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Notice

Atrazine; Availability of Preliminary Risk Assessment

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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:

This notice announces the availability of documents that were developed as part of EPA's pilot public participation process for making reregistration eligibility decisions for the organophosphate and certain other, non-organophosphate pesticides and for tolerance reassessments consistent with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), as amended by the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 (FQPA). These documents are the preliminary ecological fate and effects risk assessment and related documents for atrazine. This notice also starts a 60-day public comment period for the preliminary risk assessment. Comments are to be limited to issues directly associated with atrazine and raised by the risk assessment or other documents placed in the docket. By allowing access and opportunity for comment on the preliminary risk assessment, EPA is seeking to strengthen stakeholder involvement and help ensure that our decisions under FQPA are transparent and based on the best available information. The tolerance reassessment process will ensure that the United States continues to have the safest and most abundant food supply. The Agency cautions that risk assessments at this stage are preliminary only and that further refinements of the risk assessment may be appropriate for this pesticide. This document reflects only the work and analysis conducted as of the time it was produced and it is appropriate that, as new information becomes available and/or additional analyses are performed, the conclusions it contains may change. Concurrent with the Office of Pesticide Programs' release of the preliminary ecological fate and effects risk assessment for atrazine announced in this notice, EPA's Office of Water is publishing its draft aquatic life criteria document for atrazine elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

DATES:

Comments, identified by the docket control number OPP-34237A for atrazine, must be received on or before November 26, 2001.

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 the docket control number for atrazine in the subject line on the first page of your response.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kimberly Lowe, Special Review and Reregistration Division (7508C), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (703) 308-8059; e-mail address: lowe.kimberly@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. General Information

A. Does this Action Apply to Me?

This action is directed to the public in general. This action may, however, be of interest to those persons who are or may be required to conduct testing of chemical substances under the FFDCA, or the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Since other entities may also be interested, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action. 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/​. On the Home Page select “Laws and Regulations,” “Regulations and Proposed Rules,” 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/​. In addition, copies of the preliminary risk assessments for atrazine may also be accessed at http://www.epa.gov/​pesticides/​reregistration/​status.htm.

2. In person. The Agency has established an official record for this action under docket control number OPP-34237A. The official record consists of the documents specifically referenced in this action, 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 Start Printed Page 49181that 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 the docket control number for atrazine, OPP-34237A, 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, 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-34237A. 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 the 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 notice.

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. Background

A. What Action is the Agency Taking?

EPA is making available a preliminary risk assessment that has been developed as part of EPA's process for making reregistration eligibility decisions for the organophosphate and other pesticides and for tolerance reassessments consistent with the FFDCA, as amended by the FQPA. The Agency's preliminary ecological fate and effects risk assessment and other related documents for atrazine are available in the individual pesticide dockets. Earlier, on February 14, 2001 (66 FR 10287) (FRL-6765-3), EPA released the preliminary human health risk assessment and related documents for atrazine through the docket. As additional comments, reviews, and risk assessment modifications become available, these will also be docketed for atrazine.

The Agency cautions that the atrazine risk assessment is preliminary only and that further refinements may be appropriate. This document reflects only the work and analysis conducted as of the time it was produced and it is appropriate that, as new information becomes available and/or additional analyses are performed, the conclusions it contains may change.

Concurrent with the Office of Pesticide Programs release of the preliminary ecological fate and effects risk assessment for atrazine announced in this notice, EPA's Office of Water is publishing its draft aquatic life criteria document for atrazine, elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register. The Offices of Water and Pesticide Programs currently are consulting on their respective ecological risk assessment methodologies. Although there are similarities in the two offices' approaches, differences remain. When the consultation is completed, revisions to the atrazine ecological fate and effects preliminary risk assessment may be necessary. While the consultation is underway, both offices are making their respective ecological risk assessments for atrazine available to the public and requesting comment on their respective methodologies. It would be helpful if comments regarding the methodology that are made to one office are also made to the other.

The Agency is providing an opportunity, through this notice, for interested parties to provide written comments and input to the Agency on the preliminary risk assessment for the chemical specified in this notice. Such comments and input could address, for example, the availability of additional data to further refine the risk assessment, such as percent crop treated information or submission of residue data from food processing studies, or could address the Agency's risk assessment methodologies and assumptions as applied to this specific chemical. Comments should be limited to issues raised within the preliminary risk assessment and associated documents. EPA will provide other opportunities for public comment on other science issues associated with the pesticide tolerance reassessment program. Failure to comment on any such issues as part of this opportunity will in no way prejudice or limit a commenter's opportunity to participate fully in later notice and comment processes. All comments should be submitted by November 26, 2001 using Start Printed Page 49182the methods in Unit I. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. Comments will become part of the Agency record for atrazine.

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List of Subjects

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Dated: September 18, 2001.

Lois A. Rossi,

Director, Special Review and Reregistration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

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[FR Doc. 01-23924 Filed 9-25-01; 8:45 a.m.]

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