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Notice

Metiram Reregistration Eligibility Decision

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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 availability of EPA's Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for the pesticide metiram. The Agency's risk assessments and other related documents also are available in the metiram Docket. Metiram is registered for use on apples, potatoes, and ornamental plants (leatherleaf ferns) in nurseries and greenhouses. Metiram is a member of the ethylene bisdithiocarbamate (EBDC) group of Start Printed Page 76831fungicides, which also includes the related active ingredients mancozeb and maneb. Metiram and the two other fungicides share the common metabolite/degradate ethylene thiourea (ETU), which has been considered in the metiram RED. EPA has reviewed metiram through the public participation process that the Agency uses to involve the public in developing pesticide reregistration and tolerance reassessment decisions. As a part of this process, the Agency announced the availability of the EBDC's preliminary risk assessments and supporting documents for a 90-day comment period and requested risk reduction options under docket ID number OPP-2004-0078. Through these programs, EPA is ensuring that all pesticides meet current health and safety standards.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tawanda Spears, Special Review and Reregistration Division (7508C), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 308-8050; fax number: (703) 308-8005; e-mail address: spears.tawanda@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, and may be of interest to a wide range of stakeholders including environmental, human health, and agricultural advocates; the chemical industry; pesticide users; and members of the public interested in the sale, distribution, or use of pesticides. Since others also may 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 Copies of this Document and Other Related Information?

1. Docket. EPA has established an official public docket for this action under docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0177. 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/​.

EDOCKET, EPA's electronic public docket and comment system was replaced on November 25, 2005 by an enhanced federal-wide electronic docket management and comment system located at http://www.regulations.gov/​. Follow the on-line instructions.

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, to 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. Once in the system, select “search,” then key in the appropriate docket ID number.

II. Background

A. What Action is the Agency Taking?

Under section 4 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), EPA is reevaluating existing pesticides to ensure that they meet current scientific and regulatory standards. EPA has completed a RED for the pesticide, metiram under section 4(g)(2)(A) of FIFRA. Metiram is registered for use on apples, potatoes, and ornamental plants (leatherleaf ferns) in nurseries and greenhouses. Metiram was previously registered for use on tobacco seedlings and roses, but these uses have since been voluntarily canceled. There are no residential labels, and no agricultural uses that could result in exposure to metiram in residential settings. Metiram is a member of the EBDC group of fungicides, which also includes the related active ingredients mancozeb and maneb.

EPA has determined that the data base to support reregistration is substantially complete and that products containing metiram are eligible for reregistration, provided that the risk mitigation measures outlined in the RED are adopted, and labels are amended to reflect these measures. Upon submission of any required product-specific data under section 4(g)(2)(B) and any necessary changes to the registration and labeling (either to address concerns identified in the RED or as a result of product-specific data), EPA will make a final reregistration decision under section 4(g)(2)(C) for products containing metiram.

EPA must review tolerances and tolerance exemptions that were in effect when the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) was enacted in August 1996, to ensure that these existing pesticide residue limits for food and feed commodities meet the safety standard established by the new law. Tolerances are considered reassessed once the safety finding has been made or a revocation occurs. EPA has reviewed and made the requisite safety finding for the metiram tolerances included in this notice.

EPA is applying the principles of public participation to all pesticides undergoing reregistration and tolerance reassessment. The Agency's Pesticide Tolerance Reassessment and Reregistration; Public Participation Process, published in the Federal Register on May 14, 2004 (69 FR 26819) (FRL-7357-9), explains that in conducting these programs, EPA is tailoring its public participation process to be commensurate with the level of risk, extent of use, complexity of issues, and degree of public concern associated with each pesticide. Due to its uses, risks, and other factors, metiram was reviewed through the modified 4-Phase process. Through this process, EPA worked extensively with stakeholders and the public to reach the regulatory decisions for metiram.

The reregistration program is being conducted under Congressionally mandated time frames, and EPA recognizes the need both to make timely decisions and to involve the public. Opportunities for public comment were offered as this decision was being developed. Additionally, all issues related to this pesticide were resolved through consultations with stakeholders. The Agency therefore is issuing the metiram RED without a comment period.

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

Section 4(g)(2) of FIFRA as amended directs that, after submission of all data concerning a pesticide active ingredient, “the Administrator shall determine whether pesticides containing such active ingredient are eligible for reregistration,” before calling in product-specific data on individual end-use products and either reregistering Start Printed Page 76832products or taking other “appropriate regulatory action.”

Section 408(q) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), 21 U.S.C. 346a(q), requires EPA to review tolerances and exemptions for pesticide residues in effect as of August 2, 1996, to determine whether the tolerance or exemption meets the requirements of section 408(b)(2) or (c)(2) of FFDCA. This review is to be completed by August 3, 2006.

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List of Subjects

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Dated: December 15, 2005.

Peter Caulkins,

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

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[FR Doc. 05-24464 Filed 12-27-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6560-50-S