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 Also, please be aware that the information in any particular article may be outdated or superseded by additional information.

September 30
EPA Administrator Addresses Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Federal Advisory Committee
Today EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson addressed the newly-appointed members of the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Federal Advisory Committee (FRRCC) during their first official meeting since being appointed. The FRRCC is an independent committee established by EPA in 2008 that advises the agency on a wide range of environmental issues of importance to agriculture and rural communities. EPA also announced the new committee members who were appointed in May. This morning’s remarks highlighted Administrator Jackson’s ongoing efforts to engage American farmers and highlight opportunities for cooperation between the environmental and agricultural communities. Her speech follows EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe’s tour of Northern California farms last week, where he met with local farmers to see and discuss efforts from the agricultural sector to protect our nation’s natural resources.

EPA Issues Revised Edition of NPDES Permit Writers' Manual
EPA has issued a revised edition of the U.S. EPA NPDES Permit Writers' Manual (EPA-833-K-10-001), which provides a comprehensive overview of the basic framework of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program and serves as a principal training tool for new state and EPA permit writers. The revised NPDES Permit Writers' Manual has been thoroughly reviewed and updated to reflect current policy and guidance, address changes to the NPDES program, and include discussions of new EPA program areas, such as the Stormwater Phase II Rule, concentrated animal feeding operations, cooling water intake structures [i.e., Clean Water Act Section 316(b)], pesticide applications, and vessel discharges.

September 29
Notice of Public Meeting of the FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel
There will be a 1-day consultation meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) to consider and review scientific issues associated with pesticide exposure models and climate change. The purpose of the meeting is for the Agency to seek advice on models for predicting human and ecological exposures to pesticides that might be appropriate to account for the effects of climate change. The meeting will be held on December 7, 2010, from approximately 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Arlington, VA.

Notice of SFIREG Full Committee Public Meeting
The Association of American Pesticide Control Officials (AAPCO)/State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group (SFIREG), Environmental Quality Issues (EQI) Committee will hold a 2-day meeting, beginning on October 27, 2010, and ending October 28, 2010, in Arlington, VA. Tentative agenda topics include: SFIREG/EQI letter re: environmental and human health benchmarks; EPA use of monitoring data vs. use of modeling outputs in registration review process; Endangered Species--bulletins update, possible rulemaking procedure, new biological opinions; Bed bugs: "One State's Experience," EPA taskforce update, misuse of pesticide products, proposed next steps; Water quality Pesticide Regulatory Education Program (PREP) update; Water quality PREP--National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) discussions; NPDES permit update--rollout, feedback and comments, EPA responses, NPDES/FIFRA Workgroup meeting, next steps; Pesticide Of Interest Tracking System (POINTS) database-- reporting and use update; OPP and OECA updates; Office of Water updates--Drinking water strategy; Status of deleted and under-review pesticides (endosulfan, atrazine), pyrethoids and pyrethrins reevaluation, chlorpyrifos lawsuit, and usefulness to the states of Study Profile Templates for pesticide registration applications; and Canary software--detect intentional or unintentional contamination in drinking water systems.

September 28
EPA Issues Supplemental Determination for Renewable Fuels Produced Under the Final RFS2 Program From Canola Oil
On March 26, 2010, EPA published final changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program as required by the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007. In the preamble to the final rule, EPA indicated that it had not completed the lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions impact analysis for several specific biofuel production pathways but that this work would be completed through a supplemental final rulemaking process. This supplemental final rule describes a final GHG analysis for canola oil biodiesel. It also finalizes our regulatory determination that canola oil biodiesel meets the biomass-based diesel and advanced biofuel GHG reduction thresholds of 50% as compared to the baseline petroleum fuel it will replace, petroleum diesel. This final rules will allow producers or importers of canola oil biodiesel fuel to generate biomass-based diesel Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), providing that the fuel meets other definitional criteria for renewable fuel (e.g., produced from renewable biomass as defined in the RFS2 regulations, and used to reduce or replace petroleum-based transportation fuel, heating oil or jet fuel). In addition, this rule includes a new regulatory provision establishing a temporary and limited means for producers or importers of canola oil biodiesel to generate RINs for qualifying biofuel produced or imported between July 1, 2010, and the effective date of this rule.

