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Notice

Notice of Filing a Pesticide Petition To Establish a Tolerance for a Certain Pesticide Chemical in or on Food

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

This notice announces the initial filing of a pesticide petition proposing the establishment of regulations for residues of a certain pesticide chemical in or on various food commodities.

DATES:

Comments, identified by docket ID number OPP-2002-0236 must be received on or before October 11, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Comments may be submitted by mail, electronically, or in person. Please follow the detailed instructions for each method as provided in Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, it is imperative that you identify docket ID number OPP-2002-0236 in the subject line on the first page of your response.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

By mail: Jim Tompkins, Registration Division (7505C), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (703) 305-5704; and e-mail address: tompkins.jim@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. General Information

A. Does This Action Apply to Me?

You may be affected by this action if you are an agricultural producer, food manufacturer or pesticide manufacturer. Potentially affected categories and entities may include, but are not limited to: Start Printed Page 57594

CategoriesNAICS codesExamples of potentially affected entities
Industry111Crop production
112Animal production
311Food manufacturing
32532Pesticide manufacturing

This listing is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide for readers regarding entities likely to be affected by this action. Other types of entities not listed in the table could also be affected. The North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes have been provided to assist you and others in determining whether or not this action might apply to certain entities. If you have 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 ID number OPP-2002-0236. 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 Highway, 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 ID number OPP-2002-0236 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 Highway, 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 ID number OPP-2002-0236. 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 identified 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. Make sure to submit your comments by the deadline in this notice.

7. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, be sure to identify the docket ID 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?

EPA has received a pesticide petition as follows proposing the establishment and/or amendment of regulations for residues of a certain pesticide chemical in or on various food commodities under section 408 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), 21 U.S.C. 346a. EPA has determined that this petition contains data or information regarding the elements set forth in section 408(d)(2); however, EPA has not fully evaluated the sufficiency of the submitted data at this time or whether the data support granting of the petition. Additional data may be needed before EPA rules on the petition.

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List of Subjects

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Dated: August 30, 2002.

Debra Edwards,

Acting Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

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Summary of Petition

The petitioner summary of the pesticide petition is printed below as required by section 408(d)(3) of the Start Printed Page 57595FFDCA. The summary of the petition was prepared by the petitioner and represents the view of the petitioner. EPA is publishing the petition summary verbatim without editing it in any way. The petition summary announces the availability of a description of the analytical methods available to EPA for the detection and measurement of the pesticide chemical residues or an explanation of why no such method is needed.

BASF Corporation

PP 2F4075

EPA has received a pesticide petition (2F4075) from BASF Corporation, P.O. Box 13528, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-3528 proposing, pursuant to section 408(d) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d), to amend 40 CFR part 180 by establishing a tolerance for residues of sethoxydim, 2-[1-(ethoxyimino)butyl]-5-[2-(ethylthio)propyl]-3-hydroxy-2-cyclohexen-1-one and its metabolites containing the 2-cyclohexen-1-one moiety (calculated as the herbicide) in or on the raw agricultural commodity (RAC) corn, sweet (K+CHR at 0.4 part per million (ppm); corn, sweet, forage at 3.0 ppm; corn, sweet, stover at 3.5 ppm; milk at 0.5 ppm; cattle, meat byproduct, at 1.0 ppm; goat, meat byproduct at 1.0 ppm; hog, meat byproduct at 1.0 ppm; horse, meat byproduct at 1.0 ppm; and sheep, meat by product at 1.0 ppm. EPA has determined that the petition contains data or information regarding the elements set forth in section 408(d)(2) of the FFDCA; however, EPA has not fully evaluated the sufficiency of the submitted data at this time or whether the data support granting of the petition. Additional data may be needed before EPA rules on the petition.

A. Residue Chemistry

1. Plant metabolism. The qualitative nature of the residues in plants and animals is adequately understood for the purposes of registration.

2. Analytical method. Analytical methods for detecting levels of sethoxydim and its metabolites in or on food with a limit of detection that allows monitoring of food with residues at or above the levels set in these tolerances were submitted to EPA. The proposed analytical method involves extraction, partition, and clean-up. Samples are then analyzed by gas chromatography with sulfur-specific flame photometric detection. The limit of quantitation is 0.05 ppm.

