About PDF). The brochure has an introduction by the Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, Steve Owens. It provides a snapshot of EPA’s work with tribes to attain the Agency's goal of helping protect human health and the environment by ensuring that pesticides and alternatives available in Indian country can be used according to label directions without causing unreasonable risks. Highlights of the brochure include case studies submitted by several tribes about pesticide regulatory agency collaborations and how grants, technical assistance and outreach help tribes with their pesticide safety programs which include the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in schools and in enforcement and compliance programs.

EPA Begins New Scientific Evaluation of Atrazine
EPA is launching a comprehensive new evaluation of the pesticide atrazine to determine its effects on humans. At the end of this process, the agency will decide whether to revise its current risk assessment of the pesticide and whether new restrictions are necessary to better protect public health. One of the most widely used agricultural pesticides in the U.S., atrazine can be applied before and after planting to control broadleaf and grassy weeds. EPA will evaluate the pesticide’s potential cancer and non-cancer effects on humans. Included in this new evaluation will be the most recent studies on atrazine and its potential association with birth defects, low birth weight, and premature births.

October 6
EPA Awards Over $200,000 to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry
EPA has awarded $236,811 to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF). The funds will be used by LDAF to administer a comprehensive and effective pesticides program. In addition to LDAF’s regulatory and enforcement programs, activities include applicator certification and training, worker protection, water quality, endangered species, and implementation of the new container/containment rule.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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October 6
National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center October Newsletter and Webcast Exit EPA
The October edition of the National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPELC) newsletter is available. Topics include: November Webcast: Air Quality Regulations Update; Feed Nutrient Management for Dairy Producers; EPA Finalizes Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule; and Events and Activities You Should Be Aware Of. The next live webcast, scheduled for October 16, 2009, is entitled “Managing Grazing Animals to Protect Water Quality.” It will include discussions on grazing animal behavior, stream bank management, and waterborne pathogens. Speakers are: Jim Russell, Steve Ensley, and Tom Isenhart, all of Iowa State University.

October 2
Brownfields Conference - November 16-18, 2009
The EPA Brownfields Program is cosponsoring the 13th National Brownfields Conference on November 16 - 18, 2009 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans LA. The National Brownfields Conference is the largest, most comprehensive conference in the nation focused on environmental revitalization and economic redevelopment. The Brownfields 2009 Conference will see stakeholders from community, planning, real estate, finance, and policy interests from across the nation converge to focus on brownfields cleanup, redevelopment, and a broad range of land revitalization solutions. Sessions on community gardens, urban farms, and compost are included in this free conference.

EPA Announces Settlement with Puerto Rico Department of Agriculture for Pesticide Misuse and Worker Protection Standard Violations
EPA recently settled with the Crop Protection Program of the Puerto Rico Department of Agriculture (PRDA). After three years of investigations conducted by EPA, in conjunction with partnering agencies, some of the program’s activities were found to be in violation of the federal pesticide law known as the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The program has agreed to make a number of improvements to meet worker protection requirements and to ensure that during commercial applications at farms throughout Puerto Rico, pesticides are used in a manner that is consistent with labeling requirements.

October 1
Unregistered and Misbranded Pesticide at Dairy Supply Leads to Guilty Plea and Sentence (PDF) (1 pg, 96K, About PDF)
A former owner of a Tulare, California dairy supply company pleaded guilty on Wednesday and was sentenced to three years probation, an $8,000 fine, and payment of a total of $37,595 in restitution, on three misdemeanor violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). This case was the product of an extensive investigation by the EPA's Criminal Investigation Division. According to the prosecuting attorney, the company produced, sold, and distributed a chlorine bleach product called “Liquid Sani” to dairies for use as a pesticide to sanitize and disinfect dairy equipment. FIFRA makes it a misdemeanor offense to distribute or sell a pesticide that has not been registered with EPA, to distribute or sell a misbranded pesticide, or to produce a pesticide at an establishment that has not been registered with EPA.

EPA Opens Transparency Window into Pesticide Registration Decisions
EPA is establishing a new transparent process that will allow the public to review and comment on risk assessments and proposed registration decisions for pesticides. This expanded process will apply to all new pesticide active ingredients and first food uses, first outdoor uses, and first residential uses. Starting October 1, 2009, for certain registration actions, EPA’s risk assessment and proposed decision will be added to the public docket and made available for a 30-day public comment period. Following the comment period, EPA will publish its decision and a response-to-comment document. By focusing public access on new pesticide ingredients and first food, outdoor, and residential uses, the public will have the opportunity to comment on all major new exposure patterns for pesticide registration.

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