EPA Launches Modernized Design for the Environment Logo for Disinfectant and Other Antimicrobial Products

This original post was published by EPA on May 12, 2022. Click here for more information.

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is launching a new, modern Design for the Environment (DfE) logo that will appear on antimicrobial products like disinfectants and sanitizers within the next year. EPA’s DfE logo helps consumers and commercial buyers identify antimicrobial products that meet the health and safety standards of the normal pesticide registration process required by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) as well as other rigorous criteria required by the agency.

“Protecting the health and safety of our families and our homes is central to EPA’s mission,” said Michal Freedhoff, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “EPA is excited to take the DfE program to the next level with a bold, new logo to further empower consumers to make environmentally and health-conscious buying decisions.”

To further EPA’s mission of protecting human health and the environment, in 2009, the DfE program began including products that sanitize and disinfect, including wipes and sprays used to treat surfaces like countertops, tubs, tile, and toilets. To qualify for the DfE logo, every ingredient in a product must meet a rigorous set of chemical and toxicological standards.

EPA has seen a surge of engagement in the last few years from consumers, schools, and other organizations who want to know more about how the products they use affect their health and the environment—and who are eager to make the most responsible purchasing choices they can. The updated logo released today should make DfE-certified products easier for purchasers to find, which in turn will encourage companies to seek certification for their products.

Companies who make products carrying the DfE logo have invested heavily in research and reformulation to ensure that their products meet the DfE certification requirements. Pursuing DfE certification provides an opportunity for companies to work toward their sustainability goals.

DfE products meet criteria that evaluate human health and environmental effects, product performance, packaging, and ingredients. The requirements are intended to:

  • minimize any possible risks to human health by excluding ingredients that might have the potential to negatively impact young children, cause cancer, or have other negative effects,
  • further protect fish and other aquatic life,
  • minimize pollution of air or waterways and prevent harmful chemicals from being added to the land, and ensure products have no unresolved compliance, enforcement, or efficacy issues.

EPA does not consider the logo to be an endorsement. Similar to saying a pesticide is “EPA-registered” because EPA has found it meets the registration standard, the DfE logo indicates that the product has been reviewed and meets the FIFRA registration standard as well as the standards for the DfE program.

To learn about the process for seeking DfE certification for antimicrobial products, see EPA’s website.

EPA Announces Virtual Environmental Modeling Public Meeting on Endangered Species; Calls for Abstracts

This original announcement was published by the EPA on May 10, 2022. Click here for more information.

On June 23, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a virtual Environmental Modeling Public Meeting (EMPM) to engage with stakeholders on EPA’s recently released Endangered Species Act Workplan, with a focus on mitigation strategies.

The EMPM is a public forum held as needed for pesticide registrants and other stakeholders to discuss regulatory issues with EPA, when environmental modeling topics are identified. Meetings cover issues related to modeling pesticide fate, transport, and exposure for risk assessments. EPA is accepting abstracts for presentations to be given at the meeting that focus on:

  • Practical measures to avoid, minimize, or offset pesticide effects to federally listed endangered and threatened species and their designated critical habitats;
  • Mitigation or specific label language to reduce on- and off-site exposures from spray drift and runoff; and
  • Quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the impact of various mitigation options that could be used to avoid jeopardy and adverse modification for listed species and designated critical habitats, and to minimize “take” of individuals of a listed species.

The meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT. Registration is required. To attend the meeting, contact OPP_EMPM@epa.gov by June 16.

To present at the meeting, please submit abstracts to OPP_EMPM@epa.gov for consideration by May 26.

Find more information at www.regulations.gov in docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0879.

Contact OPP_EMPM@epa.gov to sign up for additional EMPM updates and abstract requests for future meetings, or if you have questions about this event.

EPA Shares Data on Chitosan Salts for Public Comment

This original post was published on May 6, 2022. Click here for more information.

Today, in support of transparency and sound science, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making available for comment two aquatic toxicity reports related to the ongoing rulemaking in response to a petition to add chitosan to the minimum risk pesticide exemption list. The purpose of the exemption list is to eliminate the need for the Agency to expend significant resources to regulate products deemed to be of minimum risk to human health and the environment. Products that contain only those active and inert ingredients allowed by the exemption and meet certain Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) requirements are exempt from the normal FIFRA registration requirements. Approximately a decade has passed since a substance was added to the list of ingredients eligible for the minimum risk pesticide exemption.