3. Magnitude of residues. Sweet corn at 14 locations throughout the major sweet corn-growing regions of the United States were treated with Poast herbicide, in order to determine the magnitude of the residue in or on sweet corn RAC samples. The applications were applied over the top of the “sethoxydim-resistant” hybrid corn plants at the target rate of 0.3 pounds active ingredient per acre (lb ai/A) in two sequential applications, for a maximum seasonal rate of 0.6 lb ai/A. There was a 10-day target interval between applications, with the last application occurring 30 days prior to the anticipated fresh corn harvest date.

Fresh corn, forage, and stover samples were analyzed by common moiety methods that determine both parent plus metabolites. The highest individual total residues as parent equivalent for fresh corn, forage, and stover were 0.36, 2.67, and 3.32 ppm, respectively. The residue decline site showed trends in decreasing residues with increasing pre-harvest intervals (PHI) in fresh corn and forage. There was no decline trend for stover as residues remained somewhat consistent through the 71-91 DALA sampling.

B. Toxicological Profile

1. Acute toxicity. Based on the available acute toxicity data, sethoxydim does not pose any acute dietary risks. A summary of the acute toxicity studies follows:

i. Acute oral toxicity, rat. Toxicity Category III; lethal dose (LD50) = 3,125 milligrams/kilogram (mg/kg) (male), 2,676 mg/kg (female).

ii. Acute dermal toxicity, rat. Toxicity Category III; LD50>5,000 mg/kg (male and female).

iii. Acute inhalation toxicity, rat. Toxicity Category III; lethal concentration (LC50) (4-hour) = 6.03 mg/L (male), 6.28 mg/L (female).

iv. Primary eye irritation, rabbit. Toxicity Category IV; no irritation.

v. Primary dermal irritation, rabbit. Toxicity Category IV; no irritation.

vi. Dermal sensitization, guinea pig. Waived because no sensitization was seen in guinea pigs dosed with the end-use product Poast (18% a.i.).

2. Genotoxicity. Ames assays were negative for gene mutation in Salmonella typhimurium strains TA98, TA100, TA1535, and TA 1537, with and without metabolic activity.

A Chinese hamster bone marrow cytogenetic assay was negative for structural chromosomal aberrations at doses up to 5,000 mg/kg in Chinese hamster bone marrow cells in vivo.

Recombinant assays and forward mutations tests in Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, and S. typhimurium were all negative for genotoxic effects at concentrations of greater than or equal to 100%.

3. Reproductive and developmental toxicity. A developmental toxicity study in rats fed dosages of 0, 50, 180, 650, and 1,000 mg/kg/day with a maternal no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) of 180 mg/kg/day and a maternal lowest observed adverse effect level (LOAEL) of 650 mg/kg/day (irregular gait, decreased activity, excessive salivation, and anogenital staining); and a developmental NOAEL of 180 mg/kg/day, and a developmental LOAEL of 650 mg/kg/day (21 to 22% decrease in fetal weights, filamentous tail, and lack of tail due to the absence of sacral and/or caudal vertebrae, and delayed ossification in the hyoids, vertebral centrum and/or transverse processes, sternebrae and/or metatarsals, and pubes).

A developmental toxicity study in rabbits fed doses of 0, 80, 160, 320, and 400 mg/kg/day with a maternal NOAEL of 320 mg/kg/day and a maternal LOAEL of 400 mg/kg/day (37% reduction in body weight gain without significant differences in group mean body weights and decreased food consumption during dosing); and a developmental NOAEL greater than 400 mg/kg/day highest dose tested (HTD).

A 2-generation reproduction study with rats fed diets containing 0, 150, 600, and 3,000 ppm (approximately 0, 7.5, 30, and 150 mg/kg/day) with no reproductive effects observed under the conditions of the study.

