Skip to Content

Proposed Rule

Thifensulfuron-methyl; Proposed Tolerance Actions

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.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

EPA is proposing to reinstate corn tolerances for the herbicide thifensulfuron-methyl. These corn tolerances were previously established but inadvertently removed shortly thereafter. Registrations under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) for use of thifensulfuron-methyl on corn currently exist and have existed for more than 9 years.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before July 12, 2004.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by docket ID number OPP-2004-0085, by one of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov/​. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
  • Agency Website: http://www.epa.gov/​edocket/​. EDOCKET, EPA's electronic public docket and comment system, is EPA's preferred method for receiving comments. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
  • E-mail: Comments may be sent by e-mail to opp-docket@epa.gov, Attention: Docket ID Number OPP-2004-0085.
  • Mail: Public Information and Records Integrity Branch (PIRIB) (7502C), Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001, Attention: Docket ID Number OPP-2004-0085.
  • Hand Delivery/carrier: Public Information and Records Integrity Branch (PIRIB), Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP), Environmental Protection Agency, Rm. 119, Crystal Mall #2, 1921 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Arlington, VA, Attention: Docket ID Number OPP-2004-0085. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

Instructions: Direct your comments to docket ID number OPP-2004-0085. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.epa.gov/​edocket/​, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through EDOCKET, regulations.gov, or e-mail. The EPA EDOCKET and the regulations.gov websites are anonymous access systems, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an e-mail comment directly to EPA without going through EDOCKET or regulations.gov, your e-mail address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about EPA's public docket visit EDOCKET on-line or see the Federal Register of May 31, 2002 (67 FR 38102) (FRL-7181-7).

Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the EDOCKET index at http://www.epa.gov/​edocket/​. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in EDOCKET or in hard copy at the Public Information and Records Integrity Branch (PIRIB), Rm. 119, Crystal Mall #2, 1921 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Arlington, VA. This Docket Facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The Docket telephone number is (703) 305-5805.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Joseph Nevola, Special Review and Reregistration Division (7508C), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave, NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 308-8037; e-mail address: nevola.joseph@epa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. General Information

A. Does this Action Apply to Me?

You may be potentially affected by this action if you are an agricultural producer, food manufacturer, or pesticide manufacturer. Potentially affected entities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Crop production (NAICS 111)
  • Animal production (NAICS 112)
  • Food manufacturing (NAICS 311)
  • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS 32532).

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 this unit could also be affected. The North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes have been provided to assist you and others in determining whether this action might apply to certain entities. To determine whether you or your business may be affected by this action, you should carefully examine the applicability provisions in Unit II.A. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

Start Printed Page 26349

B. How Can I Access Electronic Copies of this Document and Other Related Information?

In addition to using EDOCKET (http://www.epa.gov/​edocket/​), you may access this Federal Register document electronically through the EPA Internet under the “Federal Register” listings at http://www.epa.gov/​fedrgstr/​. A frequently updated electronic version of 40 CFR part 180 is available at E-CFR Beta Site Two at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/​ecfr/​.

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

1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to EPA through EDOCKET, regulations.gov, or e-mail. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a disk or CD ROM that you mail to EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI). In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes 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 docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.

2. Tips for preparing your comments. When submitting comments, remember to:

i. Identify the rulemaking by docket number and other identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register date, and page number).

ii. Follow directions. The agency may ask you to respond to specific questions or organize comments by referencing a Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part or section number.

iii. Explain why you agree or disagree; suggest alternatives and substitute language for your requested changes.

iv. Describe any assumptions and provide any technical information and/or data that you used.

v. If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be reproduced.

vi. Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns, and suggest alternatives.

vii. Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the use of profanity or personal threats.

viii. Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline identified.

II. Background

A. What Action is the Agency Taking?

On May 18, 1994 (59 FR 25821) (FRL-4778-9), EPA published a Notice of Final Rulemaking in the Federal Register in which the Agency established tolerances for residues of the herbicide thifensulfuron-methyl in 40 CFR 180.439 for field corn fodder, forage and grain at 0.1 parts per million (ppm), 0.1 ppm and 0.05 ppm, respectively, all with an effective date of May 18, 1994.

