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Pesticide News Story: EPA Releases for Public Comment Draft Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessments for Pesticide Registration Review

For Release: March 8, 2013

The EPA is releasing for public review and comment the first group of draft human health and ecological risk assessments in the pesticide registration review process as laid out in the agency’s proposed plan to increase stakeholder engagement in the registration review process.

This action reflects the EPA’s progress in moving from the early stage of registration review, in which new dockets are opened and work plans are established for pesticides beginning the process, to the later stage in which human health and ecological risk assessments are updated as needed and risk mitigation decisions are developed, with input from stakeholders and the public. Issuing the draft assessments supports the EPA’s overall program objective of completing the first cycle of registration review for over 700 pesticide cases by October 2022.

The EPA is requesting public comment on draft human health and ecological risk assessments for the registration review of five pesticides: cyromazine, dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate, glufosinate ammonium, silica silicates (silica dioxide and silica gel), and undecylenic acid. The draft assessments reflect the varying complexity of pesticides going through registration review.

Members of the public are invited to provide comments and suggestions for revising the draft assessments and reducing risks. Where risks are identified and opportunities for early mitigation exist, the agency may pursue those opportunities now, rather than waiting until registration reviews are completed. This process involves the public in more timely development of registration review decisions.

Because of the use patterns and toxicity profiles of dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate, silica silicates (silica dioxide and silica gel), and undecylenic acid, the EPA has conducted qualitative assessments of human health and ecological risks, including risks to federally listed threatened and endangered species. The agency is requesting comment to reduce uncertainties associated with the risk characterizations in the current assessments, including potential risks to listed species.

For cyromazine and glufosinate ammonium, in addition to recent human health risk assessments, the EPA has completed draft ecological assessments that include screening level evaluations of risks to listed species. Although the screening level assessments may show potential risks of direct effects to certain species, it is premature to make effects determinations for listed species until further refinements are made. During the next 60 days, EPA is requesting comments and suggestions for refining the draft, screening level assessments to reduce uncertainties in the characterization of risks to listed species.

Through the registration review program, EPA is reviewing all registered pesticides to ensure that they continue to satisfy the FIFRA standard for registration – that is, these pesticides can still be used without unreasonable adverse effects on human health and the environment. The agency intends to accomplish its work related to protection of endangered species through registration review.

To obtain and comment on EPA’s registration review draft risk assessments, visit the following pesticide-specific dockets at www.regulations.gov. The 60-day comment period closes May 6, 2013.

Cyromazine:  Docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0108
Dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate:  Docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-1006
Glufosinate ammonium:  Docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0190
Silica silicates (silica dioxide and silica gel):  Docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-1140
Undecylenic acid:  Docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0910

For further information, see EPA’s March 6, 2013, Federal Register Notice of Availability in docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0907 at www.regulations.gov.

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