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Agriculture News 2016

We've selected these news releases, reports, and other documents from around EPA because they are of interest or direct importance to the environmental management or compliance efforts of the agricultural community.

December 20, 2016

EPA Prohibits 72 Inert Ingredients from Use in Pesticides
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking action to remove 72 ingredients from its list of ingredients approved for use in pesticide products.

Clostridium difficile – Guidance and Methods for Antimicrobial Efficacy Testing
EPA is announcing the availability for public comment of two proposed test methods and associated testing guidance for evaluating the effectiveness of antimicrobial pesticides against Clostridium difficile (C. diff). Comments will be accepted until February 20, 2017.

EPA Releases Guidance on a Voluntary Pilot Program to Reduce Animal Testing
EPA is announcing the start of a voluntary pilot program to evaluate the usefulness and acceptability of a mathematical tool that estimates the toxicological classification of a chemical, which is used in the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) and which is referred to as the GHS Mixtures Equation. This mathematical tool can be used as an alternative to acute animal oral and inhalation toxicity studies for pesticide formulations. EPA is now providing guidance on how pesticide companies can voluntarily submit data for the GHS Mixtures Equation Pilot Program.

December 15, 2016

EPA Takes Action to Prevent Poisonings from Herbicide
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing safety measures to stop poisonings caused by ingestion of the herbicide paraquat, which can also cause severe injuries or death from skin or eye exposure.

EPA files complaint against Syngenta for farmworker safety violations on Kauai
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has filed a complaint alleging that Syngenta Seeds, LLC violated numerous federal pesticide regulations meant to protect agricultural workers at its crop research farm in Kekaha, Kauai. EPA is seeking civil penalties of over $4.8 million for the violations.

December 12, 2016

EPA Finalizes Stronger Standards for Workers Who Apply Riskiest Pesticides
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing standards for applicators who apply restricted use pesticides that are not available for purchase by the general public, and require special handling.

December 9, 2016

Phosphoric Acid Manufacturing and Phosphate Fertilizer Production Risk and Technology Review
This action proposes amendments to the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for the Phosphoric Acid Manufacturing and Phosphate Fertilizer Production source categories. The proposed amendments are in response to two petitions for reconsideration filed by industry stakeholders on the rule revisions to NESHAP for the Phosphoric Acid Manufacturing and Phosphate Fertilizer Production source categories that were promulgated on August 19, 2015.

December 8, 2016

EPA’s National Assessment Finds Nutrient Pollution is Widespread in Lakes
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released the results of a national assessment showing that nutrient pollution is widespread in the nation’s lakes, with 4 in 10 lakes suffering from too much nitrogen and phosphorus.

EPA Highlights Importance of Updated Standards to Protect the Health of Puerto Rican Farmworkers
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck and Carmen Guerrero Pérez, the Director of the EPA’s Caribbean Environmental Protection Division, met with farmworkers, health specialists, rural extension officers, members of the agricultural sector, and professors and students from the University of Puerto Rico in Utuado at a meeting on Tuesday, November 29, to discuss stronger protections for farmworkers and pesticide handlers required by the recently updated Worker Protection Standard. EPA released new federal regulations in September 2015, which will go into effect in January 2017. 

December 7, 2016

EPA Places Restrictions on Pesticide Use to Protect Four Endangered and Threatened Species
EPA is placing geographically specific pesticide use restrictions on the use of eight gas cartridge products containing sodium and potassium nitrate, carbon and carbon dioxide, and sulfur to protect four endangered and threatened (listed) species in certain areas of the United States. These include the gopher tortoise, Hualapai Mexican vole, Mount Graham red squirrel, and Utah prairie dog. Gas cartridge products are used to control burrowing mammals.

EPA Clarifies Placement of Required First Aid Statements on Pesticide Product Labels
EPA is clarifying where first aid statements must be placed on pesticide product labels. First aid statements provide important information concerning appropriate first aid in the event of accidental exposure to a pesticide.

December 1, 2016

Draft Risk Assessments Now Open for Comment
EPA has released draft risk assessments for a number of pesticides, as part of the pesticide registration review process. The public comment period for the following draft risk assessments, is now open. The comment period will close January 30, 2017.

November 2016 Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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November 29, 2016

New EPA Guidance for Testing Pesticides Will Reduce Animal Testing
EPA is issuing guidance for requesting waivers of acute dermal toxicity testing requirements for pesticide formulations, which will lead to fewer animal tests for acute dermal toxicity for pesticides. Last March, EPA released a "Draft Retrospective Analysis for Waiving Acute Dermal Toxicity Tests for Pesticide Formulations," which included guidance for pesticide manufacturers to request waivers of acute dermal toxicity studies for formulations.

November 28, 2016

Guidance on Criteria for Extension of Exclusive Data Use and Minor Use Designation
EPA has added a document to our website to assist registrants with applying for an extension of the exclusive data use period. This guidance is intended to help pesticide registrants or applicants for registration by clarifying the criteria for a minor use to qualify for the extension. The guidance answers questions that a registrant may have during the application process.

November 23, 2016

EPA Finalizes Increase in Renewable Fuel Volumes
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today finalized increases in renewable fuel volume requirements across all categories of biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. In a required annual rulemaking, today’s action finalizes the volume requirements and associated percentage standards for cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel for 2017, and for biomass-based diesel for 2018.
 

November 18, 2016

EPA Extends Comment Period for Malathion Assessment
EPA is extending the public comment period for the draft malathion human health risk assessment.  The availability of the draft assessment for this organophosphate pesticide was originally announced on September 15, 2016.  The comment period will now close on December 21, 2016.
 

November 15, 2016

Scientific Advisory Panel to Meet on Cancer Potential of Glyphosate (rescheduled meeting) – Dec. 13-16
The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) will meet December 13-16, 2016, to consider and review a set of scientific issues being evaluated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding EPA's evaluation of the carcinogenic potential of the herbicide glyphosate. This is the meeting that was rescheduled from October 18-21, 2016.

November 10, 2016  

Updated Human Health Risk Analyses for Chlorpyrifos
EPA has revised the human health hazard assessment and drinking water exposure assessment for chlorpyrifos that supported our October 2015 proposal to revoke all food residue tolerances for chlorpyrifos. EPA has further analyzed watershed data from across the United States and characterized dietary exposure risk from drinking water residues in order to better understand the risk of chlorpyrifos exposure. EPA will make a final decision by March 31, 2017.

November 9, 2016  

EPA Registers Dicamba Formulation for Use on Dicamba Tolerant Crops
EPA is registering a dicamba formulation, Xtendimax™ with Vapor Grip™ Technology, which is specifically designed to have lower volatility, to control weeds in cotton and soybean crops genetically engineered to tolerate dicamba.