September 27
Idaho Fish Farm Could Face Penalties up to $177,500 for Federal Clean Water Act Violations
Under a complaint filed by EPA, an Idaho fish farm could face a maximum penalty of up to $177,500 for allegedly violating the federal Clean Water Act over a five year period. From October 2005 through July 2010, EPA observed numerous violations of the farm's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits including: discharging pollutants without a permit for at least two months in 2005; failing to submit timely and/or complete Discharge Monitoring Reports from October 2005 through July 2010; failing to report quarterly sampling during the third quarter of 2006; failing to submit annual reports for 2008 and 2009; and exceeding permit limits for phosphorus during the months of October 2008 and January 2010. NPDES, as a self-reporting program, relies on accurate and timely reporting to ensure protection of water quality. $177,500 is the maximum administrative civil penalty allowed under the Clean Water Act. The NPDES permit program controls water pollution by regulating sources that discharge pollutants to waters in the United States.

September 24
EPA Issues Draft Chesapeake Bay Pollution Diet
EPA today released a draft Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), a mandatory “pollution diet” designed to restore the Chesapeake Bay and its vast network of streams, creeks and rivers. The Bay is a complex ecosystem and an economic engine for the region, supporting a variety of industries from fishing to tourism. The draft TMDL, which EPA is legally required to produce, sets limits on the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution discharged into the Bay and each of its tributaries by different types of pollution sources. It is designed to meet water quality standards that reflect a scientific assessment of the pollution reductions necessary to restore the health of the Bay ecosystem. The draft TMDL calls for 25 percent reductions in nitrogen and phosphorus and at least a 16 percent reduction in sediment to achieve a healthy Bay and local rivers. These reductions, which the science indicates are necessary to achieve a healthy watershed, would be achieved by a combination of federal and state actions. The release of the draft TMDL begins a 45-day public comment period that will include 18 public meetings in all six watershed states and the District of Columbia. A full public meeting schedule and the Draft TMDL, which contains evaluations of the plans and EPA adjustments for all seven jurisdictions, can be found at EPA's Chesapeake Bay TMDL website. Comments on the Draft TMDL must be submitted in writing to EPA on or before November 8, 2010.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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September 23
EPA Solicits Grant Applications To Support State-based Pesticide Incident Surveillance Efforts
The Office of Pesticide Programs is seeking proposals from state health agencies to support state-based pesticide incident surveillance efforts to better protect the health of those who may be exposed to pesticides through their occupations. By bolstering state-based pesticide illness surveillance programs, these Pesticide Incident Surveillance Program grants will improve our understanding of the health risks workers face and help create effective prevention strategies. We expect that $225,000 will be available for award in FY 2011. Eligibility in this competition is limited to state health agencies that will not be funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (FY 2011-2015 grants) to conduct pesticide surveillance. The funding opportunity announcement is available at the Grants and Partnerships Web page. Proposals are due by 5:00 PM Eastern Time on November 4, 2010.

September 22
EPA Amends Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Rule
This action amends the Final Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Rule to require reporters subject to the rule to provide: the name, address, and percentage ownership of their U.S. parent company(s); their primary North American Industry Classification System code(s) as well as all additional applicable North American Industry Classification System code(s); and an indication of whether or not any of their reported emissions are from a cogeneration unit. This final action also corrects an editorial error in revisions made to the General Provisions published earlier this year. The final rule is effective on November 22, 2010.

