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USDA Announces Pesticide Regulatory Training Funding Opportunity

This original announcement was published by the EPA on July 25, 2019.

On July 9, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) opened a Notice of Funding Opportunity to develop a series of web-based training modules. This training will help foreign pesticide regulators better understand EPA’s pesticide regulatory approach.

Both USDA FAS and EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs respond to many requests from foreign governments on pesticide regulatory issues. As such, USDA and EPA seek a partner to plan and develop web-based learning tools on topics to be identified in consultation with USDA and EPA. These topics are expected to include pesticide risk assessments, the U.S. pesticide registration process, data requirements, and the establishment of maximum residue levels (tolerances).

USDA’s announcement is posted on its grants web portal, which requires registration and logging in to see this and other funding opportunities. Applications for this funding opportunity must be submitted as described in the Notice of Funding Opportunity by Aug. 6, 2019. The award, which USDA anticipates will be announced in late August, will be up to $1 million over 24 months.

 

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EPA Registers New Uses for the Insecticide Sulfoxaflor

This announcement was originally published by the EPA on July 12, 2019. You can access more information here.


Registration provides benefits to growers and is supported by strong science that shows minimal risks for pollinators


Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing a long-term approval for the insecticide sulfoxaflor  ̶  an effective tool to control challenging pests with fewer environmental impacts. After conducting an extensive risk analysis, including the review of one of the agency’s largest datasets on the effects of a pesticide on bees, EPA is approving the use of sulfoxaflor on alfalfa, corn, cacao, grains (millet, oats), pineapple, sorghum, teff, teosinte, tree plantations, citrus, cotton, cucurbits (squash, cucumbers, watermelons, some gourds), soybeans, and strawberries.

“EPA is providing long-term certainty for U.S. growers to use an important tool to protect crops and avoid potentially significant economic losses, while maintaining strong protection for pollinators,” said Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “Today’s decision shows the agency’s commitment to making decisions that are based on sound science.”

Sulfoxaflor is an important and highly effective tool for growers that targets difficult pests such as sugarcane aphids and tarnished plant bugs, also known as lygus. These pests can damage crops and cause significant economic loss. Additionally, there are few viable alternatives for sulfoxaflor for these pests. In many cases, alternative insecticides may be effective only if applied repeatedly or in a tank mix, whereas sulfoxaflor often requires fewer applications, resulting in less risk to aquatic and terrestrial wildlife.

EPA’s registration also includes updated requirements for product labels, which will include crop-specific restrictions and pollinator protection language.

Background

In 2016, following a 2015 decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacating the registration of sulfoxaflor citing inadequate data on the effects on bees, EPA reevaluated the data and approved registrations that did not include crops that attract bees. The 2016 registration allowed fewer uses than the initial registration and included additional interim restrictions on application while new data on bees were being obtained. Today’s action, adding new uses, restoring previous uses, and removing certain application restrictions is backed by substantial data supporting the use of sulfoxaflor.

For additional information, please visit: www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pesticide-products/decision-register-insecticide-sulfoxaflor-limited-uses-and.

EPA: Product Cancellation Order for Certain Pesticide Registrations

The original announcement was published by the EPA on May 20, 2019, and can be found here

AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

This notice announces EPA’s order for the cancellations, voluntarily requested by the registrants and accepted by the Agency, of the products listed in Table 1 of Unit II, pursuant to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

This cancellation order follows a March 25, 2019 Federal Register Notice of Receipt of Requests from the registrants listed in Table 2 of Unit II, to voluntarily cancel these product registrations. In the March 25, 2019 notice, EPA indicated that it would issue an order implementing the cancellations, unless the Agency received substantive comments within the 30-day comment period that would merit its further review of these requests, or unless the registrants withdrew their requests. The Agency received two anonymous public comments on the notice but none merited its further review of the requests.

Further, the registrants did not withdraw their requests. Accordingly, EPA hereby issues in this notice a cancellation order granting the requested cancellations. Any distribution, sale, or use of the products subject to this cancellation order is permitted only in accordance with the terms of this order, including any existing stocks provisions.

DATES:

The cancellations are effective May 20, 2019.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Christopher Green, Information Technology and Resources Management Division (7502P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 347-0367; email address: green.christopher@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. General Information

A. Does this action apply to me?

This action is directed to the public in general, and may be of interest to a wide range of stakeholders including environmental, human health, and agricultural advocates; the chemical industry; pesticide users; and members of the public interested in the sale, Start Printed Page 22842distribution, or use of pesticides. Since others also may be interested, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action.