Rebroadcast of Public Symposium on Regulation of Plant-Incorporated Protectants – Register for November 18, 2016, Webinar
In September 2016, EPA held a public symposium on data that support registration of plant incorporated protectants (PIPs). The information from that symposium will be rebroadcast as a webinar on Thursday, November 18, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

November 8, 2016  

Two Florida Men Sentenced to Over Ten Years in Prison for Multi-State Biodiesel Fraud Scheme
Thomas Davanzo, of Estero, Florida, and Robert Fedyna, of Naples, Florida, were sentenced to 121 months and 135 months in prison, respectively, for their participation in a multi-state scheme to defraud biodiesel buyers and U.S. taxpayers by fraudulently selling biodiesel credits and fraudulently claiming tax credits, announced Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III of the Middle District of Florida.

November 3, 2016   

EPA Grant of More Than $277,000 Will Aid Arkansas State Plant Board Pesticide Program
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded the Arkansas State Plant Board (ASPB) $277,359 for implementing pesticide programs. The ASPB, part of the Arkansas Agriculture Department, has authority from EPA to regulate pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.

November 1, 2016  

EPA Re-affirms Decision on Enlist Duo for GE Crops and Proposes to Amend the Registration
Enlist Duo containing the choline salt of 2,4-D and glyphosate was first registered in 2014 for use in Genetically Engineered (GE) corn and soybean crops in certain states.  After granting the registration, the agency discovered that the registrant had made claims of synergy between the ingredients in the herbicide’s formula that had not been shared with EPA at the time of registration. We requested and received a court-ordered remand in January 2016, and then requested and received additional synergy data from the registrant

Final National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Pesticide General Permit for Point Source Discharges From the Application of Pesticides; Reissuance Exit
This notice announces issuance by all ten Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regions of the final 2016 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) pesticide general permit (PGP)--the “2016 PGP.'' The 2016 PGP, which has an effective date of October 31, 2016, replaces the existing permit (“2011 PGP'') that expires at midnight on October 31, 2016, and authorizes certain point source discharges from the application of pesticides to waters of the United States in accordance with the terms and conditions described therein.

November 2016 Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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October 31, 2016

EPA Grant of More Than $215,000 Will Aid Oklahoma’s Pesticide Program
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry a grant of $216,922 for implementing pesticide programs. The department has authority from EPA to regulate pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.

Register for November 15 Webinar on Developing a Comprehensive School IPM Plan
On Tuesday, November 15, EPA’s Center of Expertise for School IPM will offer a webinar titled Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan – Learn How to Develop a Comprehensive IPM Program. Like people, pests need food, water, and shelter to survive. Removing these elements, using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices, will help control existing pest infestations and reduce future invasions.

EPA grant will aid Eight Northern Indian Pueblo Council’s pesticide outreach
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded the Eight Northern Indian Pueblo Council $46,887 to support pesticide programs. The council provides technical assistance on environmental issues to tribes and pueblos in New Mexico. The funds will go to the council’s pesticide program to support research, development, monitoring, education, outreach, training, demonstrations and studies.

October 28, 2016

Two Puerto Rico Pesticides Applicators Resolve Violations Involving Illegal Use of Methyl Bromide Pesticides in Puerto Rico
The EPA has finalized legal settlements with two individuals, Miguel A. Merced Rivera and Reinaldo San Miguel, both certified pesticide applicators, and their respective pesticide application companies, Merced Exterminating Service, Corp. and Comejen Exterminating Corp., all of San Juan, Puerto Rico. The settlements resolve violations of the Clean Air Act and federal pesticides law (the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act), involving illegal applications of pesticides containing methyl bromide.

October 27, 2016

Updated Version of Pesticide Label Review Manual Chapter 1 Now Available
EPA has updated the Pesticide Label Review Manual (LRM)’s Chapter 1. This manual began as a guide for EPA label reviewers, and now it serves as a tool to assist EPA’s stakeholders in understanding the pesticide labeling process. The LRM is also useful in understanding approaches for how labels should generally be drafted.

October 26, 2016

EPA Region 7 Awards Environmental Education Grants Focusing on Wetlands and Sustainable Food Production
EPA Region 7 awarded three Environmental Education grants recently totaling more than $370,000, in conjunction with EPA’s Office of External Affairs and Environmental Education in Washington, D.C. The grants were awarded to the Board of Regents, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Neb.; National Audubon Society d/b/a Rowe Sanctuary, Gibbon, Neb.; and Eastern Iowa Community College District, Davenport, Iowa.

October 25, 2016

EPA Awards Environmental Education Grants to Oxbow Farm, Green River College, and Corvallis Environmental Center
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded environmental education grants to Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center in Carnation, Washington, Green River College in Auburn, Washington, and the Corvallis Environmental Center in Corvallis, Oregon. The grant funds will be used to provide kindergarteners with hands-on learning about growing and eating healthy food, help train college students in watershed outreach and restoration, and support energy and water science curriculum for middle school students.

October 19, 2016

EPA Extends Public Comment Period on Cleanup Plan for the Kerr-McGee Superfund Site in Jacksonville, Fla.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has extended the public comment period for the Proposed Cleanup Plan for the Kerr-McGee Superfund Site in Jacksonville, Florida. Written comments are due to be postmarked to EPA no later than midnight, Friday, November 11, 2016. Beginning in 1893, the Site was used to formulate, blend, package and distribute fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides by several companies, including Kerr-McGee.

October 17, 2016

EPA Protects Children from Pesticide Exposure at Pueblo of Acoma School
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fined a New Mexico company for improperly applying pesticides at the Sky City School in the Pueblo of Acoma. B&Y Pest Control had been contracted to address a prairie dog infestation at the school in June 2015. An EPA inspector found the company failed to use tamper-resistant bait stations to minimize exposure to children, pets and non-target pests, and used a restricted-use pesticide on tribal lands without a federal license, in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

October 14, 2016

EPA Issues Sulfoxaflor Registration for Some Uses
Following the decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to vacate the registration of sulfoxaflor, EPA has reevaluated the data supporting the use of sulfoxaflor and is approving a registration that meets all requirements of the court. Sulfoxaflor will now have fewer uses and additional requirements that will protect bees.

Scientific Advisory Panel Meeting on Glyphosate Postponed
EPA is postponing the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) meeting scheduled for October 18-21, 2016 due to recent changes in the availability of experts for the peer review panel. The SAP meeting on glyphosate is being postponed to later in 2016.

October 13, 2016

EPA Reaches Settlement with Agri Star Meat & Poultry, LLC, of Postville, Iowa, for Industrial Stormwater Violations
EPA Region 7 has reached an administrative settlement with Agri Star Meat & Poultry, LLC, of Postville, Iowa, to resolve industrial stormwater violations under the Clean Water Act. Under the settlement, Agri Star must comply with its industrial stormwater permit and pay a penalty of $43,000.

EPA Reaches Settlement with Albaugh, LLC, for Pesticide Violations in St. Joseph, Mo.
EPA Region 7 recently reached a settlement with Albaugh, LLC, concerning alleged Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) violations for misbranded pesticides. As part of the settlement, Albaugh has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $112,684 to the United States.

Deadline Extended: EPA Solicits Proposals for a Cooperative Agreement for Pesticide Applicator Education and Training
EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs is soliciting applications  from eligible recipients to provide financial assistance in carrying out pesticide applicator education and training activities. The deadline for applications has been extended from October 31 to December 21, 2016.