September 21
EPA Takes Action against Manheim Farm for Unpermitted Waste Discharges
EPA today announced that it has issued an Administrative Penalty Order in the amount of $6,000 to Manheim PA farm owners for illegally discharging pollutants from their farm to a nearby stream without a required Clean Water Act permit. On April 1, EPA inspected the farm that includes an egg-laying operation with approximately 36,000 hens. A dairy operation with about 80 dairy cows is present on the same property. The inspection determined the farm owners did not have a permit, but were discharging pollutants, including nitrogen and phosphorus from animal manure and milkhouse washwater into a tributary of Chickies Creek, a tributary of the Susquehanna River. On June 1, EPA ordered the farm owners to cease discharging pollutants to the waters, or obtain the required permits, and comply with the permits by implementing the required pollution reduction measures. The farm is located in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This action is part of the Agency’s multi-state, multi-media compliance and enforcement strategy to improve water quality in local waterways and the Bay. EPA will continue conducting inspections of farms in the Lancaster County area over the coming months.

EPA Revises Tool for Identifying Application Fees
The Pesticide Registration Improvement Renewal Act (PRIA 2) requires that pesticide registration application fees be increased by 5% effective October 1, 2010. Registration service fees are applicable to specified pesticide applications and tolerance actions. To help pesticide registration applicants identify and then pay the appropriate fee from among the 140 fee categories, EPA’s Fee Determination Decision Tree has been updated with the new fees. Using the tool, an applicant answers a series of questions, which will narrow the 140 categories to one to five possible choices. Until the evening of September 30, 2010, both the FY 2009/2010 Fee Determination Decision Tree and the FY 2011/2012 Decision Tree will be available. Applications received by the Office of Pesticide Programs mail room by close of business on September 30, 2010 will avoid this 5% increase.

September 15
Thirty-six Governments To Meet in Mexico on Greenhouse Gas Reductions, Clean Energy
EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson will join ministers from the Methane to Markets Partnership countries in Mexico City on Oct. 1. At the meeting, the United States will work with partner nations to encourage global action to reduce methane emission sources and identify possible additional resources to achieve this goal. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) that is 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in warming the atmosphere. The meeting, co-hosted by EPA and Mexico’s Ministry of Environment, will also celebrate the accomplishments of the partnership, which include supporting more than 300 methane emission reduction projects around the world. The projects, when fully developed, will reduce GHG emissions in an amount equivalent to annual emissions from 11.4 million cars. The ministers are expected to reaffirm their commitment to strong global action on methane for an additional five years. The Methane to Markets Partnership reduces GHG emissions by promoting cost-effective recovery and use of methane through global projects. Methane projects are also important because they provide new sources of clean energy, while improving air and water quality. Since 2004, the partnership has proven to be one of the most effective international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, growing from 14 to 36 country partners, representing nearly 70 percent of global methane emissions today. More than 1,000 public and private sector organizations have also signed on to date.

EPA Issues Technical Amendments to Pesticide Regulations
EPA is issuing technical amendments to change references in several sections of 40 CFR part 180. These changes are necessary because of a final rule which was issued in the Federal Register of June 8, 2005. That final rule made miscellaneous changes to 40 CFR part 180 to update generic provisions of EPA's procedural regulations relating to pesticide chemicals. The update was made necessary because of various changes made by the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996. This final rule is effective September 15, 2010.

Rescheduled Public Meeting of the FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel
EPA is issuing this notice to reschedule the 3-day meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) to consider and review the Chlorpyrifos Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic (PBPK/PD) Modeling linked to the Cumulative and Aggregate Risk Evaluation System (CARES). The meeting, originally scheduled for October 5-8, 2010, will be held on November 2-5, 2010, in Arlington VA.

September 13
Meeting of the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee
The Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee (FRRCC) will hold an open meeting on Thursday, September 30, 2010, from 8:30 a.m. (registration at 8 a.m.) until 6 p.m. and on Friday, October 1, 2010, from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, in Washington, DC. The purpose of this meeting is to advance discussion of specific topics of unique relevance to agriculture, such as approaches to addressing agricultural non-point source pollution, complex agricultural air issues, and environmental markets, in such a way as to provide thoughtful advice and useful insights to the Agency as it crafts environmental policies and programs that affect and engage agriculture and rural communities. A copy of the meeting agenda will be posted at the FRRCC website.

