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2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D); 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 identification (ID)number OPP-2005-0096, must be received on or before May 13, 2005.

ADDRESSES:

Comments may be submitted electronically, by mail, or through hand delivery/courier. Follow the detailed instructions as provided in Unit I. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Barbara Madden, Registration Division (7505C), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 305-6463; e-mail address: madden.barbara@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 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. 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 Copies of this Document and Other Related Information?

1. Docket. EPA has established an official public docket for this action under docket ID number OPP-2005-0096. The official public docket consists of the documents specifically referenced in this action, any public comments received, and other information related to this action. Although, a part of the official docket, the public docket does not include Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. The official public docket is the collection of materials that is available for public viewing at the Public Information and Records Integrity Branch (PIRIB), Rm. 119, Crystal Mall #2, 1801 S. Bell St., 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.

2. Electronic access. You may access this Federal Register document electronically through the EPA Internet under the “Federal Register” listings at http://www.epa.gov/​fedrgstr/​.

An electronic version of the public docket is available through EPA's electronic public docket and comment system, EPA Dockets. You may use EPA Dockets at http://www.epa.gov/​edocket/​ to submit or view public comments, access the index listing of the contents of the official public docket, and to access those documents in the public docket that are available electronically. Although, not all docket materials may be available electronically, you may still access any of the publicly available docket materials through the docket facility identified in Unit I.B.1. Once in the system, select “search,” then key in the appropriate docket ID number.

Certain types of information will not be placed in the EPA Dockets. Start Printed Page 19443 Information claimed as CBI and other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute, which is not included in the official public docket, will not be available for public viewing in EPA's electronic public docket. EPA's policy is that copyrighted material will not be placed in EPA's electronic public docket but will be available only in printed, paper form in the official public docket. To the extent feasible, publicly available docket materials will be made available in EPA's electronic public docket. When a document is selected from the index list in EPA Dockets, the system will identify whether the document is available for viewing in EPA's electronic public docket. Although, not all docket materials may be available electronically, you may still access any of the publicly available docket materials through the docket facility identified in Unit I.B. EPA intends to work towards providing electronic access to all of the publicly available docket materials through EPA's electronic public docket.

For public commenters, it is important to note that EPA's policy is that public comments, whether submitted electronically or on paper, will be made available for public viewing in EPA's electronic public docket as EPA receives them and without change, unless the comment contains copyrighted material, CBI, or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. When EPA identifies a comment containing copyrighted material, EPA will provide a reference to that material in the version of the comment that is placed in EPA's electronic public docket. The entire printed comment, including the copyrighted material, will be available in the public docket.

Public comments submitted on computer disks that are mailed or delivered to the docket will be transferred to EPA's electronic public docket. Public comments that are mailed or delivered to the docket will be scanned and placed in EPA's electronic public docket. Where practical, physical objects will be photographed, and the photograph will be placed in EPA's electronic public docket along with a brief description written by the docket staff.

C. How and to Whom Do I Submit Comments?

You may submit comments electronically, by mail, or through hand delivery/courier. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, identify the appropriate docket ID number in the subject line on the first page of your comment. Please ensure that your comments are submitted within the specified comment period. Comments received after the close of the comment period will be marked “late.” EPA is not required to consider these late comments. If you wish to submit CBI or information that is otherwise protected by statute, please follow the instructions in Unit I.D. Do not use EPA Dockets or e-mail to submit CBI or information protected by statute.

