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Glufosinate Ammonium; Pesticide Tolerance

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This regulation establishes tolerances for indirect or inadvertent residues of glufosinate ammonium and its metabolite in or on raw agricultural commodities. Bayer CropScience requested this tolerance under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), as amended by the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 (FQPA).

DATES:

This regulation is effective May 3, 2006. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before July 3, 2006.

ADDRESSES:

To submit a written objection or hearing request follow the detailed instructions as provided in Unit VI. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0301. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov Web site. (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.) 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, 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.

  • Important Note: OPP will be moving to a new location the first week of May 2006. As a result, from Friday, April 28 to Friday, May 5, 2006, the OPP Regulatory Public Docket will NOT be accepting any deliveries at the Crystal Mall #2 address and this facility will be closed to the public. Beginning on May 8, 2006, the OPP Regulatory Public Docket will reopen at 8:30 a.m. and deliveries will be accepted in Rm. S-4400, One Potomac Yard (South Building), 2777 S. Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202. The mail code for the mailing address will change to (7502P), but will otherwise remain the same. The OPP Regulatory Public Docket telephone number and hours of operation will remain the same after the move.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Joanne I. Miller, Registration Division (7505C), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 305-6224; e-mail address: miller.joanne@epamail.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 are an agricultural producer, food manufacturer, or pesticide manufacturer. Potentially affected entities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Crop production (NAICS 111), e.g., agricultural workers; greenhouse, nursery, and floriculture workers; farmers.
  • Animal production (NAICS 112), e.g., cattle ranchers and farmers, dairy cattle farmers, livestock farmers.Start Printed Page 25943
  • Food manufacturing (NAICS 311), e.g., agricultural workers; farmers; greenhouse, nursery, and floriculture workers; ranchers; pesticide applicators.
  • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS 32532), e.g., agricultural workers; commercial applicators; farmers; greenhouse, nursery, and floriculture workers; residential users.

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 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 on E-CFR Beta Site Two at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/​ecfr.

II. Background and Statutory Findings

In the Federal Register of December 21, 2005 (70 FR 75808) (FRL-7751-5), EPA issued a notice pursuant to section 408(d)(3) of FFDCA, 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide petition (PP 5F6954) by Bayer CropScience, 2 T.W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709. The petition requested that 40 CFR 180.473(d) be amended by establishing tolerances for indirect or inadvertent residues of the herbicide glufosinate ammonium, butanoic acid, 2-amino-4-(hydroxymethylphosphinyl)-, monoammonium salt and its metabolite, 3-methylphosphinicopropionic acid expressed as 2-amino-4-(hydroxymethylphosphinyl) butanoic acid equivalents in or on forage, hay, and straw of small grains (Crop Group 16) at 0.2 parts per million (ppm). That notice included a summary of the petition prepared by Bayer CropScience, the registrant. Based on available data the tolerances are being established at 0.40 ppm for glufosinate ammonium and its metabolite for specific small grain crops. One comment was received on the notices of filing. EPA's response to this comment is discussed in Unit IV.C.

Section 408(b)(2)(A)(i) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish tolerances (the legal limit for a pesticide chemical residue in or on a food) only if EPA determines that the tolerance is “safe.” Section 408(b)(2)(A)(ii) of FFDCA defines “safe” to mean that “there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue, including all anticipated dietary exposures and all other exposures for which there is reliable information.” This includes exposure through drinking water and in residential settings, but does not include occupational exposure. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA requires EPA to give special consideration to exposure of infants and children to the pesticide chemical residue in establishing tolerances and to “ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to infants and children from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue. . . .”

EPA performs a number of analyses to determine the risks from aggregate exposure to pesticide residues. For further discussion of the regulatory requirements of section 408 of FFDCA and a complete description of the risk assessment process, see http://www.epa.gov/​fedrgstr/​EPA-PEST/​1997/​November/​Day-26/​p30948.htm.

III. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

Consistent with section 408(b)(2)(D) of FFDCA, EPA has reviewed the available scientific data and other relevant information in support of this action. EPA has sufficient data to assess the hazards of and to make a determination on aggregate exposure, consistent with section 408(b)(2) of FFDCA, for tolerances for indirect or inadvertent residues of the herbicide glufosinate ammonium, butanoic acid, 2-amino-4-(hydroxymethylphosphinyl)-, monoammonium salt and its metabolite, 3-methylphosphinicopropionic acid in or on barley hay, barley straw, buckwheat fodder, buckwheat forage, oat forage, oat hay, oat straw, rye forage, rye straw, teosinte, triticale, wheat forage, wheat hay and wheat straw at 0.40 ppm. EPA's assessment of exposures and risks associated with establishing the tolerance follows.

A. Toxicological Profile

EPA has evaluated the available toxicity data and considered its validity, completeness, and reliability as well as the relationship of the results of the studies to human risk. EPA has also considered available information concerning the variability of the sensitivities of major identifiable subgroups of consumers, including infants and children. Specific information on the studies received and the nature of the toxic effects caused by glufosinate ammonium as well as the no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) and the lowest observed adverse effect level (LOAEL) from the toxicity studies are discussed in the Federal Register of September 29, 2003 (68 FR 55833) (FRL-7327-9).

B. Toxicological Endpoints

A summary of the toxicological endpoints for glufosinate ammonium used for human risk assessment is discussed in Unit III.B. of the final rule published in the Federal Register of September 29, 2003.

C. Exposure Assessment

The proposed inadvertent tolerances will result in the establishment of tolerances in or on feed commodities only. These tolerances do not impact the livestock residue assumptions made in the previous dietary exposure analysis. EPA concludes that establishment of tolerances for indirect or inadvertent residues of glufosinate ammonium does not alter the residue assumptions discussed in the final rule published in the Federal Register of September 29, 2003. The Exposure Assessment remains identical.

D. Safety Factor for Infants and Children

A summary of the safety factor for infants and children for glufosinate ammonium is discussed in Unit III.D. of the final rule published in the Federal Register of September 29, 2003.

E. Aggregate Risks and Determination of Safety

Establishing these new tolerances will not increase exposure to glufosinate ammonium above the exposure levels previously assessed. EPA is relying on the aggregate risk assessment and determination of the safety for glufosinate ammonium in Unit III.E. of the final rule published in the Federal Register of September 29, 2003.

The risk assessment employed a 1,000x uncertainty factor for dietary and residential dermal assessment (10x database uncertainty factor; 1x FQPA factor) and 3,000x uncertainty factor for inhalation. EPA has received a developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) study but has not received a comparative glutamate synthetase study in young and adult animals. The DNT study does not effect the endpoints chosen and the previous risk assessment Start Printed Page 25944and EPA concludes that the endpoints and uncertainty factors used in the previous remain appropriate.

EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the general population, and to infants and children from aggregate exposure to glufosinate ammonium residues.

IV. Other Considerations

A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

Adequate enforcement methodology (gas chromatography) is available to enforce the tolerance expression. The method may be requested from: Chief, Analytical Chemistry Branch, Environmental Science Center, 701 Mapes Rd., Ft. Meade, MD 20755-5350; telephone number: (410) 305-2905; e-mail address: residuemethods@epa.gov.

B. International Residue Limits

There are no Codex, Canadian or Mexican maximum residue limits established for residues of glufosinate ammonium in or on small grain crops.

C. Response to Comments

Public comments were received from B. Sachau who objected to the proposed tolerances because of the amounts of pesticides already consumed and carried by the American population. She further indicated that testing conducted on animals have absolutely no validity and are cruel to the test animals. B. Sachau's comments contained no scientific data or evidence to rebut the Agency's conclusion that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to glufosinate ammonium, including all anticipated dietary exposures and all other exposures for which there is reliable information. EPA has responded to B. Sachau's generalized comments on numerous previous occasions. (70 FR 1349, January 7, 2005); (69 FR 63083, October 29, 2004).

V. Conclusion

Therefore, tolerances are established for indirect or inadvertent residues of the herbicide glufosinate ammonium, butanoic acid, 2-amino-4-(hydroxymethylphosphinyl)-, monoammonium salt and its metabolite, 3-methylphosphinicopropionic acid in or on barley hay, barley straw, buckwheat fodder, buckwheat forage, oat forage, oat hay, oat straw, rye forage, rye straw, teosinte, triticale, wheat forage, wheat hay and wheat straw at 0.40 ppm.