Not long after, on June 22, 1994 (59 FR 32085) (FRL-4868-8), EPA published a Notice of Final Rulemaking in the Federal Register in which the Agency established tolerances for residues of the herbicide thifensulfuron-methyl in 40 CFR 180.439 for oat, grain and oat, straw with an effective date of June 22, 1994. However, the codification section of that June 22nd final rule inadvertently left out the corn tolerances that were newly established on May 18, 1994. In the preamble text of the June 22nd final rule, no action was directed toward the corn tolerances established on May 18th. The establishment of three corn tolerances on May 18th was inadvertently missed in the final rule of June 22nd. Consequently, the three corn tolerances established on May 18th did not appear in § 180.439 of the July 1, 1994 version of the 40 CFR nor in subsequent annual versions.

Currently, there are active products registered under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) which list corn as a use site for thifensulfuron-methyl application. These registrations have existed since 1994 with associated tolerances established in May 1994. EPA is proposing to correct the inadvertent error.

Also, in accordance with current Agency practice, the commodity terminologies for the tolerances should be revised from corn forage, field to corn, field, forage; corn grain, field to corn, field, grain; and corn fodder, field to corn, field, stover.

Therefore, EPA is proposing to reinstate the tolerances in 40 CFR 180.439 for residues of thifensulfuron-methyl in or on corn, field, forage at 0.1 ppm; corn, field, stover at 0.1 ppm; and corn, field, grain at 0.05 ppm. The Agency will reassess these tolerances according to FQPA standards in the near future.

On February 13, 2004 (69 FR 7161) (FRL-7338-6), EPA published a direct final rule which would have reinstated the three corn tolerances in 40 CFR 180.439. However, during the public comment period, EPA received in docket OPP-2003-0363 one adverse comment from a private individual. In the February 13th direct final rule, EPA stated that if a relevant adverse comment was received during the comment period, that EPA would publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the direct final rule will not take effect and that the Agency would publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in a future issue of the Federal Register. EPA published a withdrawal of the February 13th direct final rule on April 14, 2004 (69 FR 19767) (FRL-7351-9).

Comment. On February 17, 2004, a private individual from New Jersey commented that he was opposed to the EPA approval of yet another chemical to be placed on plants and stated that zero tolerance is the only tolerance that should be tolerated on plants.

Agency Response. The comment was general in nature and did not address the inadvertent or improper removal of the established corn tolerances for thifensulfuron-methyl. Nor did the comment address current active registrations for use of thifensulfuron-methyl on corn, which have existed since 1994. Thus, the action proposed here is not approving a new chemical but reinstating the corn tolerances in 40 CFR 180.439 to correct their inadvertent removal.

B. What is the Agency's Authority for Taking this Action?

A tolerance represents the maximum level for residues of pesticide chemicals legally allowed in or on raw agricultural commodities and processed foods. Section 408 of FFDCA, 21 U.S.C. 301 et seq., as amended by the FQPA of 1996, Public Law 104-170, authorizes the establishment of tolerances, exemptions from tolerance requirements, modifications in tolerances, and revocation of tolerances for residues of pesticide chemicals in or on raw agricultural commodities and processed foods (21 U.S.C. 346(a)). Without a tolerance or exemption, food containing pesticide residues is considered to be unsafe and therefore adulterated under section 402(a) of the FFDCA. Such food may not be distributed in interstate commerce (21 U.S.C. 331(a) and 342(a)). For a food-use pesticide to be sold and distributed, the pesticide must not only have appropriate tolerances under the FFDCA, but also must be registered under FIFRA (7 U.S.C. et seq.). Food-use pesticides not registered in the United States must have tolerances in order for commodities treated with those pesticides to be imported into the United States. EPA will establish and Start Printed Page 26350maintain tolerances even when corresponding domestic uses are canceled if the tolerances, which EPA refers to as import tolerances, are necessary to allow importation into the United States of food containing such pesticide residues.

