Note: This information is provided for reference purposes only. Although the information provided here was accurate and current when first created, it is now outdated.
October 8, 1999
Status of OP Technical Briefings
Staff Paper #45
The Organophosphate Public Participation Process was modified early in 1999 to include a public meeting, called a Technical Briefing, on the refined risk assessments (see TRAC Briefing Paper #6 Update). The Technical Briefing, to be conducted by EPA with input from USDA, was included in the process to provide interested stakeholders with an opportunity to become more informed about the various aspects of the risk assessments. The Technical Briefings were scheduled at the end of phase 4 after the revised risk assessments were completed. The Technical Briefing also signaled the beginning of Phase 5 of the transparency process, where the revised risk assessments were released to the public for viewing and a 60-day public participation period was initiated on risk management. All revised risk assessments and related materials were made available via the Office of Pesticide Program's public docket and internet website.
Outcomes of Technical Briefings
To date four Technical Briefings have been held where details and methodology of risk assessments of eight organophosphates were discussed. The agenda included a slide presentation describing the risk assessment parameters, and executive summaries and chemical overviews summarizing EPA's findings were made available to the public. Those in attendance typically included representatives for industry, commodity associations and growers, and other non-governmental organizations. Briefings always included question and answer periods where participants were allowed to ask questions on any aspect of the presentation.
The Agency concluded that Technical Briefings would not be necessary for sulfotepp, cadusafos, ethion, and chlorethoxyfos (an organophosphate registered after 1984). The decision not to have a Technical Briefing for these organophosphates was based on the limited number and type of use patterns, low levels of risk concerns, or other factors. In cases where no Technical Briefing was held, EPA and USDA made a special effort to communicate with interested stakeholders. Communication efforts included meetings, conference calls, and meetings with interested stakeholders. Stakeholder Meetings typically allow EPA and USDA to tailor presentations of the revised risk assessments to the user group. In the case of ethion, a Stakeholder Meeting was held at the request of the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association. Minutes of the Stakeholder Meetings were placed in the docket.
The Agency believes that Technical Briefings have been beneficial to both the public and the Agency. The collective wisdom produced as a result of these interactions has helped insure sound decision-making. The Agency remains committed to the public participation process, and will ensure that the process remains fluid and flexible. The Agency will continue to encourage public participation by providing notice of Technical Briefings, and maintaining good communication with the stakeholder community. The Agency is organizing its efforts and resources to more efficiently incorporate public involvement as a result of the experience from past briefings and stakeholder meetings. The next stakeholder meeting is planned for October 13, 1999 and will include discussion of risk assessments for naled, fenthion, and temephos, which are all predominantly mosquitocides. The stakeholder meeting will be held in Florida among the stakeholder community most likely to be affected by Agency decisions.
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