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Notice

Thiamethoxam; Receipt of Application for Emergency Exemption, Solicitation of Public Comment

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

EPA has received a specific exemption request from the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce to use the pesticide thiamethoxam (CAS No. 153719-23-4) to treat up to 1,000,000 acres of cotton to control cotton aphids. The Applicant proposes the use of a new chemical which has not been registered by the EPA; this would also be a first food use of this pesticide. EPA is soliciting public comment before making the decision whether or not to grant the exemption.

DATES:

Comments, identified by docket control number OPP-181077, must be received on or before June 5, 2000.

ADDRESSES:

Comments may be submitted by mail, electronically, or in person. Please follow the detailed instructions for each method as provided in Unit I. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, it is imperative that you identify docket control number OPP-181077 in the subject line on the first page of your response.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Stephen Schaible, Registration Division (7505C), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, Ariel Rios Bldg., 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 703 308-9362; fax number: 703 308-5433; e-mail address: schaible.stephen@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. General Information

A. Does this Action Apply to Me?

You may be potentially affected by this action if you petition EPA for emergency exemption under section 18 of FIFRA. Potentially affected categories and entities may include, but are not limited to:

CategoriesNAICS codesExamples of potentially affected entities
State government9241State agencies that petition EPA for section 18 pesticide exemption

This listing is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide for readers regarding entities likely to be regulated by this action. Other types of entities not listed in the table in this unit could also be regulated. The North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes have been provided to assist you and others in determining whether or not this action applies to certain entities. To determine whether you or your business is affected by this action, you should carefully examine the applicability provisions in this document. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

B. How Can I Get Additional Information, Including Copies of this Document and Other Related Documents?

1. Electronically. You may obtain electronic copies of this document, and certain other related documents that might be available electronically, from the EPA Internet Home Page at http://www.epa.gov/​. To access this document, on the Home Page select “Laws and Regulations” and then look up the entry for this document under the “Federal Register—Environmental Documents.” You can also go directly to the Federal Register listings at http://www.epa.gov/​fedrgstr/​.

2. In person. The Agency has established an official record for this action under docket control number OPP-181077. The official record consists of the documents specifically referenced in this action, any public comments received during an applicable comment period, and other information related to this action, including any information claimed as Confidential Business Information (CBI). This official record includes the documents that are physically located in the docket, as well as the documents that are referenced in those documents. The public version of the official record does not include any information claimed as CBI. The public version of the official record, which includes printed, paper versions of any electronic comments submitted during an applicable comment period, is available for inspection in the Public Information and Records Integrity Branch (PIRIB), Rm. 119, Crystal Mall #2, 1921 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Arlington, VA, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The PIRIB telephone number is (703) 305-5805.

C. How and to Whom Do I Submit Comments?

You may submit comments through the mail, in person, or electronically. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, it is imperative that you identify docket control number OPP-181077 in the subject line on the first page of your response.

1. By mail. Submit your comments to: Public Information and Records Integrity Branch (PIRIB), Information Resources and Services Division (7502C), Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP), Environmental Protection Agency, Ariel Rios Bldg., 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460.

2. In person or by courier. Deliver your comments to: Public Information and Records Integrity Branch (PIRIB), Information Resources and Services Division (7502C), Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP), Environmental Protection Agency, Rm. 119, Crystal Mall #2, 1921 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Arlington, VA. The PIRIB is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The PIRIB telephone number is (703) 305-5805.

3. Electronically. You may submit your comments electronically by e-mail to: “opp-docket@epa.gov,” or you can submit a computer disk as described above. Do not submit any information electronically that you consider to be CBI. Avoid the use of special characters and any form of encryption. Electronic submissions will be accepted in WordPerfect 6.1/8.0 or ASCII file format. All comments in electronic form must be identified by docket control number OPP-181077. Electronic comments may also be filed online at many Federal Depository Libraries.

D. How Should I Handle CBI that I Want to Submit to the Agency?

Do not submit any information electronically that you consider to be CBI. You may claim information that you submit to EPA in response to this document as CBI by marking any part or all of that information as CBI. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes any information claimed as CBI, a copy of Start Printed Page 31911the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public version of the official record. Information not marked confidential will be included in the public version of the official record without prior notice. If you have any questions about CBI or the procedures for claiming CBI, please consult the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

E. What Should I Consider as I Prepare My Comments for EPA?

You may find the following suggestions helpful for preparing your comments:

1. Explain your views as clearly as possible.

2. Describe any assumptions that you used.

3. Provide copies of any technical information and/or data you used that support your views.

4. If you estimate potential burden or costs, explain how you arrived at the estimate that you provide.

5. Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns.

6. Offer alternative ways to improve the proposed rule or collection activity.

7. Make sure to submit your comments by the deadline in this document.

8. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, be sure to identify the docket control number assigned to this action in the subject line on the first page of your response. You may also provide the name, date, and Federal Register citation.

II. What Action is the Agency Taking?

Under section 18 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) (7 U.S.C. 136p), at the discretion of the Administrator, a Federal or State agency may be exempted from any provision of FIFRA if the Administrator determines that emergency conditions exist which require the exemption. The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce has requested the Administrator to issue a specific exemption for the use of thiamethoxam on cotton to control cotton aphids. Information in accordance with 40 CFR part 166 was submitted as part of this request.

As part of this request, the Applicant asserts that cotton aphid has developed resistance to most currently labeled and recommended insecticides in Mississippi. It is claimed that laboratory assays, field experiments, and field experience indicate that insecticides currently recommended for cotton aphid control are variable in effectiveness to the extent that agricultural consultants and cotton producers consider them to be unreliable. Studies suggest aphids may be initially controlled with registered alternatives such as dicrotophos, endosulfan, methomyl and imidacloprid, but that populations resurge rapidly following application. Aphids are naturally controlled by the fungal disease Neozygites fresenii once aphid populations have reached high infestation levels, but it is often difficult to predict when disease epizootics will occur. Recently, participation in the Boll Weevil Eradication Program has resulted in greater risk of yield threatening outbreaks of cotton aphids. Because of the intensive use of malathion for eradication of the boll weevil, the early years of eradication effort are considered to be years of increased risk of secondary pest outbreak; survey data collected in Mississippi in 1998 support this claim. The Applicant estimates that in the event of a severe aphid outbreak yield losses as high as 50 lbs per acre could be sustained using currently available products. It is claimed that yield losses using thiamethoxam under similar conditions would be around 10 lbs. per acre. These yield losses would result in a projected difference in net returns to the producer of $25 per acre, in the event of heavy, sustained aphid infestations.

The Applicant proposes to make no more than two applications of the product Centric, containing 25% of the active ingredient thiamethoxam, to a maximum of 1,000,000 acres of cotton in Mississippi, between June 15 and September 15, 2000; a maximum of 94,000 lbs. a.i. (375,000 lbs. of product) would be used under this exemption.

This notice does not constitute a decision by EPA on the application itself. The regulations governing section 18 of FIFRA require publication of a notice of receipt of an application for a specific exemption proposing “use of a new chemical (i.e., an active ingredient) which has not been registered by the EPA”, and also “ a first food use of a chemical.” The notice provides an opportunity for public comment on the application.

The Agency, will review and consider all comments received during the comment period in determining whether to issue the emergency exemption requested by the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce.

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List of Subjects

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Dated: May 10, 2000.

James Jones,

Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

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[FR Doc. 00-12650 Filed 5-18-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6560-50-F