October 11, 2016

Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee Teleconference -- October 27th, 2016Exit
Under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, EPA gives notice of a teleconference meeting of the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee (FRRCC). The FRRCC is a policy-oriented committee that provides policy advice, information, and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on a range of environmental issues and policies that are of importance to agriculture and rural communities.

October 6, 2016

EPA settles with Pace International, LLC, over Clean Air Act violations on the Yakama Indian Reservation
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached a settlement in a case against Pace International LLC, (Pace) of Wapato, WA, for federal Clean Air Act violations that occurred within the Yakama Indian Reservation. According to the Company, Pace manufactures post-harvest fruit coatings such as vegetable waxes like carnauba, animal based waxes like shellac or mineral and synthetic waxes, which are used to protect fruit and vegetables for their farm to table journey. During the process of formulating these coatings, Volatile Organic Compounds are released to the atmosphere. VOCs are harmful if inhaled and can contribute to causing ground level ozone, another harmful air pollutant.

October 5, 2016

EPA Secures $165 Million Agreement with Occidental Chemical to Conduct the Work Needed to Start the Cleanup of the Lower Eight Miles of the Passaic River
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a legal agreement with Occidental Chemical Corporation, one of more than 100 parties identified as potentially responsible for contamination of the lower Passaic River, to perform engineering and design work needed to begin the cleanup of the lower 8.3 miles of the lower Passaic River.

EPA Offers Assistance to Help Rural Communities Revitalize Downtowns
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today invited rural communities to apply for planning assistance to develop strategies that help grow the economy and revitalize downtown neighborhoods. EPA is offering this assistance as part of Rural Advantage, a suite of federal economic development planning assistance programs for rural communities.

Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee; Notice of Public Meeting -- November 2-3 Exit
Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Office of Pesticide Programs is announcing a public meeting of the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) on November 2-3, 2016.

October 4, 2016

Two Proposed Test Methods and Guidance for Antimicrobial Efficacy Testing
EPA is announcing the availability for public comment of two proposed test methods and associated testing guidance for evaluating antimicrobial pesticides against two biofilm bacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus.

U.S. Files Complaint, Announces Settlement to Address Alleged Renewable Fuel Standard Violations by NGL Crude Logistics and Western Dubuque Biodiesel
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice today announced the filing of a complaint against NGL Crude Logistics, LLC and Western Dubuque Biodiesel, LLC and a settlement with Western Dubuque to address alleged violations of the Renewable Fuel Standard.

October 2016 Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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September 30, 2016

EPA Guidance on How to Comply with the Revised Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides
EPA in conjunction with the Pesticide Educational Resources Collaborative (PERC) Exit is making available a guide to help users of agricultural pesticides comply with the requirements of the 2015 revised federal Worker Protection Standard.

SmartLabel Pilot Enters Phase 3 Testing
EPA has initiated the third phase of the SmartLabel Pilot, an initiative to develop an electronic submission, storage, and query system for pesticide labels, including label content and product use pattern information.

September 28, 2016

EPA Finalizes $15 Million Additional Cleanup at former Pesticides Plant in Vineland, N.J.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has finalized modifications to its plan to clean up contaminated exposed sediment in the Blackwater Branch floodplain at the Vineland Chemical Company Superfund site in Vineland, N.J. As a result of previous operations by the chemical company at the site, the groundwater, soil and sediment are contaminated with arsenic.

Comment Period for Sulfonylurea Herbicides Extended
EPA has re-opened the comment period on the proposed interim decision for 22 sulfonylurea herbicides. The comment period will be open until November 14, 2016.

September 27, 2016

EPA Solicits Proposals for a Cooperative Agreement for Pesticide Applicator Education and Training
EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs is soliciting applications from eligible recipients to assist in carrying out pesticide applicator education and training activities. This work supports implementation of EPA’s Certification and Training Rule, which aims to reduce the risk of pesticide poisoning and injury among handlers, applicators, bystanders and the public.

September 26, 2016

EPA Takes Action to Stop Manure and Wastewater from Entering the Rio Culebrinas in San Sebastian, Puerto Rico
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a legal order directing the Vaquería La Josefina Dairy Farm to stop wastewater from flowing from a manure storage lagoon on the farm into a nearby creek that is a tributary of the Río Culebrinas. A recent investigation by the EPA revealed that the company had violated the Clean Water Act, when it discharged wastewater from its facilities. The Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority operates two drinking water intakes downstream from the Vaquería La Josefina Dairy Farm.

September 22, 2016

U.S. EPA requires San Joaquin Valley ag company to safely manage pesticides
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a settlement with Mid Valley Agricultural Services, Inc., over misbranded and improperly stored agricultural pesticides. The chemical and fertilizer retailer has agreed to pay $76,240 in civil penalties and is now in compliance with the law.

September 21, 2016

EPA Grants Extension of Experimental Use Permit for ‘Wolbachia Mosquito’
EPA has approved and expanded an existing experimental use permit (EUP) for Wolbachia pipientis-infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Wolbachia are naturally occurring bacteria commonly found in most insect species, but not in the Aedes aegypti.

EPA Proposed Plan Meeting Scheduled for the Kerr-McGee Superfund Site in Jacksonville, Fla. - Public meeting Sep. 28 6:00 to 8 pm 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 from 6:00 pm to 8 pm to review the Proposed Cleanup Plan for the Kerr-McGee Superfund Site in Jacksonville, Fla. Beginning in 1893, the Site was used to formulate, blend, package and distribute fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides by several companies, including Kerr-McGee.

September 20, 2016

Two Greenwich, Conn. Students Gain White House Recognition for Environmental Project
Two students from Greenwich, Conn., were recognized recently by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the White House Council on Environmental Quality for their outstanding contributions to environmental education and stewardship. Two seniors at the Covenant of the Sacred Heart School, won the award for their Plant Phenoms project, which tackled the environmental concern of traditional fertilizers contributing to water pollution and developed an eco-friendly plant food called Nutrasafe.

September 16, 2016

EPA Settles with Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC for alleged Multi-Regional Violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced a multi-region settlement with Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC (Syngenta) in Greensboro, N.C., for alleged violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Syngenta will pay $766,508 in civil penalties and spend $436,990 to perform a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP).

Scientific Advisory Panel to Meet on Cancer Potential of Glyphosate
The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) will meet October 18-21, 2016, to consider and review a set of scientific issues being evaluated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding EPA's evaluation of the carcinogenic potential of the herbicide glyphosate. 

EPA Announces Over $4.6 Million in Grants for Coastal Watersheds in Southeast New England 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $4,637,000 for eight grants focused on coastal watershed efforts in southeast Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The projects selected for grant funding are intended to identify, test, and promote effective new regional approaches in critical areas such as water monitoring, watershed planning, nutrient and/or septic management, and resilience to climate change.

September 15, 2016

EPA Draft Malathion Human Health Assessment Available
EPA is making the draft malathion human health risk assessment available. For this draft risk assessment, EPA considered exposures from all sources, including food, drinking water, and insect sprays.  In addition, EPA considered all populations including infants, children, and women of child-bearing age.