Chitosan is a naturally occurring substance found in the cell walls of all crustaceans, most fungi, and the exoskeletons of most insects. It is currently registered with EPA under FIFRA as a fungicide, antimicrobial agent, and plant growth regulator that boosts the ability of plants to defend against fungal infections. Chitosan is currently widely available to the public for non-pesticidal uses, and has established applications in various industries including textiles, cosmetics, beverage processing, and water treatment.

On October 10, 2018, EPA received a petition from Tidal Vision Products, LLC requesting that chitosan be added to the list of active ingredients allowed in exempted minimum risk pesticide products. In November 2020, EPA requested comments from the public on a proposed rule to add chitosan to the list of active ingredients eligible for the exemption. The public comments received on the proposal expressed concerns regarding derivatives of chitosan that are likely to be produced when chitosan is mixed with certain acids and on the potential hazard for aquatic organisms exposed to chitosan salts.

In November 2021, EPA requested additional information from the petitioner on chitosan salts and their potential effect on the environment and, in response, received two aquatic toxicity reports. Because these reports were not available when the rule was proposed, EPA is now seeking public input on how the reports may be used to inform the Agency’s assessment of the aquatic toxicity of chitosan and its salts.Stakeholders are invited to submit any questions, comments, and concerns related to these reports so EPA may consider them before deciding whether to add chitosan to the minimum risk exemption.

The public comment period will be open for 30 days in docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2019-0701 at www.regulations.gov, starting May 6, 2022.

EPA Issues Notice of Intent to Suspend the Herbicide DCPA

This announcement was published by the EPA on April 29, 2022. Click here for more information.

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing a notice of intent to suspend (NOITS), which when effective, will prevent the sale, distribution, and use of the technical-grade product containing the pesticide dimethyl tetrachloroterephthalate (DCPA). Technical-grade products are high-concentration forms of pesticides that are formulated into other end-use pesticide products. EPA is issuing this NOITS for DCPA because AMVAC, the sole registrant, has not provided the full complement of data the Agency required it to submit over nine years ago. Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the registrant is required to submit data to support the continued registration of this product. Due to the registrant’s long-standing failure to respond to EPA’s requests for necessary data, the Agency is unable to fully evaluate the risks associated with DCPA.

DCPA is an herbicide applied to control grasses and certain broadleaf weeds in both agricultural and non-agricultural settings. Agricultural use sites include cole crops (e.g., broccoli, kale, cabbage), cucurbits, tomatoes, onions, and herbs. Non-agricultural use sites include non-residential turf and ornamentals.

As required by FIFRA, EPA periodically re-evaluates pesticides through registration review to ensure that risk assessments and pesticide decisions reflect the best available science. Part of the registration review process is to identify risks of concern and to implement actions that can mitigate these risks. To ensure access to the needed data, the Agency notifies registrants of the data requirements through issuance of a FIFRA Data Call-In Notice (DCI).

In 2013, EPA issued a DCI to AMVAC requiring it to submit more than 20 studies to support the existing registrations of DCPA. In the nine years since the requirements were imposed, the Agency has reviewed numerous insufficient studies provided by AMVAC, and also has evaluated more than 20 waiver requests seeking to remove these data requirements. In its attempts to obtain the needed data, EPA has spent its finite resources on these efforts to review the many submissions, some of which otherwise would have been used to focus on pesticide actions requested by other registrants and needed by growers.

The data required by EPA included a comprehensive study of the effects of DCPA on thyroid development and function in adults and before birth. In the absence of these data, EPA reviewed preliminary data submitted by AMVAC, which suggest that DCPA can affect thyroid function at lower doses than previously known, and that it may affect a fetus at lower doses than those that adversely affect adults. Without complete data on the thyroid toxicity of DCPA, the Agency is unable to complete the scientifically robust and defensible human health risk assessment needed to evaluate whether DCPA products continue to meet the standard for registration under FIFRA.