B. How can I get copies of this document and other related information?

The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2019-0091, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/​dockets.

II. What action is the Agency taking?

This notice announces the cancellation, as requested by registrants, of products registered under FIFRA section 3 (7 U.S.C. 136a). These registrations are listed in sequence by registration number in Table 1 of this unit.

Table 1—Product Cancellations

Registration No. Company No. Product name Active ingredients
100-1341 100 Meridian 0.20G Thiamethoxam.
100-1346 100 Meridian 0.14G Thiamethoxam.
100-1399 100 Avicta Complete Corn 500 Azoxystrobin; Metalaxyl-M; Fludioxonil; Thiabendazole; Abamectin & Thiamethoxam.
100-1426 100 THX_MXM_FDL_TBZ FS Thiamethoxam; Metalaxyl-M; Fludioxonil & Thiabendazole.
100-1449 100 Adage Deluxe Thiamethoxam; Metalaxyl-M; Fludioxonil & Azoxystrobin.
100-1450 100 Adage Premier Thiamethoxam; Metalaxyl-M; Fludioxonil; Azoxystrobin & Thiabendazole.
264-1125 264 Emesto Quantum Clothianidin & Penflufen.
59639-164 59639 V-10170 0.25 G GL Insecticide Clothianidin.
59639-176 59639 Inovate Seed Protectant Clothianidin; Metalaxyl & Ipconazole.
59639-187 59639 Inovate Neutral Seed Protectant Clothianidin; Metalaxyl & Ipconazole.
59639-214 59639 Aloft GC G Insecticide Bifenthrin & Clothianidin.
72155-95 72155 Flower, Rose & Shrub Care III Clothianidin & Imidacloprid.

Table 2 of this unit includes the names and addresses of record for all registrants of the products in Table 1 of this unit, in sequence by EPA company number. This number corresponds to the first part of the EPA registration numbers of the products listed in Table 1 of this unit.

Table 2—Registrants of Cancelled Products

EPA company No. Company name and address
100 Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC, P.O. Box 18300, Greensboro, NC 27419-8300.
264 Bayer CropScience, LP 2 T.W. Alexander Drive, P.O. Box 12014, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709.
59639 Valent U.S.A., LLC, 1600 Riviera Avenue, Suite 200, Walnut Creek, CA 94596-8025.
72155 Bayer Advanced, A Business Unit of Bayer CropScience, LP 2 T.W. Alexander Drive, P.O. Box 12014, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709.

III. Summary of Public Comments Received and Agency Response to Comments

The Agency received two anonymous public comments on the notice, but didn’t merit its further review of the requests. For this reason, the Agency does not believe that the comments submitted during the comment period merit further review or a denial of the requests for voluntary cancellation.

IV. Cancellation Order

Pursuant to FIFRA section 6(f) (7 U.S.C. 136d(f)), EPA hereby approves the requested cancellations of the registrations identified in Table 1 of Unit II. Accordingly, the Agency hereby orders that the product registrations identified in Table 1 of Unit II, are canceled. The effective date of the cancellations that are the subject of this notice is May 20, 2019. Any distribution, sale, or use of existing stocks of the products identified in Table 1 of Unit II, in a manner inconsistent with any of the provisions for disposition of existing stocks set forth in Unit VI, will be a violation of FIFRA.

V. What is the Agency’s authority for taking this action?

Section 6(f)(1) of FIFRA (7 U.S.C. 136d(f)(1)) provides that a registrant of a pesticide product may at any time request that any of its pesticide registrations be canceled or amended to terminate one or more uses. FIFRA further provides that, before acting on the request, EPA must publish a notice of receipt of any such request in the Federal Register. Thereafter, following the public comment period, the EPA Administrator may approve such a request. The notice of receipt for this action was published for comment in the Federal Register of March 25, 2019 (84 FR 11087) (FRL-9990-87). The comment period closed on April 24, 2019.

VI. Provisions for Disposition of Existing Stocks

Existing stocks are those stocks of registered pesticide products which are currently in the United States and which were packaged, labeled, and released for shipment prior to the effective date of the cancellation action. Start Printed Page 22843The existing stocks provisions for the products subject to this order are as follows.

