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EPA Continues Efforts to Help Increase the Availability of Disinfectant Products for Use Against the Novel Coronavirus

This original announcement was published by EPA on March 26, 2020 and can be accessed here.

WASHINGTON (March 26, 2020) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took steps to provide additional flexibilities to manufacturers of disinfectants and other pesticides. EPA intends for these flexibilities to increase the availability of products for Americans to use against the novel coronavirus. After meeting with stakeholders last week and discussing supply chain challenges posed by the pandemic, EPA is allowing manufacturers to obtain certain inert ingredients—or inactive ingredients like sodium chloride or glucose—from different suppliers without checking with the agency for approval.

“EPA is committed to doing our part to help ensure American families, communities, business and hospitals have access to as many effective surface disinfectant products as possible,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “There is no higher priority for the Trump Administration than protecting the health and safety of Americans, and the steps we are taking today are helping put more products on the shelves without sacrificing important public health and environmental protections.”

Commodity inert ingredients are individual inert ingredients—there are approximately 280 total—that can be obtained from different producers with no significant differences in the ingredient. Applicants for pesticide registration or registration amendments can obtain commodity inert ingredients from various commercial sources without having to provide EPA with the supplier name and address. Only those inert ingredients designated as commodity inert ingredients would be eligible for this reduced Confidential Statement of Formula (CSF) reporting.

The agency is also continuing to expedite the review of submissions from companies requesting to add emerging viral pathogen claims to their already registered surface disinfectant labels. In many cases, the agency continues to be able to approve claims within 14 days, as resources allow, compared to the 90-day window these claims typically take. Today, EPA added 70 new surface disinfectants to EPA’s List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (List N), bringing the total number of products on the list to more than 350.

It is important to note that List N only includes surface disinfectants registered by EPA. Other disinfection products like hand sanitizers and body wipes are regulated the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Using an EPA-registered product in ways other than what is specified in the label is against the law and unsafe.

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EPA Expands COVID-19 Disinfectants List

This original announcement was published by the EPA on March 14, 2020 and can be accessed here.

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing an expanded list of EPA-registered disinfectant products that have qualified for use against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The list contains nearly 200 additional products—including 40 new products that went through the agency’s expedited review process. The agency also made key enhancements to the web-based list to improve its usefulness.

“During this pandemic, it’s important that people can easily find the information they’re looking for when choosing and using a surface disinfectant,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “With this expanded list, EPA is making sure Americans have greater access to as many effective and approved surface disinfectant products as possible and that they have the information at their fingertips to use them effectively.”

While disinfectant products on this list have not been tested specifically against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19, they are expected to be effective against SARS-CoV-2 because they have been tested and proven effective on either a harder-to-kill virus or against another human coronavirus similar to SARS-CoV-2.

The product list has also been updated to include the product’s active ingredient and the amount of time the surface should remain wet to be effective against the given pathogen.

To make the list more consumer friendly, information in the table is now sortable, searchable and printable, and can be easily viewed on a mobile device.

These additions make it easier for consumers to find surface disinfectants and instructions for using them effectively against SARS-CoV-2.

To view the list of EPA-registered disinfectant products, visit www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2

To read Frequently Asked Questions about the list, visit: www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/frequently-asked-questions-about-list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2

FIFRA SAP Meeting Minutes and Final Report for Pesticide Drinking Water Assessments

This original announcement was published by the EPA on February 26, 2020 and can be accessed here.

The meeting minutes and final report for the November 19 to 21, 2019, Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) face-to-face meeting regarding “Approaches for Quantitative Use of Surface Water Monitoring Data in Pesticide Drinking Water Assessments,” is now available.

The meeting minutes and final report is available in the docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2019-0417 at www.regulations.gov. A link to the document is also posted on the FIFRA SAP meeting webpage at www.epa.gov/sap/meeting-information-november-19-22-2019-scientific-advisory-panel.

EPA is in the process of reviewing the report and then will determine next steps.