September 14, 2016

EPA awards $2.7 million to American Samoa for environmental protection
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a grant of over $2.7 million to American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency for its environmental protection programs. The programs include educating farmers on proper pesticide application techniques, and eliminate illegal importation and use of unregistered/foreign pesticides.

September 12, 2016

EPA Finalizes $8.7 Million Cleanup Plan for Contaminated Soil in Vineland, N.J. near Former Pesticides Manufacturing Facility
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has finalized an $8.7 million plan to clean up contaminated soil at approximately 57 residences that are impacted by the Former Kil-Tone Company site in Vineland, N.J. Pesticides were manufactured at the now defunct Kil-Tone Company facility, and soil at the site, including soil in the yards of nearby homes, is contaminated with arsenic and lead.

September 7, 2016

EPA adds Columbia Falls Aluminum Company site to Superfund list
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will add the Anaconda Aluminum Company’s Columbia Falls Reduction Plant site, also known as the Columbia Falls Aluminum Company (CFAC) site, in Columbia Falls, Montana, to the National Priorities List (NPL) on September 9, 2016. The CFAC plant created significant quantities of spent potliner material, a federally listed hazardous waste, as a byproduct of the aluminum smelting process. Other contaminants of potential concern at the site include various metals, organic compounds, hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyl compounds, and pesticides. 

September 2, 2016

New EPA Guidance for Antimicrobial Pesticide Products to Combat Emerging Viral Pathogens
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has revised the emerging viral pathogens guidance for the claims that can be made for EPA-registered disinfectant products intended to combat emerging viral pathogens. This document provides general guidance that can be used to identify effective disinfectant products for use against emerging viral pathogens and to permit registrants to make limited claims of their product's efficacy against such pathogens.

September 1, 2016

EPA Kicks Off Fifth Annual Campus RainWorks Challenge
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched its fifth annual Campus RainWorks Challenge, a competition for college and university students to design innovative solutions for our nation’s water infrastructure. Using their campuses as labs, teams develop green infrastructure systems to reduce stormwater pollution and build resilience to climate change. Since 2012, more than 420 student teams have participated in the challenge.

September 2016 Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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August 25, 2016

EPA and Partners Emphasize Children’s Environmental Health at Annual Conference
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) and the Southwest Center for Pediatric Environmental Health brought together healthcare workers, environmental experts and community leaders from the U.S. and Mexico for this year’s Children’s Environmental Health Symposium. The event, also sponsored by EPA’s US-Mexico Border program, the Border Environmental Cooperation Commission and the “Strong Cities, Strong Communities” White House initiative, highlighted health challenges for children living in the border area.

August 24, 2016

EPA Settlement with Central Missouri AGRIService to Address Clean Water Act Violations at Construction Site in Marshall, Mo.
EPA Region 7 has reached a proposed settlement with Central Missouri AGRIService, LLC, concerning alleged Clean Water Act violations associated with construction of a railroad loop track and grain loading facility in Marshall, Mo. As part of the settlement, Central Missouri AGRIService has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $166,914 to the United States.

Public Symposium on Regulation of Plant-Incorporated Protectants – September 29th from 9 am to 5 pm
EPA’s Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division will hold a public symposium on Thursday, September 29, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on the data that support the registration of plant-incorporated protectants (PIPs).

Obama Administration to Help Appalachian Communities Revitalize Downtowns through Broadband Service
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announced the selection of 10 communities in six states that will participate in the Cool & Connected planning assistance program, an innovative initiative to help people use broadband service for downtown revitalization and economic development.

EPA awards over $2.4 million to Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded $2.4 million to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands’ Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality (BECQ) for its environmental programs to protect human health and the environment.

August 23, 2016

Tribal Pesticide Program Council Meeting – October 4-5, 2016
The Tribal Pesticide Program Council (TPPC) will meet on October 4-5, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Pacific Standard Time in Pauma Valley, California. Tentative agenda topics include a discussion on the status of pesticides in Indian country; updates on regional tribal activities; and discussions on other topics.

August 18, 2016

Puerto Rico Pesticides Distributors Agree To Come into Compliance with Federal Law and Provide Training To Settle Case Involving Illegal Sale of Methyl Bromide Pesticides In Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
Under a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, two pesticide distributors, Superior-Angran LLC and Superior Angran Caribbean Inc. of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, will come into compliance with the Clean Air Act and federal pesticides law.

EPA Highlights Importance of Updated Standards to Protect the Health of New York Farmworkers
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck was joined by Peter Ten Eyck, President of Indian Ladder Farms to discuss stronger protections for farmworkers and pesticide handlers required by the recently updated Worker Protection Standard.

August 16, 2016

EPA and DOT Finalize Greenhouse Gas and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Heavy-Duty Trucks
Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) jointly finalized standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles that will improve fuel efficiency and cut carbon pollution, while bolstering energy security and spurring manufacturing innovation. The final phase two standards were called for by President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, and respond to the President’s directive in early 2014 to develop new standards that run into the next decade.

August 12, 2016

Court Approves Settlement, Bayer CropScience to Enhance Safeguards at Chemical Facilities for Violations at W.Va. Plant
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia approved the settlement that requires Bayer CropScience LP to pay $5.6 million for a penalty and safety improvements to resolve violations of federal chemical accident prevention laws, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice announced today.  The violations occurred at Bayer’s facility in Institute, W. Va., where a 2008 explosion killed two people.

August 11, 2016

EPA Urges the Public to Comment on Proposal to Remove Jackson Steel Property in Mineola, N.Y. from Superfund List
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed deleting the Jackson Steel Superfund site in Mineola, N.Y. from the federal Superfund list of most hazardous waste sites. A cleanup of contaminated soil and groundwater contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pesticides and metals has been completed and the site no longer poses a threat to public health and the environment.

August 9, 2016

EPA Awards $750,000 for air monitoring project on Hawaii Island
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $750,000 grant to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, Mass. to develop a volcanic smog network of low cost air pollution sensors on Hawaii Island, Hawaii. MIT will create the Hawaii Island Volcanic Smog Sensor Network to track air quality changes caused by the emissions from the Kilauea volcano that impact health and agricultural crops.

August 8, 2016

EPA awards over $3 million to Guam for environmental protection
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is awarding over $3 million to Guam for work to protect human health and the environment. The funding will enable the Guam Environmental Protection Agency (GEPA) to continue a host of ongoing environmental programs including improving pesticide management to educate farmers on proper application techniques and eliminate illegal importation and use of unregistered pesticides.

August 2, 2016

EPA Report Tracks our Changing Climate
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released a report that shows compelling and clear evidence of long-term changes to our climate, and highlights impacts on human health and the environment in the United States and around the world. The report, Climate Change Indicators in the United States, features observed trend data on 37 climate indicators, including U.S and global temperatures, ocean acidity, sea level, river flooding, droughts and wildfires.

August 2016 Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates 

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July 28, 2016

Final National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permit for Discharges From Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations in New Mexico
The Director of the Water Quality Division, EPA Region 6, provides notice of reissuance of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit No. NMG010000 for existing and new dischargers in New Mexico, under the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) Point Source Category and producing Horses, Dairy Cows, and Cattle other than Veal Calves, except those discharges on Indian Country.