The registrants may continue to sell and distribute existing stocks of products listed in Table 1 of Unit II, until May 20, 2020, which is 1 year after the publication of the Cancellation Order in the Federal Register. Thereafter, the registrants are prohibited from selling or distributing products listed in Table 1, except for export in accordance with FIFRA section 17 (7 U.S.C. 136o), or proper disposal. Persons other than the registrants may sell, distribute, or use existing stocks of products listed in Table 1 of Unit II, until existing stocks are exhausted, provided that such sale, distribution, or use is consistent with the terms of the previously approved labeling on, or that accompanied, the canceled products.

Authority: 7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

Dated: May 8, 2019.

Delores Barber,

Director, Information Technology and Resources Management Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

[FR Doc. 2019-10447 Filed 5-17-19; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6560-50-P

EPA to Hold Public Meeting on Revisions to Draft Framework on Endangered Species Act Process for Pesticides

This announcement was released by the EPA on May 5, 2019 and can be found here

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking comment on draft revisions to the framework used to evaluate the impacts pesticides have on endangered species under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. The draft revisions would ensure this process is efficient, protective, transparent, and based on the best available science.

“EPA’s draft framework allows the agency to consider real-world data that will better reflect where pesticides are actually used, and which species could be affected and those that are not likely to be affected,” said EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Assistant Administrator Alexandra Dapolito Dunn. “Making these revisions to the framework will follow through on EPA’s commitments under the 2018 Farm Bill and will help EPA target environmental protections where they are needed, and ensure that pesticides can continue to be used safely without impacting endangered species.”

The June 10 public meeting will be part of the federal government’s coordinated effort to improve the Endangered Species Act (ESA) process that is used when pesticides are federally registered. New provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill call for the establishment of an interagency working group to provide recommendations and implement a strategy to improve the pesticide registration process. Input from the public meeting and the public comment period on the draft revised method will be used by the working group to make these improvements.

As part of the EPA’s efforts to engage with stakeholders on this important issue, the agency will host a public meeting on June 10, 2019, at its Potomac Yard South Building in Arlington, Virginia. The public meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to Noon EDT in the lobby-level conference center.

Those wishing to attend either in person or via teleconference/webinar must register by Thursday, May 30, 2019.  To register:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/us-epa-public-meeting-on-revised-method-for-esa-pesticide-assessments-registration-61651229487

Upon publication in the Federal Register, the EPA will accept public comments for 45 days in docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2019-0185 on the draft revised method on www.regulations.gov. The draft revised method and a summary of the major draft changes will be found in the docket.

The draft revised method can also be found here: https://www.epa.gov/endangered-species/draft-revised-method-national-level-endangered-species-risk-assessment-process.

Under the ESA, federal agencies are required to determine whether their actions may affect endangered and threatened species and their designated critical habitat. More information:  https://www.epa.gov/endangered-species

Chlorpyrifos registrations to be canceled by California EPA

The original article was published by Vegetable Growers News on May 9, 2019 and can be found here

The California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) said May 8 its Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) would ban the use of the pesticide and toxic air contaminant chlorpyrifos in California by canceling the pesticide’s registration.

“California’s action to cancel the registration of chlorpyrifos is needed to prevent the significant harm this pesticide causes children, farm workers and vulnerable communities,” CalEPA Secretary Jared Blumenfeld said in a news release. He added that with the cancelation comes the opportunity to develop alternative pest management practices.

The pesticide is an active ingredient in “dozens” of agricultural products used on a number of crops, according to CalEPA. Use of the pesticide in the state dropped more than 50 percent from two million pounds in 2005 to just over 900,000 pounds in 2016. It was banned from residential use in 2001.

Chlorpyrifos has been used as a pesticide since 1965 in both agricultural and non-agricultural areas:

  • The largest agricultural market for chlorpyrifos in terms of total pounds of active ingredient is corn.
  • It is also used on soybeans, grapes, fruit and nut trees, Brussels sprouts, cranberries, broccoli and cauliflower, as well as other row crops.
  • Non-agricultural uses include golf courses, turf, green houses, and on non-structural wood treatments such as utility poles and fence posts. It is also registered for use as a mosquito adulticide, and for use in roach and ant bait stations in child resistant packaging.

Products are sold as liquids, granules, water dispersible granules, wettable powders, and water soluble packets, and may be applied by either ground or aerial equipment.

CalEPA and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) also announced that the Governor will propose $5.7 million in new funding in the May revision budget proposal to support the transition to safer, more sustainable alternatives, and plans to convene a working group to identify, evaluate and recommend alternative pest management solutions.