C. When do These Actions Become Effective?

EPA is proposing that the three corn tolerances for thifensulfuron-methyl be reinstated on the day of publication of a final rule in the Federal Register.

III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

In this proposed rule EPA is proposing to reinstate specific tolerances established under section 408 of the FFDCA. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted this type of action from review under Executive Order 12866, entitled Regulatory Planning and Review (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). Because this proposed rule has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866 due to its lack of significance, this proposed rule is not subject to Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001). This proposed rule does not contain any information collections subject to OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., or impose any enforceable duty or contain any unfunded mandate as described under Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) (Public Law 104-4). Nor does it require any special considerations as required by Executive Order 12898, entitled Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994); or OMB review or any other Agency action under Executive Order 13045, entitled Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997). This action does not involve any technical standards that would require Agency consideration of voluntary consensus standards pursuant to section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (NTTAA), Public Law 104-113, section 12(d) (15 U.S.C. 272 note). Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), the Agency previously assessed whether establishment of tolerances might significantly impact a substantial number of small entities and concluded that, as a general matter, these actions do not impose a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This analysis was published on May 4, 1981 (46 FR 24950), and was provided to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. Taking into account this analysis, I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Furthermore, for the pesticides named in this proposed rule, the Agency knows of no extraordinary circumstances that exist as to the present proposal that would change the EPA's previous analysis. Any comments about the Agency's determination should be submitted to the EPA along with comments on the proposal, and will be addressed prior to issuing a final rule. In addition, the Agency has determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, as specified in Executive Order 13132, entitled Federalism (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999). Executive Order 13132 requires EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure “meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have federalism implications.” “Policies that have federalism implications” is defined in the Executive order to include regulations that have “substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.” This proposed rule directly regulates growers, food processors, food handlers and food retailers, not States. This action does not alter the relationships or distribution of power and responsibilities established by Congress in the preemption provisions of section 408(n)(4) of the FFDCA. For these same reasons, the Agency has determined that this proposed rule does not have any “tribal implications” as described in Executive Order 13175, entitled Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments (65 FR 67249, November 6, 2000). Executive Order 13175, requires EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure “meaningful and timely input by tribal officials in the development of regulatory policies that have tribal implications.” “Policies that have tribal implications” is defined in the Executive order to include regulations that have “substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and the Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.” This proposed rule will not have substantial direct effects on tribal governments, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, as specified in Executive Order 13175. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this proposed rule.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

End List of Subjects Start Signature

Dated: May 3, 2004.

James Jones,

Director, Office of Pesticide Programs.

End Signature

Therefore, it is proposed that 40 CFR chapter I be amended as follows:

Start Part

PART 180—[AMENDED]

End Part

1. The authority citation for part 180 continues to read as follows:

Start Authority

Authority: 21 U.S.C. 321(q), 346a and 371.

End Authority

2. Section 180.439 is revised to read as follows:

Thifensulfuron-methyl (methyl-3-[[[[(4-methoxy-6-methyl-1,3,5-triazin-2-yl)amino]carbonyl]amino]sulfonyl]-2-thiophene carboxylate); tolerances for residues.

(a) General. Tolerances are established for residues of the herbicide thifensulfuron-methyl (methyl-3-[[[[4-methoxy-6-methyl-1,3,5-triazin-2-yl)amino]carbonyl]amino]sulfonyl]-2-thiophene carboxylate) in or on the following raw agricultural commodities:

CommodityParts per million
Barley, grain0.05
Barley, straw0.1
Corn, field, forage0.1
Corn, field, grain0.05
Corn, field, stover0.1
Oat, grain0.05
Oat, straw0.1
Soybean0.1
Wheat, grain0.05
Wheat, straw0.1

(b) Section 18 emergency exemptions. [Reserved]

(c) Tolerances with regional registrations. [Reserved]

Start Printed Page 26351

(d) Indirect or inadvertent residues. [Reserved]

End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 04-10780 Filed 5-11-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6560-50-S