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Notice

Lindane and Other Hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) Isomers Risk Assessment; Notice of Availability and Solicitation of Risk Reduction Options

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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 EPA's risk assessment for the organochlorine pesticide lindane, gamma hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) and the other HCH isomers, and opens a public comment period on these documents. In addition, this notice solicits public comment on risk reduction options for lindane and the other HCH isomers. This action follows up on issues discussed in the July 2002 Lindane RED, in public comments EPA received on that decision document and in the draft North American Regional Action Plan (NARAP) on Lindane and other HCH Isomers.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before April 10, 2006.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0034, by one of the following methods:

  • http://www.regulations.gov/​. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
  • E-mail: opp-docket@epa.gov.
  • 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.
  • Hand Delivery: Public Information and Records Integrity Branch (PIRIB) (7502C), Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP), Environmental Protection Agency, Rm. 119, Crystal Mall #2, 1801 S. Bell St., Arlington, VA, Attention: Docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0034. The docket facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the docket facility is (703) 305-5805. 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 EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0034. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available on-line at http://www.regulations.gov/​, 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 regulations.gov or e-mail. The regulations.gov website is an “anonymous access” system, 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 regulations.gov, your e-mail address will be captured automatically 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 the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/​epahome/​docket.htm/​.

Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the regulation.gov index. 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, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically at http://www.regulations.gov/​ or in hard copy at the Public Information and Records Integrity Branch (PIRIB) (7502C), Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP), Environmental Protection Agency, Rm. 119, Crystal Mall #2, 1801 S. Bell St., Arlington, VA. The docket facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the docket facility is (703) 305-5805.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kimberly Nesci, Special Review and Reregistration Division (7508C), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 308-8059; fax number: (703) 308-8005; e-mail: nesci.kimberly@epa.gov or Mark Howard, Special Review and Reregistration Division (7508C), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 308-8172; fax number: (703) 308-8005; e-mail address: howard.markt@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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 Start Printed Page 6480Agency 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. What Should I Consider as I Prepare My Comments for EPA?

1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to EPA through www.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 document 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?

EPA is making available the risk assessment for lindane and the other HCH isomers. Lindane is an organochlorine pesticide currently used as a seed treatment on six agricultural crops, barley, corn, oats, rye, sorghum, and wheat. The other HCH isomers are byproducts of the manufacture of lindane. These isomers are mobile in the environment, condense in the Arctic, and have the potential to bioaccumulate, biomagnify, and bioconcentrate. HCH isomers have been detected in air, surface water, groundwater, sediment, soil, ice, snowpack, fish, wildlife, and humans

.

On July 31, 2002, EPA completed its Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for lindane on the six remaining agricultural uses of lindane, seed treatment on barley, corn, oats, rye, sorghum, and wheat. The RED document states that the six remaining lindane seed treatment uses are eligible for reregistration provided that certain conditions are met, one of which is that the Agency is able to establish all required tolerances for lindane residues on food. In response to the RED, the Agency received comments stating that the other isomers should be considered. In addition, these isomers are considered in the draft North American Regional Action Plan (NARAP) on Lindane and other HCH Isomers. Consistent with the RED comments and the NARAP, the Agency prepared a risk assessment that considers risks resulting from human and environmental exposures to other HCH isomers of environmental significance produced as by-products during the manufacture of lindane.

EPA is providing an opportunity, through this notice, for interested parties to provide comments and input on the Agency's risk assessment on lindane and the other HCH isomers. Such comments and input could address, for example, the assumptions used, availability of additional data to further inform the risk assessments, or could address the Agency's risk assessment methodologies and assumptions as applied to this specific pesticide. In addition, EPA is providing an opportunity, through this notice, for interested parties to provide risk management proposals or otherwise comment on risk management for lindane and the other HCH isomers.

EPA seeks to achieve environmental justice, the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. To help address potential environmental justice issues, the Agency seeks information on any groups or segments of the population who, as a result of their location, cultural practices, or other factors, may have atypical, unusually high exposure to lindane and the other HCH isomers, compared to the general population.

Comments should be limited to issues raised within the risk assessment and associated documents. Failure to comment on any such issues as part of this opportunity will not limit a commenter's opportunity to participate in any later notice and comment processes on this matter. All comments should be submitted using the methods in ADDRESSES, and must be received by EPA on or before the closing date. Comments will become part of the Agency Docket for lindane. Comments received after the close of the comment period will be marked “late.” EPA is not required to consider these late comments.

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 products or taking other “appropriate regulatory action.”

Section 408(q) of the 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: January 31, 2006.

Peter Caulkins,

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

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[FR Doc. 06-1103 Filed 2-7-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6560-50-S