July 27, 2016

EPA Highlights Importance of Updated Standards to Protect the Health of New Jersey Farmworkers
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck was joined by Denny Doyle from Atlantic Blueberry Company; Assistant Commissioner of Compliance and Enforcement Ray Bukowski from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection; and NJ Farm Loan Manager Ellen Schmidt from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to discuss stronger protections for agricultural workers and pesticide handlers required by the recently updated Worker Protection Standard. EPA finalized new federal regulations in September 2015, which will go into effect in January 2017.

July 26, 2016

Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel; Notice of Public Meeting – Meetings will be held October 18-21
There will be a 4-day meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) to consider and review a set of scientific issues being evaluated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding EPA's evaluation of the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate, a non-selective, phosphonomethyl amino acid herbicide registered to control weeds in various agricultural and non-agricultural settings.

July 22, 2016

EPA Proposes Expanded Cleanup for Old Pesticide Plant in Vineland, N.J. – Public Meeting Aug. 8
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed modifications to its plan to clean up contaminated exposed sediments in the Maurice River and Blackwater Branch at the Vineland Chemical Company Superfund site in Vineland, N.J. As a result of previous operations by the chemical company at the site, the groundwater, soil and sediment are contaminated with arsenic.

July 21, 2016

Virginia Dairy Settles With EPA on Alleged Environmental Violations
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that Sunshine Pride Dairy, Inc. will pay a $179,074 penalty to settle alleged federal environmental violations at its former cheese processing facility in Winchester, Va.  The dairy shut down cheese processing operations in December 2011, but left anhydrous ammonia, a hazardous substance, stored in its refrigeration system with only a skeleton maintenance crew at the facility.

July 20, 2016

Updated Work Plan for United States – Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council
The updated Work Plan for the US – Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) is now available online. Established in 2011, the RCC is a regulatory partnership between the US and Canadian governments that is focused in 4 key sectors: agriculture & food, health & consumer products, transport, and the environment. EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) and Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) coordinate pesticide activities on the RCC Work Plan to promote economic growth, job creation, and benefits to consumers and businesses through increased regulatory transparency and coordination.

July 18, 2016

EPA Issues Stop-Sale Order to PuriCore, Inc. To Protect Public from Unregistered Pesticide in Supermarkets
PuriCore Inc. of Malvern, Pa. has paid a $550,000 penalty for the unauthorized distribution of two pesticide products that were used in supermarkets nationwide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today.

EPA, Goodrum Farm CR314, LLC Reach Settlement on Clean Water Act Violations
EPA Region 7 has reached a proposed administrative settlement with Goodrum Farm CR314, LLC, in Butler County, Mo., to resolve violations of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA). As part of the settlement, the company has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $15,000.

July 13, 2016

EPA Proposes Soil Cleanup Plan in Vineland, N.J. at Former Pesticides Manufacturing Facility – Public meeting August 2nd at 7pm
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a plan to clean up contaminated soil at approximately 57 residences that are impacted by the former Kil-Tone Company site in Vineland, N.J. Pesticides were manufactured at the now defunct Kil-Tone Company facility, and groundwater and soil at the site, including soil in the yards of nearby homes, are contaminated with arsenic and lead.

July 6, 2016

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Environmental Protection Agency Urge Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to Consider Aerial Spraying as Part of Integrated Mosquito Control to Reduce Zika-Associated Birth Defects
Acting on data from multiple scientific studies in Puerto Rico that show that Zika is spreading rapidly and is a major risk to pregnant women and their fetuses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommend the people and the government of Puerto Rico consider implementing aerial spraying as part of an integrated mosquito control program.

July 1, 2016

U.S. EPA Proposes Greater Protection from Selenium in San Francisco Bay and Delta
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a federal Clean Water Act rule to tighten the current selenium water quality criteria for the waters of San Francisco Bay and Delta. The proposed change would better protect aquatic species, including salmon, smelt, and diving ducks, that are dependent on the Bay and Delta ecosystem, from harmful exposure to elevated levels of selenium.

July 2016 Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates 

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June 30, 2016

Plant-Incorporated Protectants: Proposed Modification of Registration Procedures for Plant-Incorporated Protectants in Breeding Line Intermediates; Notice of Availability
EPA is making available for comment a White Paper describing how the Agency is proposing to modify its current approach to plant-incorporated protectants (PIPs) in breeding line intermediates (BLIs) under Section 3, Registration of Pesticides, of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). A PIP is a type of pesticide intended to be produced and used in a living plant, or the produce thereof. A BLI is an intermediate used in plant breeding to bring together, or “stack,” two or more PIPs that have each been individually engineered into different lines of a seed propagated plant. These proposed changes are intended to bring efficiencies to the Agency's approach to PIPs in BLIs while not reducing EPA's ability to ensure that PIPs in BLIs meet the requirements of FIFRA.

June 28, 2016

EPA settles with Nevada companies for selling unregistered, misbranded pesticide
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that two companies based in Sparks, Nev., WellPlant, Inc. and its affiliate GST International, Inc., have agreed to pay a $12,000 penalty to resolve allegations that the companies distributed and sold to consumers an unregistered and misbranded pesticide, “Mold Manager,” throughout the United States.

June 24, 2016

EPA Settlement with Owner of Fertilizer Plant in Culbertson, Neb., to Resolve Risk Management Program Issues
The owner of an agricultural fertilizer plant in southwest Nebraska has agreed to comply with federal Risk Management Program (RMP) requirements as part of a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) related to its storage and use of large quantities of anhydrous ammonia.

June 23, 2016

EPA Helps Restore Santa Clara Creek
The Santa Clara Pueblo of New Mexico is implementing a non-point source pollution program to restore the Santa Clara Creek water shed. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded $99,344 to the Pueblo to construct 300 rock barrier dams and install flow modification structures to reduce sediment and nutrient loading into the creek.

June 22, 2016

U.S. EPA Fines Fresno Pesticide Distributor for Failure to Properly Label High-Risk Pesticide
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a settlement with Snowden Enterprises, Inc., over the distribution of a misbranded restricted use pesticide. The firm, located in Fresno, Calif., has agreed to pay $34,320 in civil penalties, and has corrected all the identified compliance issues.

June 21, 2016

Antimicrobial Data Requirements Training Videos, 40 CFR Part 158W
EPA is releasing five training videos providing guidance on EPA’s 40 CFR Part 158W data requirements for antimicrobial pesticides. EPA is offering these training videos to help the public and the pesticide industry better understand the pesticide registration process and to make the process more efficient and transparent.

June 17, 2016

EPA Releases Final Phosphorus Limits for Vermont Segments of Lake Champlain
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is establishing the final Phosphorus Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for the twelve Vermont segments of Lake Champlain. Too much phosphorus pollution is reaching Lake Champlain primarily from the streams and rivers draining into it. The primary concern is polluted runoff – rainwater or snowmelt that drains off of parking lots, roads and streets, logging roads, farm fields and croplands, and lawns. The runoff carries pollutants – sediment, nutrients such as phosphorus that are naturally present in soils, pet and animal wastes, fertilizers, and other pollutants – and deposits these pollutants into streams and rivers or directly into Lake Champlain. Long-term trends since 1990 indicate that phosphorus concentrations in several segments continue to increase.