The decision to ban chlorpyrifos follows recent findings by the state’s independent Scientific Review Panel on Toxic Air Contaminants, that the pesticide causes serious health effects in children and other sensitive populations at lower levels of exposure than previously understood. The effects include impaired brain and neurological development.

In April, chlorpyrifos was formally listed as a “toxic air contaminant.” The listing requires DPR to develop control measures to protect the health of farmworkers and others living and working near where the pesticide is used. DPR determined that sufficient additional control measures are not feasible.

DPR said it would begin the process of canceling the registrations for products containing chlorpyrifos, and at the same time would convene a cross-sector working group to identify safer alternatives to avoid replacing chlorpyrifos with an equally harmful pesticide.

DPR will consult with county agricultural commissioners and local air pollution control districts before filing for cancellation. The cancellation process could take up to two years.

During the cancellation process, DPR’s recommendations to county agricultural commissioners for tighter permit restrictions on the use of chlorpyrifos will remain in place. These include a ban on aerial spraying, quarter-mile buffer zones and limiting use to crop-pest combinations that lack alternatives. DPR will support aggressive enforcement of these restrictions.

DPR and CDFA will convene a cross-sector working group to identify and develop safer and more practical and sustainable alternatives to chlorpyrifos, including the use of biological controls and other integrated pest management practices. They will also partner with growers as they transition from using chlorpyrifos to implement safer alternatives.

In addition, the Governor’s May Revision budget proposal includes millions of dollars for research and technical assistance to support the transition. In combination, the working group and funding for alternatives will produce short-term solutions and prioritize the development of long-term solutions to support healthy communities and a thriving agricultural sector.

“We look forward to working with the Legislature through the budget process on the Governor’s proposal to support growers in the transition to alternative pest management,” CDFA Secretary Karen Ross said in a news release.

EPA Takes Next Step in Review Process for Herbicide Glyphosate, Reaffirms No Risk to Public Health

This announcement was originally published by the EPA on April 30, 2019. You can access more information here

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking an important step in the agency’s review of glyphosate. As part of this action, EPA continues to find that there are no risks to public health when glyphosate is used in accordance with its current label and that glyphosate is not a carcinogen. The agency’s scientific findings on human health risk are consistent with the conclusions of science reviews by many other countries and other federal agencies. While the agency did not identify public health risks in the 2017 human health risk assessment, the 2017 ecological assessment did identify ecological risks. To address these risks, EPA is proposing management measures to help farmers target pesticide sprays on the intended pest, protect pollinators, and reduce the problem of weeds becoming resistant to glyphosate.

“EPA has found no risks to public health from the current registered uses of glyphosate,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Today’s proposed action includes new management measures that will help farmers use glyphosate in the most effective and efficient way possible, including pollinator protections. We look forward to input from farmers and other stakeholders to ensure that the draft management measures are workable, realistic, and effective.”

“If we are going to feed 10 billion people by 2050, we are going to need all the tools at our disposal, which includes the use the glyphosate,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said. “USDA applauds EPA’s proposed registration decision as it is science-based and consistent with the findings of other regulatory authorities that glyphosate does not pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans.”

Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in U.S. agriculture and has been studied for decades.  Glyphosate is used on more than 100 food crops, including glyphosate-resistant corn, soybean, cotton, canola and sugar beet. Non-agricultural uses include residential areas, aquatic areas, forests, rights of way, ornamentals and turf.

Once the Federal Register notice publishes, the public will be able to submit comments on EPA’s proposed decision at www.regulations.gov in docket # EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0361. Public comments will be due 60 days after the date of publication in Federal Register. EPA’s responses to the comments received on the draft ecological and human health risk assessments and the benefits assessment will be in the docket.

Find more information about glyphosate, including today’s proposed interim decision and supporting documents.

See the glyphosate draft risk assessments and supporting documents.

Pollinator Protection: Residual Time to 25% Bee Mortality Data Released

The original article was published by the Environmental Protection Agency March 21, 2019 and can be found here.

RT25 Data: What They are and Where They Come From

The residual time to 25% mortality (referred to as the RT25) values provided in the table below were compiled from registrant-submitted data submitted in order to fulfill the data requirement for Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Toxicity of Residues on Foliage study (OCSPP Guideline 850.3030). This study may be conditionally required if the honey bee acute contact (or oral) median lethal dose (LD50) value (obtained from a honey bee acute toxicity test such as OCSPP Guideline 850.3020) is less than 11 µg/bee1.

