EPA Makes Available U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Final Biological Opinion for Kaput-D Prairie Dog Bait
The EPA has posted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's final Biological Opinion for Kaput-D Prairie Dog Bait on its Endangered Species Protection Program website at www.epa.gov/espp as well as in the public docket at www.regulations.gov under docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0739. In its Biological Opinion, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has concluded that Kaput-D Prairie Dog Bait is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of endangered species when used with appropriate conservation measures.
The conservation measures for Kaput-D, which include prohibition of use in certain areas, restrictions on the timing of application in other areas, and requirements for enhanced searches to remove poisoned prairie dogs, are identical to those specified by FWS in the April 9, 2012, “no jeopardy” Biological Opinion for Rozol Prairie Dog Bait (a similar anticoagulant rodenticide prairie dog bait containing chlorphacinone) at http://epa.gov/espp/2012/borozol-final.pdf. These conservation measures for Kaput-D became effective when the one-year time limited registration was granted by the EPA on October 25, 2012.
This final Biological Opinion is a result of the EPA’s formal request to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to consult on the one-year registration of Kaput-D Prairie Dog Bait. This end-use product contains the active ingredient diphacinone and is expected to be of interest to ranchers and applicators in western states.
Officials call for limits on use of super-toxic rat poison
D-CON kills rats and mice, the label reads. And, according to state and federal officials, it can kill hawks, owls, eagles, foxes, bobcats, mountain lions and other non-targeted wildlife too.
So can competing brands. Pesticide manufacturers have been selling a new generation of more potent anticoagulants because mice and rats have built up some resistance to the old standby warfarin.
These super-toxic rat poisons have a longer half-life before they break down, meaning they are more effective at working their way up the food chain -- not only killing rodents but their natural predators.
The California Department of Fish and Game has confirmed 240 cases of non-targeted wildlife being exposed to the anticoagulants that work by causing animals to bleed to death.
Comment Period Open for Proposed Guidance on Antimicrobial Pesticide Products with Mold-Related Label Claims
The EPA is seeking public comment on a draft Pesticide Registration Notice (PRN) that proposes guidance to applicants and registrants concerning product performance (efficacy) and labeling for “mold-related” antimicrobial pesticide products. Mold-related pesticides are antimicrobial pesticides that bear a label claim to inhibit or destroy mold or mildew growth on hard, nonporous and porous surfaces in indoor environments.
Certain molds can cause a variety of adverse health effects, and the EPA wants to ensure that consumers have better product information with which to make an informed choice when selecting mold-related products that best suit their needs. For example, after a hurricane, consumers and first responders should be able to better understand which mold-related products are right for the job. Once implemented, this guidance should improve protection of public health through proper labeling of mold-related pesticides and by ensuring label claims are supported by valid efficacy data.
The agency registers a wide variety of mold-related pesticides products used for mold remediation and mold prevention, and products used in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) systems. The draft notice explains when the agency would expect to require applicants or registrants to submit efficacy data in support of the label claims of certain mold-related pesticides. The draft notice also describes labeling of mold-related pesticides so that products intended only for aesthetic purposes would be clearly distinguishable from products intended for public health purposes.
Focus Meetings Offer New Early Opportunities for Stakeholder Involvement in Pesticide Registration Review
Focus Meetings Offer New Early Opportunities for Stakeholder Involvement in Pesticide Registration Review
In an ongoing effort to enhance transparency and involvement, the EPA has instituted Focus Meetings as a new step for certain pesticides going through registration review, the agency's periodic reevaluation of all pesticides to make sure that as the ability to assess risks to human health and the environment evolves and as policies and practices change, all pesticide products in the marketplace can still be used safely. Focus Meetings provide an additional opportunity for stakeholder engagement early in the registration review process. This early involvement can help ensure that the EPA has important information prior to developing risk assessments for registration review.
The meetings, which typically involve registrants and others, are intended to address areas of uncertainty such as unclear labels or missing studies that could affect the EPA's pesticide risk assessment and risk management decisions. By obtaining better information early in the process, the EPA can narrow the scope of pesticide reevaluations to areas that pose real concerns, based on current data and use patterns. Better understanding of use patterns, for example, could reduce or eliminate the need for additional studies, or eliminate overly conservative assumptions that would lead to rework later in the process. Designed to improve efficiency, Focus Meetings will help ensure that the EPA has the best available data and information early in the process for making informed registration review decisions.