Evaluations of Chesapeake Bay Restoration Efforts Show Progress and Remaining Challenges in Reducing Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Sediment Pollution
EPA released its evaluations of restoration efforts by the six Bay states and the District of Columbia in 2014 and 2015, as part of the blueprint to restore the Chesapeake Bay.  These two-year milestone evaluations, which look at short-term commitments and actions, assess progress toward restoration goals under the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (Bay TMDL) accountability framework.

June 16, 2016

EPA: $1 Million Available for Tribes to Clean Up Diesel Engines
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced the availability of $1 million in grant funding for tribal applicants to establish clean diesel projects. Under this grant competition, applicants may request up to $800,000 in federal funding.

June 15, 2016

Updated Method for Establishing Economic Minor Use Available for Comment
EPA has issued a draft Pesticide Registration Notice (PRN) that proposes to clarify and update criteria by which EPA classifies crops as “minor use.”  FIFRA 2(ll)(2) defines a minor use as one that does not provide “sufficient economic incentive.”

June 14, 2016

Scheduled Website Maintenance Will Impact Pesticide Submission Portal July 4th Weekend
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Central Data Exchange Network (CDX) will be offline the evening of Friday, July 1, through 6:00 AM Tuesday, July 5, 2016, as a result of scheduled maintenance. While CDX is offline for maintenance, applicants will be unable to create or electronically submit applications through EPA’s Pesticide Submission Portal. The portal will be available after 6:00 AM on Tuesday, July 5.

June 13, 2016

EPA Honors Winners of the 2016 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is recognizing landmark green chemistry technologies developed by industrial pioneers and leading scientists that turn climate risk and other environmental problems into business opportunities, spurring innovation and economic development. Dow AgroSciences, LLC of Indianapolis, Ind. is being recognized for developing and commercializing Instinct®, an additive that reduces fertilizer nitrate leaching ground and surface waters. It also reduces atmospheric nitrous oxide emissions.

Assessing Risks to Endangered and Threatened Species from Pesticides; 5th Interagency Workshop on Joint Interim Approaches to NAS Recommendations – June 29 and 30, 2016
On June 29 and 30, 2016, EPA and its federal partners, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, will hold a two-day workshop. This workshop will offer a forum for stakeholder suggestions for refining some of the interim scientific methods used in the recently released draft Biological Evaluations (BEs) for three pilot chemicals: chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion. These BEs are the first nationwide endangered species risk assessments.

June 10, 2016

Tribal Pesticide Program Council Meeting – June 21 and 22, 2016
The Tribal Pesticide Program Council (TPPC) will meet on June 21-22, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., (Mountain Standard Time) in Flagstaff, Arizona. Tentative agenda topics include a presentation on the Navajo Nation Pesticide Program and updates on regional tribal activities.

June 7, 2016

Draft Guidance on Managing Pesticide Resistance
EPA has made available for a 60-day comment period two draft Pesticide Registration Notices (PR Notices) that are aimed at combating pesticide resistance. The first PR Notice (PR Notice 2016-X) is titled "Draft Guidance for Pesticide Registrants on Pesticide Resistance Management Labeling" and the second PR Notice (PR Notice 2016-XX) is titled "Draft Guidance for Herbicide Resistance Management Labeling, Education, Training, and Stewardship." The comment period for each closes on August 2, 2016.

June 2, 2016

EPA Releases Draft Triazine Ecological Risk Assessments for Comment
EPA is releasing the draft ecological risk assessments for atrazine, propazine and simazine, which evaluate risks to animals and plants including, amphibians, birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, aquatic invertebrates, aquatic plant communities, and terrestrial plants. All three pesticides are in the triazine class of pesticides.

June 2016 Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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May 31, 2016

EPA, Organic Resource Management, Inc., and St. Louis Composting Inc., Reach Settlement on Clean Water Act Violations
EPA Region 7 has reached a proposed settlement of Clean Water Act violations by Organic Resource Management, Inc. (ORMI), and its parent company, St. Louis Composting, Inc. As part of the settlement, the companies have agreed to pay a cash penalty of $24,000, perform a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) projected to cost the company $36,000, and retain a consultant to conduct compliance audits at its other facilities.

May 24, 2016

EPA takes action to protect agricultural workers in Nevada
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fined Moana Nursery in Reno, Nev. $2,640 and issued a warning to Genoa Trees and Landscape Materials of Minden, Nev. for violating federal pesticide worker safety laws. These actions are part of a larger effort focused on the enforcement of requirements that protect farm and nursery workers from the risk of illness due to pesticide exposure.

May 23, 2016

EPA and PMRA to Release New Harmonized Product Chemistry Templates
Under the umbrella of the United States -Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) workplan (PDF), Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) and the United States' Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have developed harmonized product chemistry templates for use by registrants when submitting pesticide registration packages.  The templates are based on the OECD format but have been streamlined to address a single product/application and will facilitate the review of product chemistry data for global and joint registrations, as well as other actions.  EPA and PMRA encourage applicants to begin using these templates to organize and summarize the product chemistry data for each product and/or registration package submitted to the corresponding regulatory agency.

May 18, 2016

EPA Proposes Increase in Renewable Fuel Levels
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today proposed increases in renewable fuel volume requirements across all types of biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. The proposed increases would boost renewable fuel production and provide for ambitious yet achievable growth.

May 17, 2016

EPA Seeks Comment on Proposal to Register the Insecticide Sulfoxaflor for Reduced Use

Following the decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, EPA has reevaluated the data supporting the use of sulfoxaflor and is now proposing to approve an amended registration with fewer uses and additional requirements that will protect bees.

May 12, 2016

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency today announced a $6 million agreement with the Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative to resolve Clean Water Act violations at its processing facility near Renville, Minn. The company manufactures refined sugar, liquid sugar and other products from sugar beets. The Renville facility produces over 475,000 tons of sugar, 100,000 tons of dried and pelleted pulp and 10,000 tons of molasses from some 3 million tons of sugar beets.

May 6, 2016

Requests for Proposals for Two Cooperative Agreements for Pesticide Safety Projects to be Re-Issued Soon

EPA will soon be re-issuing requests for grant applications (RFAs) for cooperative agreements to support pesticide safety activities, specifically for “Field Implementation Meeting Support” and “Funding Distribution for Pesticide Safety Education Programs.” These grants support essential elements of EPA, state regulatory agencies and state extension services activities in communication and implementation efforts related to the revised agricultural worker protection regulation and the soon-to-be revised pesticide applicator certification regulation.

In accordance with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), EPA is issuing a notice of receipt of requests by registrants to voluntarily cancel certain pesticide registrations and amend one pesticide registration. The amendment request would delete the following uses of MGK 264: Outdoor ground applications (tall grass, shrubbery, around lawns, corrals, feed lots, swine lots, zoos); and direct applications to beef cattle, dairy cattle, and horses.