4. Subchronic toxicity. A 21-day dermal study in rabbits with a (NOAEL) of >1,000 mg/kg/day (limit dose). The only dose-related finding was slight epidermal hyperplasia at the dosing site in nearly all males and females dosed at 1,000 mg/kg/day. This was probably an adaptive response.

5. Chronic toxicity. A summary of the chronic toxicity studies follows.

i. A 1-year feeding study with dogs fed diets containing 0, 8.86/9.41, 17.5/19.9, and 110/129 mg/kg/day (males/females) with a NOAEL of 8.86/9.41 mg/kg/day (males/females) based on equivocal anemia in male dogs at the 17.5-mg/kg/day dose level.

ii. A 2-year chronic feeding/carcinogenicity study with mice fed diets containing 0, 40, 120, 360, and 1,080 ppm (equivalent to 0, 6, 18, 54, and 162 mg/kg/day) with a systemic NOAEL of 120 ppm (18 mg/kg/day) based on non-neoplastic liver lesions in male mice at the 360 ppm (54 mg/kg/day) dose level. There were no carcinogenic effects observed under the conditions of the study. The maximum tolerated dose (MTD) was not achieved in female mice.Start Printed Page 57596

iii. A 2-year chronic feeding/carcinogenic study with rats fed diets containing 0, 2, 6, and 18 mg/kg/day with a systemic NOAEL greater than or equal to 18 mg/kg/day HDT. There were no carcinogenic effects observed under the conditions of the study. This study was reviewed under current guidelines and was found to be unacceptable because the doses used were insufficient to induce a toxic response and an MTD was not achieved.

iv. A second chronic feeding/carcinogenic study with rats fed diets containing 0, 360, and 1,080 ppm (equivalent to 18.2/23.0, and 55.9/71.8 mg/kg/day (males/females). The dose levels were too low to elicit a toxic response in the test animals and failed to achieve an MTD or define a LOAEL. Slight decreases in body weight in rats at the 1,080 ppm dose level, although not biologically significant, support a free-standing NOAEL of 1,080 ppm (55.9/71.8 mg/kg/day (males/females)). There were no carcinogenic effects observed under the conditions of the study.

6. Animal metabolism. In a rat metabolism study, excretion was extremely rapid and tissue accumulation was negligible.

7. Metabolite toxicology. As a condition to registration, BASF had been asked to submit additional toxicology studies for the hydroxy-metabolites of sethoxydim. EPA agreed with BASF's recommendation to use the most abundant metabolite, 5-OH-MSO2, as surrogate for all metabolites. Based on these data, it was concluded that the toxicological potency of the plant hydroxy-metabolites is likely to be equal or less than that of the parent compound. The tolerance expression for sethoxydim and its metabolites containing the 2-cyclohexen-1-one moiety, measured as parent. Hence, the hydroxy-metabolites are figured into all tolerance calculations.

8. Endocrine disruption. No specific tests have been performed with sethoxydim to determine whether the chemical may have an effect in humans that is similar to an effect produced by naturally-occurring estrogen or other endocrine effects.

C. Aggregate Exposure

1. Dietary exposure. For purposes of assessing the potential dietary exposure, BASF has estimated aggregate exposure based on the Theoretical Maximum Residue Contribution (TMRC) from existing and pending tolerances for sethoxydim. (The TMRC is a “worst case” estimate of dietary exposure since it is assumed that 100% of all crops for which tolerances are established are treated and that pesticide residues are at the tolerance levels.)

i. Food. The TMRC from existing tolerances for the overall U.S. population is estimated at approximately 44% of the RfD. BASF estimates indicate that dietary exposure will not exceed the RfD for any population subgroup for which EPA has data. This exposure assessment relies on very conservative assumptions 100% of crops will contain sethoxydim residues and those residues would be at the level of the tolerance which results in an overestimate of human exposure.

ii. Drinking water. Based on the available studies submitted to EPA for assessment of environmental risk, BASF does not anticipate exposures to residues of sethoxydim in drinking water. There is no established Maximum Concentration Level (MCL) for residues of sethoxydim in drinking water under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).