The honey bee toxicity of residues on foliage study is a laboratory test designed to determine the length of time over which field weathered foliar residues remain toxic to honey bees, or other species of terrestrial insects. The test substance (e.g., a representative end-use product) is applied to crop foliage, the foliage is harvested at predetermined post-application intervals (i.e., aged residues), and test adult bees are confined on foliage with aged residues for 24 hours. Three treatment intervals (different durations of time that residues are aged between application and harvest) are typically used (e.g., 3, 8 and 24 hours post-application). At a minimum, the test substance should be evaluated at the maximum application rate specified on the product label. If mortality of bees exposed to the foliage harvested 24 hours after the application is greater than 25%, bees should continue to be exposed to aged residues on foliage samples collected every 24 hours (i.e., 48, 72, 96, 120 hours, etc. after the application) until mortality is 25% or less.

About the RT25 Data Table

The table below represents all available RT25 values from studies submitted to the Agency which have undergone quality assurance reviews to ensure that the data are scientifically sound. Depending on the chemical tested, either the technical grade active ingredient or a specific formulation was tested using either the honey bee, alfalfa leaf cutting bee, or alkali bee; the table lists the test material and species tested. The table also denotes the plant species on which residues were aged.

RT25 values are a function of a number of factors including application rate, physical-chemical properties, dissipation, crop, and pesticide formulation. Thus, there is considerable variability in RT25 values within a single formulation, between formulations, between crops, and across application rates.  The values included in the table are chemical and formulation specific. EPA plans to update this table as a more robust data set becomes available.

View full article and data table here. 

EPA Releases for Public Comment Draft Guidance for Plant Regulators, Including Plant Biostimulants

EPA is releasing for public comment Draft Guidance for Plant Regulators, Including Plant Biostimulants. Read a pre-publication copy of the draft guidance here.

In recognition of the growing categories of products generally known as plant biostimulants, this draft document gives guidance on which products are (and are not) subject to regulation under FIFRA as plant regulator pesticides, and what kinds of claims can be made for them. The draft guidance provides examples of each. EPA is taking this step to provide clarity to our state regulatory partners, to industry, and to the interested public in this emerging product area.

Plant biostimulants are a relatively new, but growing, category of products containing naturally occurring substances and microbes that are used to stimulate plant growth, enhance resistance to plant pests, and reduce abiotic stress. Their increasing popularity arises from their ability to enhance agricultural productivity by stimulating natural processes in the plant and in soil, using substances and microbes already present in the environment.

Biostimulants can improve soil health, optimize nutrient use, and increase plant growth, vigor, yield and production. They can promote greater water and nutrient use efficiency but do not provide any nutritionally relevant fertilizer benefit to the plant. Plant biostimulant products can be used in sustainable agriculture production systems and integrated pest management (IPM) programs, which in turn can reduce the use of irrigation water, as well as agrochemical supplements and fertilizers.

Once the Federal Register Notice publishes, the public will be able to submit comments on this guidance on www.regulations.gov in Docket # EPA-HQ-OPP-2018-0258. Public comments will be due 60 days after the date of publication in Federal Register.

EPA Applauds Presidential Signature of Key Pesticide Fees and Worker Protection Law

This announcement was posted by the Environmental Protection Agency on March 11, 2019.

 

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) Assistant Administrator Alexandra Dapolito Dunn issued the following statement in response to President Donald Trump signing into law S. 483, the “Pesticide Registration Improvement Extension Act of 2018,” also known as PRIA 4:

“Since 2004, PRIA has been a key statute to ensuring timely review by EPA of pesticide registrations. PRIA 4 is supported by farmers and ranchers, environmental justice and worker protection organizations, and a broad array of manufacturers. EPA looks forward to implementing the new law to further the agency’s mission of protecting human health and the environment.”

Click here to continue reading. 

EPA Contigency Plans for Government Shutdown

Environmental Protection Agency – reportedly has enough continued funds from previous appropriations to continue operating for now.

1. PURPOSE. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has 134 facilities that occupy approximately 8.2 million square feet of space. EPA facilities consist of office, laboratory, and warehouse space. The largest facilities are the headquarters facilities located in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, the ten regional offices that support and manage EPA ‘s environmental policies and programs in the states, and the two major research centers situated in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and Cincinnati, Ohio.

This contingency plan provides general guidelines for the orderly hand ling of EPA operations in the event of a funding hiatus caused by the lack of appropriations. In the event of an actual shutdown where EPA is required to implement this general guidance, supplemental government-wide guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Personnel Management, and the General Services Administration also apply.

 

Read the full contingency plan here