1. Electronically. If you submit an electronic comment as prescribed in this unit, EPA recommends that you include your name, mailing address, and an e-mail address or other contact information in the body of your comment. Also, include this contact information on the outside of any disk or CD ROM you submit, and in any cover letter accompanying the disk or CD ROM. This ensures that you can be identified as the submitter of the comment and allows EPA to contact you in case EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties or needs further information on the substance of your comment. EPA's policy is that EPA will not edit your comment, and any identifying or contact information provided in the body of a comment will be included as part of the comment that is placed in the official public docket, and made available in EPA's electronic public docket. 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.

i. EPA Dockets. Your use of EPA's electronic public docket to submit comments to EPA electronically is EPA's preferred method for receiving comments. Go directly to EPA Dockets at http://www.epa.gov/​edocket/​, and follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once in the system, select “search,” and then key in docket ID number OPP-2005-0096. The system is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity, e-mail address, or other contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment.

ii. E-mail. Comments may be sent by e-mail to opp-docket@epa.gov, Attention: Docket ID number OPP-2005-0096. In contrast to EPA's electronic public docket, EPA's e-mail system is not an “anonymous access” system. If you send an e-mail comment directly to the docket without going through EPA's electronic public docket, EPA's e-mail system automatically captures your e-mail address. E-mail addresses that are automatically captured by EPA's e-mail system are included as part of the comment that is placed in the official public docket, and made available in EPA's electronic public docket.

iii. Disk or CD ROM. You may submit comments on a disk or CD ROM that you mail to the mailing address identified in Unit I.C.2. These electronic submissions will be accepted in WordPerfect or ASCII file format. Avoid the use of special characters and any form of encryption.

2. By mail. Send your comments to: 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-2005-0096.

3. By hand delivery or courier. Deliver your comments to: Public Information and Records Integrity Branch (PIRIB), Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP), Environmental Protection Agency, Rm. 119, Crystal Mall #2, 1801 S. Bell St., Arlington, VA, Attention: Docket ID number OPP-2005-0096. Such deliveries are only accepted during the docket's normal hours of operation as identified in Unit I.B.1.

D. How Should I Submit CBI to the Agency?

Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI electronically through EPA's electronic public docket or by e-mail. You may claim information that you submit to EPA as CBI by marking any part or all of that information as CBI (if you submit CBI on disk or CD ROM, 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 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 docket and EPA's electronic public docket. If you submit the copy that does not contain CBI on disk or CD ROM, mark the outside of the disk or CD ROM clearly that it does not contain CBI. Information not marked as CBI will be included in the public docket and EPA's electronic public docket 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.

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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 FFDCA 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: April 1, 2005.

Lois Rossi,

Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

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Summary of Petition

The petitioner's summary of the pesticide petition is printed below as required by FFDCA section 408(d)(3). The summary of the petition was prepared by Interregional Research Project Number 4 (IR-4), and represents the view of the petitioner. 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.

Interregional Research Project Number 4 (IR-4)

PP 2E6352

EPA has received a pesticide petition PP 2E6352 from the Interregional Research Project Number 4 (IR-4)], 681 U.S. Highway #1 S. North Brunswick, NJ 08902-3390 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 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) in or on the raw agricultural commodity hop at 0.05 parts per million (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 supports granting of the petition. Additional data may be needed before EPA rules on the petition.

A. Residue Chemistry

1. Plant and animal metabolism. The nature of the residue in plants is adequately understood. Acceptable wheat, lemon, and potato metabolism studies have been submitted. The nature of the residue in animals is adequately understood based upon acceptable ruminant and poultry metabolism studies submitted.

2. Analytical method. The residue field tests on hops used a gas chromatography (GC) method with electron capture detection (ECD), EN-CAS Method ENC-2/93. This GC/ECD method is adequate for determining residues in or on hops with a lowest level of method validation of 0.05 ppm.

3. Magnitude of residues. In 3 tests on hops conducted in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, residues of 2,4-D were nondetectable (<0.05 ppm) in/on all samples of dried hop cones from hops plots treated in Washington and Oregon with an application of 2,4-D (amine) directed to the hops yard floor at 0.5 lb active ingredient per acre three times at 27 to 33 day intervals, and following a 28 or 29-day preharvest interval. Under the same application schedule in Idaho, residues of 2, 4-D were 0.052-0.053 ppm in hops samples harvested 30 days after the last treatment. Based on the residue data for hops, a tolerance of 0.05 ppm in or on the raw agricultural commodity hop is appropriate.