To ensure transparency, materials associated with Focus Meetings will be available in the pesticide-specific registration review dockets. For cases where a Focus Meeting is held prior to the opening of a chemical-specific docket, OPP has opened a special Focus Meetings docket, EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0778, at www.regulations.gov.
Further information about Focus Meetings is available on the EPA's registration review Web page, http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/registration_review/focus-meetings.html.
Soil Fumigant Phase 2 Labels Take Effect
As of December 1, 2012, a final set of soil fumigant product label changes went into effect, fully implementing important new protections for workers and bystanders. The amended product labels incorporate the second and final phase of mitigation measures required by the EPA's 2009 Reregistration Eligibility Decisions (REDs) for the soil fumigants methyl bromide, chloropicrin, metam sodium/metam potassium, and dazomet. Fully implementing the new risk mitigation measures represents a sea change in worker and public protection. These measures will help protect workers, handlers and bystanders from exposure to potentially harmful airborne concentrations of the fumigant pesticides.
The new measures appearing on soil fumigant Phase 2 labels include buffer zones and posting, emergency preparedness and response measures, training for certified applicators supervising applications, Fumigant Management Plans, and notice to State Lead Agencies who wish to be informed of applications in their states. Measures added to labels in the first phase of implementation included Phase 1 Fumigant Management Plans, good agricultural practice requirements, and new worker protection measures among other things. Phase 1 labels were approved in 2010.
Final Rule: Synchronizing the Expiration Dates of the Pesticide Applicator Certificate with the Underlying State or Tribal Certificate
Monday, 16 July 2012 14:41 | Last Updated on Monday, 16 July 2012 14:46 | Written by EPA Pesticide Program Update | | |
Federal Register linik: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0049-0006
SUMMARY: This final rule will reduce burden to restricted use pesticide applicators and simplify federal certification expiration dates. Restricted use pesticides (RUPs) are those which may generally cause unreasonable adverse effects on the environment without additional restrictions. RUPs may only be applied by or under the direct supervision of an applicator certified as competent by a certifying agency. A State, tribe, or Federal agency becomes a certifying agency by receiving approval from EPA on their certification plan. In areas not covered by a certifying agency, EPA may establish a Federal certification plan and issue Federal certificates directly. One way EPA may issue a Federal certificate is based on an existing valid certificate from a certifying agency, and this final rule will synchronize the expiration dates on the Federal certificate with that of the certifying agency certificate on which the Federal certificate is based.
House GOP chairmen press EPA to keep pesticide in use
Sunday, 08 July 2012 16:00 | Last Updated on Monday, 29 November 1999 17:00 | Written by Elana Schor, E&E reporter | | |
Two House Republican chairmen are pushing for U.S. EPA to slow its phaseout of a pesticide limited by international treaty for its damage to the ozone layer, citing its value to the agriculture sector and the dwindling availability of alternatives.
Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Agriculture Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) on Friday pressed EPA to explain its 93 percent dropoff in exemption requests since 2005 for U.S. use of methyl bromide, despite global reduction targets agreed to in the 25-year-old Montreal Protocol.
Agriculture industry alarm over use of the pesticide deepened earlier this year when the producer of a leading alternative chemical linked to neurological and hormonal damage removed its product, methyl iodide, from U.S. shelves (E&ENews PM, March 21). Another alternative, sulfuryl fluoride, is undergoing a regulatory phaseout by EPA as part of a broader government limit on fluoride tolerance.
"We are concerned that shortages of methyl bromide and viable methyl bromide alternatives will have a potentially devastating impact on growers in California, Florida, the southeastern United States, and other parts of the country," Upton and Lucas, alongside Reps. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) and Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.), wrote to EPA chief Lisa Jackson.
"If this issue is not addressed, it will result in the offshoring of significant crop production to other countries, resulting in economic and job losses in the United States."
Methyl bromide and methyl iodide are particularly controversial in Bilbray's home state, where environmentalists and farm-worker advocates called for protests following the latter pesticide's approval in the waning days of ex-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) administration. EPA last year settled a civil rights case stemming from charges that Latino children were more vulnerable to methyl bromide exposure due to their schools' proximity to fields where the highly regulated chemical were applied (E&ENews PM, Aug. 25, 2011).
Bilbray is facing a difficult re-election battle this fall against Democrat Scott Peters in a newly redrawn district that has fewer GOP base voters than his previous stronghold.