After 30 days, the NOITS will become final (subject to the conditions discussed below) and it will be illegal for the registrant to distribute, use, or sell its technical-grade DCPA pesticide product until EPA lifts the suspension. This means that once the technical-grade product is suspended, it will be illegal for AMVAC to use it to formulate the end-use products used by growers. Stocks of DCPA end-use pesticide products that have already been formulated prior to the suspension may continue to be distributed, sold, and used according to the label. If the suspension continues and the existing stocks are depleted, users may not have access to end-use product. However, under FIFRA the suspension will not become final if within 30 days from issuance of the NOITS, one of the following two things happens:

  • AMVAC submits all the required data, and EPA determines that it has fully complied with the DCI requirements that served as a basis for the NOITS; or
  • Consistent with FIFRA requirements, AMVAC or a person adversely affected by the Notice makes a timely and adequate request for a hearing. A hearing must be held and a determination on the suspension issued within 75 days after receipt of a hearing request, unless all parties stipulate to such an extension.

If the registrant submits the missing data after the suspension becomes effective, EPA can lift the suspension. Upon publication of the NOITS in the Federal Register, all supporting documents will be available in the DCPA registration review docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0374 at www.regulations.gov.

EPA Finalizes Certain Pesticide Product Performance Data Requirements to Improve Clarity and Reduce Burden for Registrants

This original announcement was published by the EPA on April 16, 2022. Click here for more information!

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced final product performance data requirements for products claiming efficacy against certain pests. This action officially incorporates EPA’s product performance standards requirements for certain invertebrate pests into the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), increases the efficiency of the Agency’s approval process, and saves registrants time and money.

Product performance standards make it easier for pesticide registrants to know the efficacy data that must be submitted to the Agency to prove their pesticide product works as claimed. By adding these requirements into the CFR, EPA will help ensure submitted data meet the Agency’s needs and scientific standards and satisfy a requirement of the 2018 Pesticide Registration Improvement Extension Act (PRIA 4). The final rule saves registrants approximately $17,000 per data package submitted to the Agency by reducing waste and unnecessary testing.

This final rule codifies product performance data requirements to support registration of products claiming efficacy against three categories of invertebrate pests:

  • Those identified to be of significant public health importance (e.g., ticks, mosquitoes, cockroaches, etc.),
  • Wood-destroying insects (e.g., termites), and
  • Certain invasive invertebrate species (e.g., Asian long-horned beetle).

EPA Takes Next Step in the Review of Anthraquinone

This original announcement is published by the EPA on April 7, 2022. Click here for more information.

 

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking the next step in the registration review process for the pesticide anthraquinone by releasing the final work plan and draft human health and ecological risk assessments. Anthraquinone is registered for use as an avian repellent in both agricultural and non-agricultural settings. Agricultural uses consist of seed treatments for corn and rice, with the latter predominately in the Arkansas Grand Prairie, the Mississippi Delta, and the Gulf Coast. Non-agricultural uses include foliar applications to turf at airports, athletic fields, and other non-agricultural sites.

Registration Review

For registration review, EPA is releasing the anthraquinone final work plan (FWP) and draft risk assessments (DRAs). The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) requires the Agency to periodically re-evaluate pesticides through registration review to ensure that risk assessments and pesticide decisions reflect the best available science. The FWP and DRAs are part of a multi-step process to identify risks of concern and to mitigate these risks.

With regard to the DRAs, these risk assessments are the product of an evaluation of available data on anthraquinone’s human health and environmental impacts.

EPA did not identify any dietary risks of concern from food and water exposure. Based on the calculations completed in the draft human health risk assessment, the Agency has identified potential cancer risk concerns from residential exposures to treated turf and occupational exposures for some pesticide handlers for each use. And because there are risk concerns from residential exposures alone, the aggregate exposures (i.e., combined dietary and residential exposures) therefore also result in risk concerns.

In light of the aggregate risks, EPA is working to expedite the implementation of mitigation measures in advance of the completion of registration review. Specifically, the registrant has agreed to prohibit use on residential turf sites, which EPA expects will eliminate the aggregate risks of concern when the label changes are fully implemented later this year.

The draft ecological risk assessment found potential adverse effects to birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, fish, aquatic invertebrates, and aquatic plants based on the data available. Potential risks to terrestrial invertebrates and plants as well as other taxa could not be fully assessed because there are multiple environmental fate and ecological effects data gaps. To address the identified data gaps, EPA plans to issue a Data Call-in (DCI) in April 2022 and consider the results of the data submitted in future anthraquinone risk assessments.