B. Toxicological Profile

1. Acute toxicity. The oral LD50 of 2,4-D acid is 699 milligrams/kilogram (mg/kg) in the rat. The dermal LD50 in the rabbit is >2,000 mg/kg. The acute inhalation LC50 in the rat is > 1.8 (mg/liter). A primary eye irritation study in the rabbit showed severe irritation. A dermal irritation study in the rabbit showed moderate irritation. A dermal sensitization study in the guinea pig showed no skin sensitization. An acute neurotoxicity study in the rat produced a no observed adverse effect level (NOEL) of 227 mg/kg for systemic toxicity and a neurobehavioral NOEL of 67 mg/kg with a lowest observed adverse effect level (LOEL) of 227 mg/kg.

2. Genotoxicity. Mutagenicity studies including gene mutation, chromosomal aberrations, and direct DNA damage tests were negative for mutagenic effects.

3. Reproductive and developmental toxicity. A 2-generation reproduction study was conducted in rats with NOELs for parental and developmental toxicity of 5 mg/kg/day. The LOELs for this study are established at 20 mg/kg/ day based on reductions in body weight gain in F0 and F2b pups, and reduction in pup weight at birth and during lactation. A teratology study in rabbits given gavage doses at 0, 10, 30, and 90 mg/kg on days 6-18 of gestation was negative for developmental toxicity at all doses tested. A teratology study in rats given gavage doses at 0, 8, 25, and 75 mg/kg on days 6-15 of gestation showed maternal toxicity only at 75 mg/kg. A NOEL for fetotoxicity was established at 25 mg/kg/day based on delayed ossification at the 75 mg/kg dose level. The effects on pups occurred in the presence of parental toxicity.

4. Subchronic toxicity. A subchronic dietary study was conducted with mice fed diets containing 0, 1, 15, 100, and 300 mg/kg/day with a NOEL of 15 mg/kg/day. The (LOEL) was established at 100 mg/kg/day based on decreased glucose and thyroxine levels, increases in absolute and relative kidney weights, and histopathological lesions in the liver and kidneys. A 90-day dietary study in rats fed diets containing 0, 1, 15, 100, or 300 mg/ kg/day resulted in a NOEL of 15 mg/kg/day and an LOEL of 100 mg/kg/day. The LOEL was based on decreases in body weight and food consumption, alteration in clinical pathology, changes in organ weights, and histopathological lesions in the kidney, liver, and adrenal glands of both sexes of rats. A 90-day feeding study was conducted in dogs fed diets containing 0, 0.3, 1, 3, and 10 mg/kg/Start Printed Page 19445day with a NOEL of 1 mg/kg/day. The LOEL was established at 3 mg/kg/day based on histopathological changes in the kidneys of male dogs.

5. Chronic toxicity. A 1-year dietary study was conducted in the dog using doses of 0, 1, 5, and 7.5 mg/kg/day. The NOEL was 1 mg/kg/day and the LOEL was 5 mg/kg/day based on clinical chemistry changes and histopathological lesions in the liver and kidney. A 2-year feeding/carcinogenicity study was conducted in mice fed diets containing 0, 1, 15, and 45 mg/kg/day with a NOEL of 1 mg/kg/day. The systemic LOEL was established at 15 mg/kg/day based on increased kidney and adrenal weights and homogeneity of renal tubular epithelium due to cytoplasmic vacuoles. No carcinogenic effects were observed under the conditions of the study at any dosage level tested. A second 2-year oncogenicity study was conducted in mice fed diets containing 0, 5, 62.5, and 125 mg/kg/day (males) and 0, 5, 150, and 300 mg/kg/day (females). No treatment-related oncogenicity was observed. A 2-year feeding/carcinogenicity study was conducted in rats fed diets containing 0, 1, 15, and 45 mg/kg/day with a NOEL of 1 mg kg/day. Although there appeared to be a slight treatment-related incidence of benign brain tumors (astrocytomas) in male rats fed diets containing 45 mg/kg/ day, two different statistical evaluations found no strong statistical evidence of carcinogenicity in male rats. There were no carcinogenic effects observed in female rats. A second 2-year feeding/carcinogenicity study was conducted in rats fed diets containing 0, 5, 75, and 150 mg/kg/day. The NOEL was 5 mg/kg/day and the LOEL was 75 mg/kg/day based on decreased body weight, body weight gain and food consumption; clinical chemistry changes; organ weight changes and histopathological lesions. No treatment-related carcinogenic effects or increased incidences of astrocytomas were observed.