May 5, 2016

EPA has received specific exemption requests from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA), the Arkansas State Plant Board (ASPB) and the Mississippi Departments of Agriculture and Commerce (MDAC) to use the pesticide sulfoxaflor (CAS No. 946578-00-3) to treat up to 168,750 acres of cotton in Tennessee, up to 320,000 of acres of cotton fields in Arkansas and up to 337,500 acres of cotton fields in Mississippi to control tarnished plant bug.

May 4, 2016

U.S. EPA Requires Ag Chemical Firm to Safely Manage Pesticides

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a settlement with Southern Valley Chemical Company over improperly stored, and incorrectly labeled agricultural pesticides at its facility in Arvin, Calif. The firm, a pesticide re-packager and distributor, has agreed to pay $34,900 in civil penalties, and has corrected all identified compliance issues.

May 3, 2016

Expanding Opportunities for Minor Crops: Final Rule to Revise Crop Grouping
EPA is finalizing a rule to revise the pesticide crop grouping regulations that allow the establishment of tolerances for groups of related crops. The final rule will expand the number of crops that can have tolerances established and thus will allow minor use growers a wider choice of pest control tools including lower-risk pesticides, to be used on minor crops, both domestically and in countries that import food to the United States.

May 2, 2016

Updated Registration Review Schedule Now Available

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released an updated schedule for the Pesticide Registration Review program, covering planned draft risk assessments, proposed interim decisions, and interim decisions for antimicrobials, biopesticides and conventional chemicals through the end of the 2016 fiscal year.

May 2016 Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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April 29, 2016

EPA Report: Diesel Engine Grants Program Nets Major Air, Public Health Benefits

Clean diesel grants aimed at cleaning up old diesel engines have greatly improved public health by cutting harmful pollution that causes premature deaths, asthma attacks, and missed school and workdays, according to a new report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Since its start in 2008, the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) program has significantly improved air quality for communities across the country by retrofitting and replacing older diesel engines.

April 28, 2016

EPA Grant Helps New Mexico Manage Pesticides

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $261,033 to the New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s pesticide program. The grant will help fund activities including pesticides enforcement, certification and training, worker protection, proper pesticides containment, and protecting water quality and endangered species.

EPA Extends Comment Period on Proposed Decision to Register Dicamba for Use on Genetically-Engineered Crops

In response to requests, the EPA is extending for an additional 30 days the public comment period on the proposed regulatory decision to register dicamba to control weeds in cotton and soybean genetically engineered (GE) to tolerate dicamba. Public comments on the Agency’s proposed regulatory decision must be submitted no later than May 31, 2016. Comments may be submitted to the EPA docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0187 at www.regulations.gov.

April 26, 2016

Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee – Open Meeting May 25th and 26th

Under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92-463, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gives notice of a meeting of the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee (FRRCC). The FRRCC is a policy-oriented committee that provides policy advice, information, and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on a range of environmental issues and policies that are of importance to agriculture and rural communities.

EPA cites Honolulu Wood Treating for producing and selling mislabeled pesticide

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a settlement with Honolulu Wood Treating of Kapolei, Oahu, which will pay a $33,750 penalty for producing and selling a mislabeled pesticide on five occasions in 2013 and 2014 under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.

Draft Risk Assessments for Five Pesticides, Including Aldicarb and Coumaphos, Available for Public Comment

EPA is releasing draft risk assessments on five pesticides for public comment as part of our open and transparent registration review process, a program mandated by FIFRA that re-evaluates all pesticides on a 15-year cycle. The draft human health and ecological risk assessments will be available for 60 days for public comment. Two noteworthy pesticides – aldicarb and coumaphos – are included.

April 22, 2016

President’s Environmental Youth Award Winners Focus on Gardening and Microgrants

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced the regional student winners of the President’s Environmental Youth Award: Chicago Youth Centers Nature Team for creating an urban garden, and Carmel Green Teen, in Carmel, Ind., for awarding environmental microgrants to local student groups.

April 19, 2016

EPA Region 4 Takes Action to Redesignate the Tri-City TN-MS-AR Area for 2008 8-Hour Ozone Standard

On April 8, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took final action to approve the state of Mississippi’s request to redesignate to attainment a portion of DeSoto County, Mississippi, for the 2008 8-hour ozone standards. This is the portion of Mississippi that is within the Memphis, Tennessee-Mississippi-Arkansas nonattainment area for the 2008 8-hour ozone standards (hereafter referred to as the Memphis, TN-MS-AR Area). The Memphis, TN-MS-AR Area consists of a portion of DeSoto County in Mississippi, all of Shelby County in Tennessee, and all of Crittenden County in Arkansas. Based on air quality monitoring data for the three-year period of 2012, 2013, and 2014, the entire Memphis, TN-MS-AR Area met the 2008 8-hour Ozone standards. Based on subsequent air quality monitoring data for 2015, the area continues to meet the 2008 8-hour Ozone standards.

April 18, 2016

Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee Meeting May 18-19, 2016

EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs will hold a public meeting of the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) on Wednesday, May 18, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on Thursday, May 19, from 9:00 a.m. to noon. The meeting will be held in EPA’s first floor conference center at One Potomac Yard South, 2777 South Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202.

EPA Grant Will Stimulate Urban Gardening on Baltimore Vacant Lots

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a $22,000 environmental justice grant to the Parks and People Foundation in Baltimore to help educate residents about safe ways to create urban gardens on vacant properties throughout the city.

April 12, 2016

EPA Grant Will Help Central States Improve Air Quality

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $561,507 to the Central States Air Resource Agencies Association to help states collaborate on improving air quality. This group of nine states in the central U.S. will work on issues related to air pollution moving between states, and provide lower-cost training for state staff.

April 7, 2016

EPA Announces Updated Guidance for Antimicrobial Pesticide Products Intended to Combat Emerging Pathogens
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has updated the emerging pathogens guidance for the claims that can be made for EPA-registered disinfectant products intended to combat emerging viral pathogens. This document provides general guidance on a viral hierarchy that can be used to identify effective disinfectant products for use against emerging pathogens and permit registrants to make limited claims of their product’s efficacy against such pathogens. The revisions to the guidance are intended to expedite the process for registrants to provide useful information to the public on effective products.

April 6, 2016

EPA Releases Draft Biological Evaluations of Three Chemicals’ Impacts on Endangered Species

As part of the Endangered Species Act consultation process with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), EPA has released for public comment the first-ever draft biological evaluations analyzing the nation-wide effects of chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion on endangered and threatened species and designated critical habitat. Partial evaluations, without the effects determinations, were released in December 2015.

April 1, 2016

EPA Seeks Comment on Proposed Decision to Register Dicamba for Use on Genetically-Engineered Crops

The EPA is proposing to register dicamba to control weeds in cotton and soybean genetically engineered (GE) to tolerate dicamba. Comments on the EPA’s proposed regulatory decision must be submitted no later than April 30, 2016.