After reviewing and considering the public comments received on the DRAs, EPA will proceed with the next step in the registration review process and issue a proposed interim decision (PID). The PID will propose mitigation measures to address potential occupational and ecological risks. EPA expects to issue the PID for public comment in early 2023.

The public comment period for the DRAs is now open for 60 days. The FWP, DRAs and all supporting documents are available in the anthraquinone registration review docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0326 at www.regulations.gov.

Request for Data

EPA, as part of its registration review process for anthraquinone, reviewed rice field trial data submitted by the sole anthraquinone registrant. The data indicated that use of anthraquinone as a rice seed treatment is expected to result in detectable pesticide residues in or on food or feed. At this time, however, there is no established tolerance to cover those residues in or on rice commodities; thus, any harvested rice commodities containing such residues will be adulterated. It is unlawful to ship adulterated commodities through interstate commerce. Previously, EPA did not have reason to believe that the use of anthraquinone on rice would result in residues in or on rice and thus had considered this rice seed use as a non-food use (not needing a tolerance).

EPA is working actively with the registrant to address all the data gaps present in this registration review case. This includes requiring that the registrant develop the data needed to establish tolerances for the rice seed treatment use by 2024. The Agency anticipates a tolerance would be established no sooner than 2024 to allow for developing complete and accurate data and to enable a thorough review by EPA.

In information EPA provided to Food and Drug Administration, the Agency states that there are no dietary (rice and water) risks of concern from the use of anthraquinone on treated rice for any population subgroups, including infants and children. EPA’s dietary assessment is conservative and protective of potential dietary exposures. Although there is some uncertainty in the dietary risk assessments due to incomplete residue chemistry and fate databases, the chronic non-cancer and cancer dietary assessments are not likely to underestimate dietary risks.

Thus, EPA has concluded there are no resulting risks of concern from the consumption of rice commodities that could enter or are already available from the channels of trade. Additionally, once residential turf use sites are removed from the label, there will be no aggregate risks of concern (i.e., combined dietary and residential exposures). Once the necessary data are available and evaluated, tolerances can be established for this use.

EPA Expands Use of Enlist Products to 134 Additional Counties for the 2022 Growing Season

This original announcement was published by the EPA on March 29, 2022. Click here for more information.

 

Following the thorough review of a proposed label amendment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the use of Enlist One and Enlist Duo in 134 additional counties, providing growers with additional weed management options for the 2022 growing season. Today’s action is an example of EPA’s commitment to working with stakeholders when new information becomes available to make regulatory decisions that reflect the best available science and protect human health and the environment.

Enlist One and Enlist Duo, two herbicides used to control weeds in conventional and genetically-modified corn, cotton, and soybean crops, can now be used in all counties of Arkansas, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, and South Dakota. In Texas, Enlist products can now be used in Bowie, Cooke, Fannin, Grayson, Lamar, and Red River counties. Read page 16 of the new Enlist One label and page 16 of the new Enlist Duo label to see which counties remain prohibited.

In January 2022, EPA issued seven-year registrations for these Enlist products. At that time, Enlist One and Enlist Duo were not approved for use in all counties of the United States. Counties were prohibited if they were not proposed for use by the product registrant, Corteva, or if EPA expected the use of Enlist products would likely affect or jeopardize federally threatened or endangered (listed) species that live on-field in a county.

In February 2022, Corteva submitted a label amendment to propose use of Enlist One and Enlist Duo in 128 additional counties. Corteva did not propose use in these counties during the registration renewal because Enlist products were previously thought to put the American Burying Beetle, a threatened species, at risk. However, after the renewal action was complete, Corteva proposed that EPA consider use in these counties. Based on EPA’s new effects determination, which included a robust analysis of updated species range maps from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), EPA expects that the use of these products — with the existing label requirements in place to mitigate spray drift and pesticide runoff — will not likely jeopardize the American Burying Beetle or other listed species and their critical habitats in these counties.

In March 2022, Corteva also submitted a label amendment to propose use of Enlist Duo in six Minnesota counties. EPA previously prohibited use in these counties because the Agency expected that the use of Enlist Duo would likely jeopardize the Eastern Massasauga rattle snake exposed on-field. However, EPA’s prior analyses were based on FWS’s 2020 species range maps. EPA subsequently learned that FWS updated their species range map in 2021, which shows that the Eastern Massasauga rattle snake is no longer present in Minnesota. Therefore, EPA has now determined that the prohibition of Enlist Duo in these counties is no longer necessary. In addition, EPA evaluated whether the use of Enlist Duo would affect other off-field listed species that live in these counties. EPA now expects that, given the current mitigations on the product labels, these products will not likely jeopardize listed species or adversely modify critical habitats. The current mitigations will also reduce unintentional harm (i.e., “take”) to individuals of all listed species in these counties.