6. Animal metabolism. The metabolism of phenyl ring labeled 14C-2,4-D was studied in the rat following a single intravenous or oral dose of approximately 1 mg/kg/day. At 48 hours after treatment, recovery of radioactivity in urine was in excess of 98%. Parent 2,4-D was the major metabolite (72.9% to 90.5%) found in the urine.

7. Metabolite toxicology. Because 2,4-D is rapidly excreted without significant metabolism, the toxicology data on the parent compound adequately represents metabolite toxicology.

8. Endocrine disruption. Although, tests explicitly designed to evaluate the potential endocrine effects of 2,4-D have not been conducted, a large and diverse battery of toxicology studies is available including acute, subchronic, chronic, reproductive and developmental toxicity tests. The results of these studies do not provide a pattern of effects suggestive of endocrine modulated toxicity.

C. Aggregate Exposure

1. Dietary exposure. Residues are near or below the lowest level of method validation (LLMV = 0.05 ppm) in hops. Tolerances have been established (40 CFR 180.142) for residues of 2,4-D as the acid or various of its salts and esters, in or on a variety of raw agricultural commodities. In addition, there are also tolerances for 2,4-D for meat, milk, and eggs.

i. Food. As reflected in the 1994-1996 USDA CSFII data, hops are not consumed as part of the diet. Therefore, any increased exposure from the use of 2,4-D on hops would be negligible and would not significantly alter the acute and chronic dietary risk estimates provided.

ii. Drinking water. 2,4-D is soluble in water. The average field half-life is 10 days. The chemical is potentially mobile, but rapid degradation in soil and removal by plant uptake minimizes leaching. A Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of 0.07 mg/L has been established. In addition, the following Health Advisories have been established: for a 10-kg child, a range of 1 mg/L from 1-day exposure to 0.1 mg/L for longer-term exposure up to 7 years; for a 70 kg adult, a range of 0.4 mg/L for longer-term exposure to 0.07 mg/L for lifetime exposure.

2. Non-dietary exposure. 2,4-D is currently registered for use on the following residential non-food sites: ornamental turf, lawns, and grasses, golf course turf, recreational areas, and several other indoor and outdoor uses. 2,4-D is a commonly-used pesticide in non-agricultural settings. There are chemical-specific and site-specific data available to determine the potential risks associated with residential exposures from the registered uses of 2,4-D. Dislodgeable residues of 2,4-D taken during exposure sessions showed a rapid decline from 1 hour following application (8%) to 24 hours following applications (1%). No detectable residues were found in urine samples supplied by volunteers exposed to sprayed turf 24 hours following application. Intermediate-term postapplication exposure is thus not expected.

D. Cumulative Effects

There are no available data to determine whether 2,4-D has a common mechanism of toxicity with other substances or how to include this pesticide in a cumulative risk assessment. Unlike other pesticides for which EPA has followed a cumulative risk approach based on a common mechanism of toxicity, 2,4-D does not appear to produce a toxic metabolite produced by other substances.