The FIFRA SAP serves as a primary scientific peer review mechanism of EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention and is structured to provide independent scientific advice and recommendations to EPA on health and safety issues related to pesticides.

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EPA Releases Proposed Interim Decisions for Neonicotinoids

This original announcement was published by the EPA on January 30, 2020. Click here for more information.

EPA is taking the next step in its regulatory review of neonicotinoid pesticides – a group of insecticides used on a wide variety of crops, turf, ornamentals, pets (for flea treatment), and other residential and commercial indoor and outdoor uses. The agency’s proposed interim decisions for acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam contain new measures to reduce potential ecological risks, particularly to pollinators, and protect public health.

EPA is proposing:

  • management measures to help keep pesticides on the intended target and reduce the amount used on crops associated with potential ecological risks;
  • requiring the use of additional personal protective equipment to address potential occupational risks;
  • restrictions on when pesticides can be applied to blooming crops in order to limit exposure to bees;
  • language on the label that advises homeowners not to use neonicotinoid products; and
  • cancelling spray uses of imidacloprid on residential turf under the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) due to health concerns.

Additionally, the agency is working with industry on developing and implementing stewardship and best management practices.

Upon publication of the Federal Register notice, the agency invites comments on the proposed decisions in the following dockets for 60 days. After reviewing public input, the agency will issue final interim decisions.

More information on EPA’s proposed interim decisions for neonicotinoids is available at www.epa.gov/pollinator-protection/epa-actions-protect-pollinators#Proposed-Interim-Decisions.

EPA Finalizes Glyphosate Mitigation

This original announcement was published by the EPA on January 30, 2020. Click here for more information.

EPA has concluded its regulatory review of glyphosate—the most widely used herbicide in the United States. After a thorough review of the best available science, as required under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, EPA has concluded that there are no risks of concern to human health when glyphosate is used according to the label and that it is not a carcinogen.

These findings on human health risk are consistent with the conclusions of science reviews by many other countries and other federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency, the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority, the European Food Safety Authority, and the German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The agency is requiring additional mitigation measures to help farmers target pesticide sprays to the intended pest and reduce the problem of increasing glyphosate resistance in weeds.

Glyphosate has been studied for decades and the agency reviewed thousands of studies since its registration. Glyphosate is used on more than 100 food crops, including glyphosate-resistant corn, soybean, cotton, canola, and sugar beet. It is the leading herbicide for the management of invasive and noxious weeds and is used to manage pastures, rangeland, rights of ways, forests, public land, and residential areas. In addition, glyphosate has low residual soil toxicity and helps retain no-till and low-till farming operations.

More information on glyphosate and EPA’s interim decision is available at www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pesticide-products/glyphosate

Background

EPA uses interim decisions to finalize enforceable mitigation measures while conducting other longer-term assessments, such as an endangered species assessment. EPA will next complete a draft biological evaluation for glyphosate, which is anticipated for public comment in Fall 2020.

EPA Requests Comments on New Methodologies to Estimate Pesticide Concentrations in Surface Waters

This original announcement was published by the EPA on January 15, 2020. Click here for more.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is asking for public comments on new methodologies developed by the agency to estimate exposure to pesticides from surface water sources. These methodologies would increase the accuracy of the agency’s estimates by minimizing underestimation, reducing the magnitude of overestimation, and increasing consistency.

With recent advances in automation and improvements in data quality, EPA is taking another step toward its goal of building new scenarios that better reflect environmental characteristics for use in surface water assessments. These scenarios can be used in EPA’s tool that estimates pesticide concentrations in surface water. Additionally, EPA developed a methodology to use percent cropped area (PCA) to better account for the amount of a crop grown within a watershed that drains to a drinking water intake. The new methodology also uses percent cropped treated (PCT) to better capture the amount of a pesticide used on that crop. These new methods would ensure that the agency’s review of pesticides continues to be protective of human health.