VI. Objections and Hearing Requests

Under section 408(g) of FFDCA, as amended by FQPA, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. The EPA procedural regulations which govern the submission of objections and requests for hearings appear in 40 CFR part 178. Although the procedures in those regulations require some modification to reflect the amendments made to FFDCA by FQPA, EPA will continue to use those procedures, with appropriate adjustments, until the necessary modifications can be made. The new section 408(g) of FFDCA provides essentially the same process for persons to “object” to a regulation for an exemption from the requirement of tolerances issued by EPA under new section 408(d) of FFDCA, as was provided in the old sections 408 and 409 of FFDCA. However, the period for filing objections is now 60 days, rather than 30 days.

A. What Do I Need to Do to File an Objection or Request a Hearing?

You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in this unit and in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0301 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All requests must be in writing, and must be mailed or delivered to the Hearing Clerk on or before July 3, 2006.

1. Filing the request. Your objection must specify the specific provisions in the regulation that you object to, and the grounds for the objections (40 CFR 178.25). If a hearing is requested, the objections must include a statement of the factual issue(s) on which a hearing is requested, the requestor's contentions on such issues, and a summary of any evidence relied upon by the objector (40 CFR 178.27). Information submitted in connection with an objection or hearing request may be claimed confidential 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. A copy of the information that does not contain CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public record. Information not marked confidential may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice.

Mail your written request to: Office of the Hearing Clerk (1900L), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. You may also deliver your request to the Office of the Hearing Clerk in Suite 350, 1099 14th St., NW., Washington, DC 20005. The Office of the Hearing Clerk is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Office of the Hearing Clerk is (202) 564-6255.

2. Copies for the Docket. In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in Unit VI.A.1., you should also send a copy of your request to the PIRIB for its inclusion in the official record that is described in ADDRESSES. Mail your copies, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0301, to: Public Information and Records Integrity Branch, Information Technology and Resources Management Division (7502C), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. In person or by courier, bring a copy to the location of the PIRIB described in ADDRESSES.

B. When Will the Agency Grant a Request for a Hearing?

A request for a hearing will be granted if the Administrator determines that the material submitted shows the following: There is a genuine and substantial issue of fact; there is a reasonable possibility that available evidence identified by the requestor would, if established resolve one or more of such issues in favor of the requestor, taking into account uncontested claims or facts to the contrary; and resolution of the factual issue(s) in the manner sought by the requestor would be adequate to justify the action requested (40 CFR 178.32).

VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

This final rule establishes tolerances under section 408(d) of FFDCA in response to a petition submitted to the Agency. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted these types of actions from review under Executive Order 12866, entitled Regulatory Planning and Review (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). Because this rule has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866 due to its lack of significance, this 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 final 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 Start Printed Page 25945unfunded 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 under 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 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). Since tolerances and exemptions that are established on the basis of a petition under section 408(d) of FFDCA, such as the tolerance in this final rule, do not require the issuance of a proposed rule, the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) do not apply. 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 final 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 FFDCA. For these same reasons, the Agency has determined that this 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 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 rule.

VIII. Congressional Review Act

The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. EPA will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of this final rule in the Federal Register. This final rule is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

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List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

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Dated: April 24, 2006.

Lois Rossi,

Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

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Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

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PART 180—AMENDED

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

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

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2. Section 180.473 is amended by adding text to paragraph (d) after the paragraph heading to read as follows:

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Glufosinate ammonium; tolerances for residues.
* * * * *

(d) * * * Tolerances are established for indirect or inadvertent residues of the herbicide glufosinate ammonium, butanoic acid, 2-amino-4-(hydroxymethylphosphinyl)-, monoammonium salt and its metabolite, 3-methylphosphinicopropionic acid in or on the following raw agricultural commodities when present therein as a result of the application of glufosinate ammonium to crops listed in paragraph (a) of this section:

CommodityParts per million
Barley, hay0.40
Barley, straw0.40
Buckwheat, fodder0.40
Buckwheat, forage0.40
Oat, forage0.40
Oat, hay0.40
Oat, straw0.40
Rye, forage0.40
Rye, straw0.40
Teosinte0.40
Triticale0.40
Wheat, forage0.40
Wheat, hay0.40
Wheat, straw0.40
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[FR Doc. 06-4162 Filed 5-2-06; 8:45 am]

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