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Pesticide News Story: Agreement Reached in UFW v. Johnson, Regarding Azinphos-methyl and Phosmet

For Release: January 31, 2006

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached a settlement with the United Farm Workers and the other public interest plaintiffs who brought a lawsuit against the Agency in January 2004 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington regarding the pesticides azinphos methyl (AZM) and phosmet. The suit alleged that the azinphos-methyl (AZM) and phosmet Interim Reregistration Eligibility Decisions (IREDs) were inconsistent with the requirements of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) because EPA did not appropriately consider the risks and benefits of these pesticides. The settlement agreement between EPA and the plaintiffs effectively stays this challenge pending EPA's reconsideration of the "time limited" uses of these pesticides, scheduled for reevaluation in 2006.

The Settlement Agreement was available for comment through January 19, 2006. One comment was received in support of the agreement. The Settlement Agreement establishes a time frame in which EPA will propose decisions on the re-evaluation of the ten AZM time-limited uses and the nine phosmet time-limited uses. By April 3, 2006, EPA will propose a decision on both the remaining ten AZM uses and the restricted-entry intervals for the nine phosmet time-limited uses. By August 3, 2006, EPA will determine whether to approve or deny the AZM registrants July 2004 applications to retain the remaining ten AZM uses and will determine whether the existing REIs for the nine time-limited phosmet uses should continue on products.

The Settlement Agreement and relevant documents are available electronically at http://www.regulations.gov in docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0061 for AZM and docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2002-0354 for phosmet. Additional information on AZM and phosmet, including a fact sheet explaining the settlement agreement, is available on EPAs reregistration website at http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/op/azm.htm and http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/op/phosmet.htm. For more information, contact Diane Isbell (isbell.diane@epa.gov) at 703-308-8154.


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