September 8
EPA Announces Public Meetings on Chesapeake Bay ‘Pollution Diet’
EPA is scheduled to hold 18 public meetings this fall to discuss the draft Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) – a strict “pollution diet” to restore local waters and the Chesapeake Bay. The Bay TMDL will set binding limits on nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment pollution throughout the 64,000-square-mile watershed to meet clean water standards for the Bay and its tidal tributaries and help restore local rivers and streams. The public meetings will be held across the six watershed states, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia and New York, and the District of Columbia from late September to early November. One meeting in each state will be accessible online via webinar. Complete information on the meetings, including venues, directions and webinar registration links, can be found on the Bay TMDL website.

EPA Launches New Online Discussion Forum for Pesticide Labeling
EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) has unveiled Enable the Label, an online discussion forum established to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas related to the labeling of pesticides. Initially, it will be used to facilitate a monthly discussion focusing on one or two chapters of the Label Review Manual. Each month several questions will be posed for discussion and participants are welcome to post their thoughts and ideas on the topics and provide feedback on any other subject covered in that month’s chapter. The goal is to improve the clarity and usefulness of the manual for its users -- primarily people who draft, review, or enforce labels in the field. Pesticide manufacturers and their representatives, State pesticide regulators, and pesticide users are expected to be interested in participating in EPA’s new Enable the Label online discussion forum.

National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center September Newsletter and Webcast Exit EPA
The September edition of the National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPELC) newsletter is now available. Topics include: Looking Forward to the October Webcast Double-Header - NAQSAT for Swine and Poultry; Live from the National Poultry Waste Management Symposium; New Videos on the LPELC YouTube Channel - Vegetative Environmental Buffers; Agriculture’s Role in Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Capture; SARE Farmer/Rancher grants; “Forecasting” the Fate of Fertilizer; International ASABE Symposium; and National Poultry Waste Management Symposium. The next webcast, scheduled for September 17, 2010 at 2:30 pm (Eastern), “Novel Approaches to Manure Application in No-Till,” will highlight the growing popularity of incorporating manure in no-till and forage systems. The speakers will discuss some of the latest research on air emissions and equipment for both liquid and solid manure. The webcast will be moderated by Doug Beegle, Pennsylvania State University. Speakers include USDA soil scientist Peter Kleinman and Cornell University associate professor Quirine Ketterings.

Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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September 1
NMFS Issues Biological Opinion for 12 OP Pesticides
EPA has received new a Biological Opinion from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) under the Endangered Species Act. This opinion relates to the potential effects from the application of products containing any of 12 organophosphate (OP) pesticides to federally listed threatened or endangered Pacific salmon and steelhead and their designated critical habitat. The 12 OPs addressed in this Biological Opinion are azinphos-methyl, bensulide, dimethoate, disulfoton, ethoprop, fenamiphos, methamidophos, methidathion, methyl parathion, naled, phorate, and phosmet. It provides a one-year time frame for implementation, like the November 2008 Biological Opinion for chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion, and the April 2009 Biological Opinion for carbaryl, carbofuran and methomyl. EPA will follow up by developing a plan explaining how the Agency will implement NMFS’ opinions. EPA remains committed to taking the necessary steps to protect threatened and endangered species from pesticide risks and using rigorous scientific information and methods to develop any necessary pesticide use limitations. The third Biological Opinion is available in the “Quick Resources” box on EPA’s Pesticides: Endangered Species Protection Program Web page.

Study Profile Templates Now Available on the Web
EPA requires applicants for pesticide registration to submit data to support their pesticide registration applications. These studies must be developed and conducted according to specific protocols. Study Profile templates are now available on the EPA website for use by applicants in submitting the results of these studies. The study profile templates describe the layout and scope of information that should be contained within a study profile and can serve as a guide for the preparation of study documents.

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