In its review of pesticides, EPA conducts drinking water assessments to determine if pesticide concentrations in drinking water may cause adverse health effects. These assessments include an analysis of the potential for and magnitude of pesticide occurrence in surface and groundwater sources of drinking water. EPA plans to incorporate these new methodologies into future pesticide drinking water assessments to increase consistency in surface water assessments and to refine pesticide exposure estimates.

Read about the new methodologies at on our webpage. Comment on these new methods until February 29, 2020, via the following email address: OPPeco@epa.gov.

First Beehive Uses of the Currently Registered Active Ingredient Bacillus thuringiensis, subsp. aizawai strain ABTS 1857

This original announcement was published by the EPA on January 10, 2020.

EPA is proposing to register a pesticide product containing Bacillus thuringiensis, subsp. aizawai strain ABTS 1857 (Bta ABTS 1857) to prevent and control wax moths in beehives. This product offers beekeepers a new tool against destructive wax moth larvae.

EPA has opened a 15-day public comment period on this proposed registration. Comments are due on or before January 24, 2020.

The active ingredient in this pesticide product (Bta ABTS 1857) is part of a large group of bacteria, Bacillus thuringiensis, that occur naturally in soil. Bta ABTS 1857 controls wax moth infestations by producing a crystallized protein that is toxic to wax moth larvae.

The Greater Wax Moth (Galleria mellonella) is a significant pest of honey bees. Adult female moths enter hives at night and deposit eggs in cracks and crevices within the hive. The moth larvae then burrow through and destroy the honeycombs as they feed on the wax, pollen, and larval honey bees. The moth larvae will similarly damage stored honeycomb frames under the appropriate conditions (e.g., temperature, lighting, and ventilation) in short order.

To use this product, commercial and hobbyist beekeepers would apply a dilute solution of Bta ABTS 1857 to empty honeycomb frames prior to winter storage. When wax moth larvae attempt to feed on the honeycomb, they would also ingest some Bta ABTS 1857, which will release a protein into the larva’s digestive system that attaches to the gut, eventually causing it to rupture.

The toxicological data for Bta ABTS 1857 demonstrated a lack of toxicity, pathogenicity, or infectivity to humans. Bta ABTS 1857 has a tolerance exemption for use in or on honey and honeycomb and all other raw agricultural commodities (40 CFR §180.1011).

EPA expects minimal to no exposure to honey bees and other non-target organisms because of the method and timing of application. As noted, beekeepers would make a one-time treatment directly to empty honeycomb frames prior to winter storage. And hives maintain temperatures above 35°C, thus preventing Bta ABTS 1857 spore viability (which declines at 30°C) when hives are returned to the treated frames in the spring,

The risk assessments and other documents supporting this decision can be found on Regulations.gov in Docket # EPA-HQ-OPP-2019-0247.

EPA’s Proposed Interim Decisions for atrazine, propazine, and simazine are now available!

This original announcement was published by the EPA on January 4, 2020 and can be accessed here.

Atrazine, Propazine and Simazine Proposed Interim Decisions

EPA’s Proposed Interim Decisions for atrazine, propazine, and simazine are now available to view below.

After publication in the Federal Register, EPA will be accepting comments on these Proposed Interim Decisions for 60 days. Comments can be made to dockets # EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0266 (atrazine), # EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0250 (propazine) and # EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0251 (simazine) once the Federal Register notice publishes online.

Click here to view the recommendations today!

EPA Approves Use of 10 Pesticides on Hemp

This original article was published by Hemp Production News on December 23, 2019 and can be accessed here.

In December 2019, EPA approved adding hemp to the use sites of 10 pesticides. Nine of the products are biopesticides and one is a conventional pesticide. As EPA receives additional applications to amend product labels to add use on hemp, the agency will process those applications on an ongoing basis and update this list.