Regardless of whether Enlist One and Enlist Duo are applied in a county that contains listed species or not, all Enlist One and Enlist Duo applicators — in all 34 states where these products are registered for use — must follow label requirements that reduce pesticide spray drift and runoff. Additionally, it is important to note that Enlist One and Enlist Duo are still prohibited in several counties where EPA identified risks to other on-field listed species during earlier registrations, including prohibitions EPA recently implemented based on the Agency’s 2022 effects determination.

In addition to today’s action, EPA corrected an oversight on the Enlist One and Enlist Duo product labels by removing prohibitions for two counties in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Enlist products are not registered for use in the states of Massachusetts or Rhode Island, and therefore Enlist products remain prohibited in all counties of these states.

To view the registration documents for Enlist One and Enlist Duo, go to docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2021-0957. To learn more about these products, read EPA’s Q&A.

EPA Approves Label Amendments that Further Restrict the Use of Over-the-Top Dicamba in Minnesota and Iowa

This original announcement was published by the EPA on March 16, 2022. Click here for more information.

 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved label amendments that further restrict the use of over-the-top dicamba in Minnesota and Iowa. The amendments, requested by pesticide registrants in consultation with those states, are intended to reduce risks from the use of over-the-top dicamba, an herbicide used to control certain types of broadleaf weeds.

The revised labeling prohibits over-the-top dicamba application:

  • On dicamba-tolerant crops after June 20 in Iowa;
  • On dicamba-tolerant crops south of Interstate 94 after June 12 in Minnesota (the cut-off date for land north of Interstate 94 remains June 30); and
  • When the air temperature is over 85 degrees at the time of application or if the forecasted high temperature of the nearest available location exceeds 85 degrees in Minnesota.

These restrictions are intended to reduce the likelihood of volatility and offsite movement of over-the-top dicamba by avoiding application on days with high temperatures. Among other requirements, the product registrants must add the amended labeling to their training and educational materials and disseminate this information to pesticide authorities and agricultural extension services to assist users in their local area. These label amendments demonstrate EPA’s ongoing commitment to help states address issues related to incidents in their jurisdictions. EPA’s highest priority is to protect human health and the environment, and all pesticide decisions must be consistent with this principle.

In December 2021, EPA released a summary of dicamba-related incident reports from the 2021 growing season obtained from pesticide registrants, States, the general public, and non-governmental organizations. Despite the control measures implemented in EPA’s October 2020 dicamba registration decision, incidents from the 2021 growing season show little change in number, severity, or geographic extent of dicamba-related incidents when compared to the reports the Agency received before the 2020 control measures were required. EPA received approximately 3,500 dicamba-related incident reports from the 2021 growing season, including approximately 711 incidents reported in Minnesota and 528 incidents reported in Iowa. Additionally, more than 280 incident reports came from counties where additional restrictions are required to protect endangered species when dicamba is applied to dicamba-tolerant soybean and cotton crops, including approximately 34 incident reports in Minnesota and 69 in Iowa.

Based on prior research and numerous stakeholder meetings, EPA has reason to believe the number of incidents reported significantly understates the actual number of incidents related to dicamba use. For example, in a 2020 memo, EPA estimated that one in 25 dicamba incidents was reported to EPA. No evidence available to EPA suggests that underreporting has changed.

Given the incident information obtained from the 2021 growing season, EPA is reviewing whether over-the-top dicamba can be used in a manner that does not pose unreasonable risks to non-target crops and other plants, or to listed species and their designated critical habitats. EPA is also evaluating all of its options for addressing future dicamba-related incidents.

As EPA considers the regulatory tools available to further address dicamba-related incidents, the Agency continues to work with states and registrants to assess and implement additional restrictions. If a state wishes to further restrict or narrow the over-the-top uses of dicamba, it may use FIFRA section 24(a) to do so, or like this action, it may work with registrants to submit a label amendment containing state-specific restrictions for EPA approval.