E. Safety Determination

1. U.S. population. For chronic dietary exposure, EPA has established the RfD for 2,4-D at 0.01 milligrams/kilogram/day (mg/kg/day). This RfD is based on a 1-year oral toxicity study in dogs with a NOEL of 1 mg/kg/day and an uncertainty factor of 100. In the most recent final rule establishing tolerances for 2,4-D (time-limited tolerance in soybeans at 64 FR 11792 on March 10, 1999), EPA calculated aggregate risks for the existing uses of 2,4-D at that time (including soybeans and all other existing uses). Since those uses have not changed in the interim and hops are not consumed as part of the diet, it is appropriate to utilize the same calculations to support the proposed tolerance in or on hops. Chronic dietary exposure estimates (DEEM ) used mean consumption (3 day average) and anticipated or tolerance-level residues for all commodities. Exposure estimates used 25.6% of the RfD for the general U.S. population (48 states) and 49.2% of the RfD for the most exposed population of non-nursing infants (less than one year old). Despite the potential for exposure to 2,4-D in drinking water and from non-dietary, non-occupational exposure, EPA did not expect the aggregate exposure to exceed 100% of the RfD.

For acute dietary exposure, the NOEL of 67 mg/kg/day from the rat acute neurotoxicity study should be used for risk assessment. As neurotoxicity is the effect of concern, the acute dietary risk assessment should evaluate acute dietary risk to all population subgroups. Again, relying upon the EPA calculations underlying the most recent final rule establishing tolerances for 2,4-D cited above, which included soybeans and all other existing uses, EPA calculated acute aggregate risk taking into account anticipated residues or tolerance level residues on all treated crops, which is a significant over estimation of dietary exposure. For the U.S. population, the acute dietary MOE is 321 and it is 399 for females 13+ years. These figures do not exceed Start Printed Page 19446EPA's level of concern for acute dietary exposure.

Regarding dietary cancer risk assessment, EPA's Cancer Peer Review Committee has classified 2,4-D as a Group D chemical (“not classifiable as to human carcinogenicity”) on the basis that, “the evidence is inadequate and cannot be interpreted as showing either the presence or absence of a carcinogenic effect.”

2. Infants and children. The data base on 2,4-D relative to pre-and post-natal toxicity is complete with respect to current data requirements. Since the developmental NOELs for rats and rabbits are 25-fold greater and 90-fold greater, respectively, than the RfD NOEL of 1 mg/kg/day in the one-year oral toxicity study in dogs, an additional uncertainty factor to protect infants and children is not warranted.

Using conservative EPA calculations underlying the most recent final rule establishing tolerances for 2,4-D cited above, which included soybeans and all other existing uses, aggregate acute MOEs for exposure to 2,4-D from food are 214 for infants less than 1-year old and 399 for females 13 and older. The maximum estimated concentrations of 2,4-D in surface and ground water are less than EPA's Drinking Water Level of Comparison (DWLOC) figures for 2,4-D as a contribution to acute aggregate exposure. EPA concluded with reasonable certainty that residues of 2,4-D in drinking water do not contribute significantly to the aggregate acute human health risk.

Using the same conservative assumptions described earlier to estimate chronic risk from aggregate chronic exposure to 2,4-D from food, 11.4% of the reference dose (RfD) is utilized for nursing infants less than one year old up to 49.2% of the RfD for non-nursing infants less than one-year old. Further refinement using additional anticipated residue values in crops and percent crop-treated information would result in lower chronic dietary (food) exposure estimates, thus reducing the aggregate risk estimate. Despite the potential for exposure to 2,4-D in drinking water and from non-dietary, non-occupational exposure, EPA concluded that, it did not expect the aggregate exposure to exceed 100% of the RfD.

F. International Tolerances

There are no Codex, Canadian, or Mexican maximum residue limits (MRLs) for use of 2,4-D on hops.

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[FR Doc. 05-7224 Filed 4-12-05; 8:45 am]

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