Biopesticides

  • EPA Registration Number: 70310-5. Applicant: Agro Logistic Systems, Inc. Active ingredients: Azadirachtin and Neem Oil. Product type: Insecticide, Miticide, Fungicide, and Nematicide.
  • EPA Registration Number: 70310-7. Applicant: Agro Logistic Systems, Inc. Active ingredients: Azadirachtin and Neem Oil. Product type: Insecticide, Miticide, Fungicide, and Nematicide.
  • EPA Registration Number: 70310-8. Applicant: Agro Logistic Systems, Inc. Active ingredients: Azadirachtin and Neem Oil. Product type: Insecticide, Miticide, Fungicide, and Nematicide.
  • EPA Registration Number: 70310-11. Applicant: Agro Logistic Systems, Inc. Active ingredient: Neem Oil. Product type: Insecticide, Miticide, and Fungicide.
  • EPA Registration Number: 84059-3. Applicant: Marrone Bio Innovations, D/B/A Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. Active ingredient: Extract of Reynoutria sachalinensis. Product type: Fungicide and Fungistat.
  • EPA Registration Number: 84059-28. Applicant: Marrone Bio Innovations, D/B/A Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. Active ingredient: Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain F727. Product type: Fungicide.
  • EPA Registration Number: 91865-1. Applicant: Hawthorne Hydroponics LLC, D/B/A General Hydroponics. Active ingredients: Soybean Oil, Garlic Oil, and Capsicum Oleoresin Extract. Product type: Insecticide and Repellent.
  • EPA Registration Number: 91865-3. Applicant: Hawthorne Hydroponics LLC, D/B/A General Hydroponics. Active ingredient: Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain D747. Product type: Fungicide and Bactericide.
  • EPA Registration Number: 91865-4. Applicant: Hawthorne Hydroponics LLC, D/B/A General Hydroponics. Active ingredient: Azadirachtin. Product type: Insect Growth Regulator and Repellent.

Conventional Pesticides

  • EPA Registration Number: 91865-2. Applicant: Hawthorne Hydroponics LLC, D/B/A General Hydroponics. Active ingredient: Potassium Salts of Fatty Acids. Product type: Insecticide, Fungicide, and Miticide.

Pesticide Program Update: EPA Seeks Nominations for the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Federal Advisory Committee

This announcement was originally published by the EPA on November 8, 2019 and can be accessed here.

Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler is announcing a solicitation for 20-30 nominees to serve on the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee (FRRCC). Established in 2008, the FRRCC provides independent policy advice, information, and recommendations to EPA’s Administrator on a range of environmental issues and policies that are of importance to agriculture and rural communities.

“One of our key priorities at EPA is to strengthen and solidify our relationship with agricultural stakeholders and rural communities by ensuring the agency is well informed on how its decisions impact rural America,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Recruiting full membership of the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee is the perfect opportunity to engage with those in our agriculture community, and I look forward to receiving the committee’s valuable input on important matters before the EPA in the very near future.”

To build a broad and balanced representation of perspectives for the FRRCC, members will be selected from a variety of relevant sectors. Members may represent allied industries and stakeholders including farm groups, rural suppliers, marketers, processors, academia/researchers; state, local, and tribal government; and nongovernmental organizations. In selecting committee members, EPA will consider qualifications such as: whether candidates are actively engaged in farming, hold leadership positions in ag-related organizations, possess a demonstrated ability to examine and analyze complicated environmental issues with objectivity and integrity, have experience working on issues where building consensus is necessary, and are able to volunteer several hours per month to the committee’s activities.

The previous Charter for the FRRCC was scheduled to expire and therefore was renewed in 2018; however, the committee currently has no members. EPA is specifically seeking 20-30 members for 2-3 year terms, and the Committee expects to meet approximately twice a year.

Applications must include a résumé or curriculum vitae and a statement of interest, and must be received by EPA by December 31, 2019. Letters of support and recommendation will be accepted but are not mandatory. 

Full details about qualifications and how to apply will be published in the Federal Register Notice, which will be posted once available on the committee’s website at: www.epa.gov/faca/frrcc.

For further information:

Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Committee (FRRCC) website: www.epa.gov/faca/frrcc

General information on federal advisory committees at EPA: www.epa.gov/faca

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