To view the label amendments, visit docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2020-0492 at www.regulations.gov.

Background on Dicamba

In 2017 and again in 2018, EPA amended the registrations of all over-the-top dicamba products following reports that growers had experienced crop damage and economic losses resulting from the off-site movement of dicamba. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit vacated the 2018 registrations in June 2020 on the basis that “EPA substantially understated risks that it acknowledged and failed entirely to acknowledge other risks.” Days after the court’s decision, EPA issued cancellation orders for the affected products that addressed existing stocks. Additionally, the 2018 decision was the focus of an Inspector General report.

In October 2020, EPA issued new registrations for two dicamba products and extended the registration of an additional dicamba product. These registration decisions were made with some input of EPA’s career scientists and managers and were expected to address the risk concerns noted by the Ninth Circuit. All three registrations included new measures that the Agency expected would prevent off-target movement and damage to non-target crops and other plants.

EPA Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Further Extend Certification of Pesticide Applicators Rule Deadline

This original announcement was published by the EPA on February 7, 2022. Click here for more information.

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed rule seeking public comment on the need to extend the deadline up to but no longer than November 4, 2024 for states, territories, tribes and federal agencies with existing certification plans to comply with the updated federal standards under the 2017 Certification of Pesticide Applicators rule.

The 2017 Certification of Pesticide Applicators final rule set stronger standards for people who apply restricted use pesticides (RUPs) and required that states, territories, tribes and federal agencies with existing certification plans submit proposed modifications by March 4, 2020, to comply with the updated federal standards. In December 2021, EPA issued an interim final rule extending the existing plans’ expiration deadline from March 4, 2022, to November 4, 2022, due to the impact of the COVID-19 public health emergency, the complexity of plans, and the need for careful review of program-specific issues and questions.

EPA is requesting comments on the potential need to further extend the expiration date of existing certification plans which would allow for certifying authorities that need more time to respond to EPA comments and prepare approvable certification plans. Also, EPA will have more time to work with the certifying authorities to assure that their proposed certification plan modifications meet current federal standards without interruption to Federal, State, territory, and tribal certification programs or to those who are certified to use RUPs under those programs.

EPA has reviewed all proposed plan modifications and is making progress on sending agency comments to certifying authorities (states, territories, tribes and other federal agencies). To date, EPA has completed 55 final reviews of the 68 plans submitted by certifying authorities.

Comments submitted on the interim final rule and on this proposed rule will be used to inform a further extension. The comment period for the proposed rule is open for 30 days in docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2021-0831 at www.regulations.gov.

EPA Requires Cancellation of Pentachlorophenol to Protect Human Health

This original announcement was published by the EPA on February 4, 2022. Click here for more information.

 

Today, EPA issued a final registration review decision requiring the cancellation of pentachlorophenol, a wood preservative used primarily on utility poles. During the registration review process, EPA found that given the emergence of viable alternatives, the risks pentachlorophenol poses to workers’ health outweigh the benefits of its use.

Following EPA’s March 2021 proposal to cancel pentachlorophenol, for which the Agency held a 60-day comment period, this final decision concludes EPA’s registration review of pentachlorophenol and initiates the process of risk mitigation which in this case consists of cancellation. After two years, pentachlorophenol will no longer be manufactured, sold, or distributed in the United States.

EPA’s action aligns the United States with the United Nations’ Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants Annex A listing of pentachlorophenol, which generally requires Parties to the Convention to eliminate its production, use, import, and export. Alternatives to pentachlorophenol include copper naphthenate and DCOIT, along with well-established wood preservatives such as chromated arsenicals and creosote.

The complete phase-out of pentachlorophenol will be conducted over five years and is intended to ensure stability within the utility pole industry by giving wood treaters time to switch to alternative wood preservatives. For the next two years, registrants may continue to produce, sell, and distribute wood preservatives containing pentachlorophenol while wood treatment facilities transition to alternatives. After February 2024, wood treatment facilities will be allowed to use their existing stocks of pentachlorophenol to produce treated wood for an additional three years.

Registrants are required to submit voluntary cancellation requests to the Agency within 60 days of the publication of the final registration review decision. The Agency will then begin the cancellation process by publishing a notice of receipt of these requests in the Federal Register and opening a 30-day public comment period.

To read EPA’s final decision, see docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0653 at regulations.gov.