EPA Registers Cold Pressed Neem Oil to Control Bed Bugs
To provide additional tools to control bed bugs, recently EPA issued registrations for two new products. TER-TRU1, containing 5.5% Cold Pressed Neem Oil, is a ready-to-use formulation for spot treatment by residential and commercial users. TER-CX1, containing 22.0% Cold Pressed Neem Oil, is a concentrate formulation for commercial use in the treatment of whole rooms. Cold Pressed Neem Oil has a non-toxic mode of action, is naturally occurring in the environment, and has a long history of safe use for other applications.
Cold Pressed Neem Oil is pressed directly from seeds of the Neem tree, a tropical evergreen tree found in Southeast Asia and Africa. The oil contains various compounds that have insecticidal and medicinal properties. It is also used in making products including shampoos, toothpaste, soaps, and cosmetics. Based on the data submitted to the EPA, these new products meet the required standards for safety and effectiveness. Performance trials conducted at the approved label rates show both products control bed bug adults, nymphs, and eggs.
Monsanto's Roundup Altering the Physical Shape of Amphibians
Tuesday, 10 July 2012 15:11 | Last Updated on Monday, 29 November 1999 17:00 | Written by Mike Barrett | | |
Source: Nation of Change
Monsanto's Roundup, which is the most popular herbicide used today, has been found to ignite morphological changes in amphibians. The research, conducted using tadpoles, found that environmentally relevant concentrations of Roundup are enough to cause two species of amphibians to actually change shape. This is the first research to show that herbicides can have such an affect on animals.
Setting up outdoor tanks closely resembling the environment of natural wetlands, study researcher Rick Relyea, University of Pittsburgh professor of biological sciences in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and director of Pitt's Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology, added 3 tadpoles to each tank and exposed them to a range of Roundup concentrations over a 3 week period. The cages also contained large predators, which naturally cause changes in tadpole morphology. These natural changes include a larger tail, due to chemical emissions.
While it wasn't surprising to see morphological changes take part due to the naturally emitted chemicals from predators, it was rather shocking to find out that Roundup had the same effects — causing the tails of the tadpoles to grow in size. What's more, the combination of the naturally emitted chemicals and Roundup caused the tadpoles' tails to grow twice as large. Seeing as tadpoles alter body shape in order to properly survive in its environment, the forced changes from herbicides like Roundup can put the animals at a disadvantage.
NMFS Issues Final Biological Opinion for Thiobencarb
Wednesday, 04 July 2012 16:00 | Last Updated on Monday, 16 July 2012 13:49 | Written by EPA Pesticide Program Update | | |
On July 2, 2012, EPA received the National Marine Fisheries Service's (NMFS') final Biological Opinion relative to the potential effects of the pesticide thiobencarb on federally listed threatened or endangered Pacific salmon and steelhead and their designated critical habitat. Thiobencarb is an herbicide used in growing rice.
A second pesticide, molinate, is also included in this Biological Opinion; however at the request of the registrants all uses were cancelled effective July 30, 2008, and the last use date for molinate was August 31, 2009. For additional information on the cancellation of molinate, visit http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/reregistration/molinate/ or the molinate page in Chemical Search, http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/chemicalsearch.
To complete this Biological Opinion, NMFS considered comments and incorporated suggestions from the EPA, California Department of Pesticide Regulation, California Rice Commission, California Department of Water Resources, California Department of Fish and Game, the pesticide industry and other stakeholders. The Biological Opinion provides a nine-month timeframe for implementation. EPA will consider the opinion and take appropriate steps to protect threatened and endangered species from pesticide risks. We will keep the public informed as we proceed.
Anti-Bacterial Hand Sanitizers and Cleaners Fueling Resistant Superbugs
Sunday, 15 April 2012 16:00 | Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 July 2012 16:03 | Written by Anthony Gucciardi | | |
Source: Nation of Change
Drug-resistant superbugs, such as the heavily defiant strain of tiberculosis that is now popping up across the globe, are causing serious shockwaves throughout the medical community. Rampant use of antibiotics for unnecessary conditions and pumping livestock up with an exorbinant amount (around 80% of the entire United States antibiotic supply) of drugs is a leading factor, but research shows that anti-bacterial hand sanitizers and cleaners are also contributing to the problem.
Anti-bacterial products have become commonplace in many households and classrooms across the nation, though they are especially prevalent in India — where scientists say the overall use of antibiotics in drug and cleaning form alike are way overused. In addition to containing the problematic ingredient triclosan, these anti-bacterial hand washes and disinfectants are also contributing to the rapid growth of antibiotic-resistant superbugs that pose a serious risk to human health. At least when trying to 'treat' them with the same pharmaceutical interventions that spawned them in the first place.
Tribal Pesticide PSA