April 2016 Newsletter Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center
The first issue of spring includes a webcast on manure entomology and highlights manure-to-energy performance data from gasifiers and combustion systems installed on commercial poultry farms.  We look at composting pig mortalities and impacts on PEDv survivability, discussions on manure regulations and court cases, and several great nutrient management resources. More...Exit

April 2016 Pesticide Registration Requests, Actions, and Tolerance Updates

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March 23, 2016

EPA Report: Diesel Engine Clean-up Program Nets Major Air, Public Health Benefits

Clean diesel grants aimed at cleaning up old diesel engines have greatly improved public health by cutting harmful pollution that causes premature deaths, asthma attacks, and missed school and workdays, according to a new report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Since its start in 2008, the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) program has significantly improved air quality for communities across the country by retrofitting and replacing older diesel engines.

March 3, 2016

EPA Takes Strong Steps to Prevent Poisonings and Protect Workers from Paraquat

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to take action to stop poisonings caused by accidental ingestion of the herbicide paraquat, which can also cause severe injuries or death from skin or eye exposure.

March 1, 2016

EPA Moves to Cancel the Insecticide Flubendiamide/Products cause risk to aquatic animals and environments – manufacturers fail to comply with the terms of the registration

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing a notice of intent to cancel all Bayer CropScience, LP and Nichino America, Inc., flubendiamide products that pose a risk to aquatic invertebrates that are important to the health of aquatic environments.

EPA Takes Action Against Illegal Methyl Bromide Use in Puerto Rico

As part of its ongoing work to address the illegal use of toxic pesticides containing methyl bromide in the Caribbean, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued legal complaints against two individuals and a pest control company in Puerto Rico for violating federal pesticides law (the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, or FIFRA) and the Clean Air Act. From 2013 to early 2015, Edwin Andujar Bermudez, doing business as Truly Nolen Pest Control De Caguas, and Wilson J. Torres Rivera, the owner of Tower & Son Exterminating, Corp., fumigated residences and other unauthorized locations in several Puerto Rico municipalities with pesticides containing methyl bromide. The use of methyl bromide is restricted in the U.S. due to its acute toxicity and because it is an ozone-depleting substance. As certified applicators, Mr. Andujar and Mr. Torres face civil penalties under FIFRA, as does Mr. Torres’ company. Mr. Andujar and Tower & Son Exterminating, Corp. additionally face civil penalties under the Clean Air Act.

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February 2016

February/March 2016 Newsletter Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center

This edition of livestock and poultry stewardship news reviewed part 2 of the series on manure storage pond liners and looks ahead to a presentation on antibiotic resistance. We also highlight a new series of videos on nutrient management and water quality regulations. Many links to stories related to hormones, antibiotics, and pathogens were found this month. Other topics covered also included grazing, farming systems, manure as a resource and much more.Exit

February 25, 2016

EPA Announces Availability of $26 Million to Clean Up Diesel Engines Nationwide

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced the availability of $26 million in grant funding to establish clean diesel projects aimed at reducing emissions from the nation's existing fleet of diesel engines.

February 18, 2016

EPA awards $389,000 to Gila River Indian Community for cleaner diesel equipment

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provided $389,000 in Diesel Emission Reduction Act funding to the Gila River Indian Community in Ariz. to replace four construction vehicles operating at Gila River Farms. EPA announced the grant at a Clean Diesel Workshop with the GRIC in Phoenix, one of three Clean Diesel Workshops the EPA is co-hosting throughout Arizona this week.

New Requirements to Address Corn Rootworm Resistance to Bt Corn

In response to signs that the corn rootworm is becoming resistant to single trait Bt products, EPA is announcing new, more protective requirements designed to delay corn rootworm resistance to genetically engineered “Bt corn.” Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) corn produces a Bt pesticide, long used as part of organic farming, as part of the plant itself, to address corn rootworm pests.

February 11, 2016

TODAY: EPA Administrator McCarthy Testifying Before House Committee on Agriculture/Administrator to deliver keynote address on Clean Power Plan in the afternoon

Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy will testify before the House Committee on Agriculture at 10 a.m. EST about the impacts of environmental regulations on rural America. This afternoon, the administrator will deliver the keynote address at the National Association of State Energy Officials’ Energy Policy Outlook Conference.

February 9, 2016

EPA's FY 2017 Budget Request Increases Support for Communities to Deliver Core Environmental and Health Protection

The Obama Administration’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget announced today for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lays out a strategy to ensure that steady progress is made in addressing known environmental problems and ensuring the agency and its partners in environmental protection, states and tribes, are positioned to meet the challenges of the future. EPA’s FY 2017 budget request of $8.267 billion provides resources vital to that overarching vision. The request is $127 million above the agency’s enacted level for FY 2016.

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January 25, 2016

Walterboro, SC receives Technical Assistance to Boost Local Foods, Neighborhood Revitalization

Walterboro, SC has been selected as one of 27 rural community projects across the country to participate in Local Foods, Local Places, a federal initiative that helps communities increase economic opportunities for local farmers and related businesses, create vibrant places and promote childhood wellness by improving access to healthy local food.

The Colleton Museum and Farmers Market in Walterboro, South Carolina, will receive technical assistance to build partnerships, explore funding opportunities, and grow markets for local food.

Bessemer, AL receives Technical Assistance to Start Farmers Market

Bessemer, AL has been selected as one of 27 rural community projects across the country to participate in Local Foods, Local Places, a federal initiative that helps communities increase economic opportunities for local farmers and related businesses, create vibrant places and promote childhood wellness by improving access to healthy local food.

High Point, N.C., to Receive Federal Technical Assistance for Farmers’ Market

High Point, N.C., has been selected as one of 27 rural communities across the country to participate in Local Foods, Local Places (LFLP), a federal initiative that helps increase economic opportunities for local farmers and related businesses, creates vibrant places and promotes childhood wellness by improving access to healthy local food. High Point will receive technical assistance to develop a farmers’ market and other health and wellness programs for its new central library plaza.

Obama Administration to Partner with 27 Communities to Boost Neighborhood Revitalization through Local Food Enterprises - Local Foods, Local Places Empowers Creative Economic Development in Rural and Urban Communities in 22 states

On behalf of the White House Rural Council, six federal agencies joined together to announce the selection of 27 communities in 22 states that will participate in Local Foods, Local Places, a federal initiative that helps communities increase economic opportunities for local farmers and related businesses, create vibrant places and promote childhood wellness by improving access to healthy local food.

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January 6, 2016

Nominations Open for EPA’s Annual Environmental Merit Awards in New England - Due by Feb. 12

EPA is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Environmental Merit Awards, which will recognize environmental achievements during the past year. Award categories are available for individuals, businesses, governmental entities, and other organizations. Awards are also given under a lifetime achievement category.

EPA Releases the First of Four Preliminary Risk Assessments for Insecticides Potentially Harmful to Bees

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a preliminary pollinator risk assessment for the neonicotinoid insecticide, imidacloprid, which shows a threat to some pollinators. EPA’s assessment, prepared in collaboration with California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation, indicates that imidacloprid potentially poses risk to hives when the pesticide comes in contact with certain crops that attract pollinators.

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