2. Non-dietary exposure. BASF has not estimated non-occupational exposure for sethoxydim. Sethoxydim is labeled for use by homeowners on and around the following use sites: Flowers, evergreens, shrubs, trees, fruits, vegetables, ornamental groundcovers, and bedding plants. Hence, the potential for non-occupational exposure to the general population exists. However, these use sites do not appreciably increase exposure. Protective clothing requirements, including the use of gloves, adequately protect homeowners when applying the product. The product may only be applied through hose-end sprayers or tank sprayers as a 0.14% solution. Sethoxydim is not a volatile compound so inhalation exposure during and after application would be negligible. Dermal exposure would be minimal in light of the protective clothing and the low application rate. According to BASF, post-treatment (re-entry) exposure would be negligible for these use sites as contact with treated surfaces would be low. BASF concludes that the potential for non-occupational exposure to the general population is insignificant.

D. Cumulative Effects

BASF also considered the potential for cumulative effects of sethoxydim and other substances that have a common mechanism of toxicity. BASF is aware of one other active ingredient which is structurally similar, clethodim. However, BASF believes that consideration of a common mechanism of toxicity is not appropriate at this time. BASF does not have any reliable information to indicate that toxic effects produced by sethoxydim would be cumulative with clethodim or any other chemical; thus, BASF is considering only the potential risks of sethoxydim in its exposure assessment.

E. Safety Determination

1. U.S. populationReference dose (RfD). Using the conservative exposure assumptions described above, BASF has estimated that aggregate exposure to sethoxydim will utilize 44% of the RfD for the U.S. population. EPA generally has no concern for exposures below 100% of the RfD. Therefore, based on the completeness and reliability of the toxicity data, and the conservative exposure assessment, BASF concludes that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to residues of sethoxydim, including all anticipated dietary exposure and all other non-occupational exposures.

2. Infants and children—i. Developmental toxicity. Developmental toxicity was observed in a developmental toxicity study using rats but was not seen in a developmental toxicity study using rabbits. In the developmental toxicity study in rats, a maternal NOAEL of 180 mg/kg/day and a maternal LOAEL of 650 mg/kg/day (irregular gait, decreased activity, excessive salivation, and anogenital staining) was determined. A developmental NOAEL of 180 mg/kg/day and a developmental LOAEL of 650 mg/kg/day (21 to 22% decrease in fetal weights, filamentous tail and lack of tail due to the absence of sacral and/or caudal vertebrae, and delayed ossification in the hyoids, vertebral centrum and/or transverse processes, sternebrae and/or metatarsals, and pubes). Since developmental effects were observed only at doses where maternal toxicity was noted, the developmental effects observed are believed to be secondary effects resulting from maternal stress.

ii. Reproductive toxicity. A 2-generation reproduction study with rats fed diets containing 0, 150, 600, and 3,000 ppm (approximately 0, 7.5, 30, and 150 mg/kg/day) produced no reproductive effects during the course of the study. Although the dose levels were insufficient to elicit a toxic response, the Agency has considered this study usable for regulatory purposes and has established a free-standing NOAEL of 3,000 ppm (approximately 150 mg/kg/day) (60 FR 13941).

iii. Reference dose. Based on the demonstrated lack of significant developmental or reproductive toxicity, BASF believes that the RfD used to Start Printed Page 57597assess safety to children should be the same as that for the general population, 0.09 mg/kg/day. Using the conservative exposure assumptions described above, BASF has concluded that the most sensitive child population is that of children ages 1 to 6. BASF calculates the exposure to this group to be approximately 95% of the RfD for all uses (including those proposed in this document). Based on the completeness and reliability of the toxicity data and the conservative exposure assessment, BASF concludes that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to infants and children from aggregate exposure to the residues of sethoxydim, including all anticipated dietary exposure and all other non-occupational exposures.

F. International Tolerances

There are no Codex or Mexican maximum residue limits or tolerances for sethoxydim on sweet corn. There is a Canadian tolerance on corn of 0.5 ppm for sethoxydim and metabolites containing the cyclohex-2-enone moiety expressed as sethoxydim.

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[FR Doc. 02-23088 Filed 9-10-02; 8:45 am]

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