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Inorganic Bromide; Tolerance Actions

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

EPA is revoking twelve specific inorganic bromide tolerances because they are no longer needed. These twelve tolerances are for residues of inorganic bromide from pre-plant (non-food) use in or on raw agricultural commodities grown in soil fumigated with combinations of chloropicrin, methyl bromide, and propargyl bromide. Although methyl bromide is used as an agricultural pesticide, the Agency considers its application as a soil fumigant to be a non-food use because it is quickly degraded or metabolized in the soil, and subsequently incorporated into natural plant constituents. Methyl bromide is also emitted to the atmosphere. Residues of the parent compound are not likely to be found in foods as a result of prior treatment of fields. While residues of inorganic bromide may be present, these residues are indistinguishable from background because of inorganic bromide's ubiquity in the environment. Consequently, EPA is revoking them because no tolerances are needed for those non-food uses. Furthermore, since methyl bromide, when applied as a pre-plant soil fumigant is a non-food use, the Agency is adding it as an entry to 40 CFR 180.2020 noting the non-food use determination.

DATES:

This regulation is effective August 9, 2006. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before October 10, 2006, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

ADDRESSES:

EPA has established a docket for this action under docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0123. All documents in the docket are listed in the index for the docket. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information (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 in the electronic docket at http://www.regulations.gov, or, if only available in hard copy, at the OPP Regulatory Public Docket in Rm. S-4400, One Potomac Yard (South Building), 2777 S. Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA. The 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.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Steven Weiss, Special Review and Reregistration Division (7508P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 308-8293; e-mail address: weiss.steven@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.
  • 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?

In addition to accessing an electronic copy of this Federal Register document through the electronic docket at http://www.regulations.gov, you may access this “Federal Register” document electronically through the EPA Internet under the “Federal Register” listings at http://www.epa.gov/​fedrgstr. You may also access a frequently updated electronic version of 40 CFR part 180 through the Government Printing Office's pilot e-CFR site at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/​ecfr.

C. Can I File an Objection or Hearing Request?

Under section 408(g) of the FFDCA, as amended by the 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. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0123 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 October 10, 2006.

In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing that does not contain any CBI for inclusion in the public docket that is described in ADDRESSES. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit your copies, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0123, by one of the following methods.

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail: Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) Regulatory Public Docket (7502P), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Start Printed Page 45401Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.
  • Delivery: OPP Regulatory Public Docket (7502P), Environmental Protection Agency, Rm. S-4400, One Potomac Yard (South Building), 2777 S. Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA. Deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation (8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays). Special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. The Docket telephone number is (703) 305-5805.

II. Background

A. What Action is the Agency Taking?

In the Federal Register of May 31, 2006 (71 FR 30845) (FRL-8061-7), EPA issued a proposed rule to revoke twelve specific tolerances for residues of inorganic bromide. The proposal provided a 60-day comment period.

In response to the proposal published in the Federal Register of May 31, 2006 (71 FR 30845), EPA received no comments during the 60-day public comment period.

These twelve tolerances are for residues of inorganic bromide from pre-plant use in or on raw agricultural commodities grown in soil fumigated with combinations of chloropicrin, methyl bromide, and propargyl bromide. There are no active registrations for the use of propargyl bromide. Although methyl bromide is used as an agricultural pesticide, the Agency considers its application as a soil fumigant to be a non-food use because it is quickly degraded or metabolized in the soil, and subsequently incorporated into natural plant constituents. Residues of the parent compound are not likely to be found in foods as a result of prior soil fumigation treatment of fields and are indistinguishable from background because of inorganic bromide's ubiquity in the environment. Accordingly, because the tolerances are no longer needed, EPA is revoking the tolerances in 40 CFR 180.199(a) for residues of inorganic bromides in or on broccoli, cauliflower, eggplants, muskmelons, peppers, pineapples, strawberries, and tomatoes; in 40 CFR 180.199(b) in or on asparagus, lettuce, and onions (dry bulb); and in 40 CFR 180.199(c) in or on ginger, roots.

Furthermore, because methyl bromide application as a pre-plant soil fumigant is a non-food use, EPA is adding methyl bromide as an entry to 40 CFR 180.2020 noting the non-food use determination for all pre-plant soil uses.

-Currently, there are CODEX Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) for bromide ion on broccoli, head lettuce, sweet peppers, strawberry, and tomato. However, as noted above, residues of bromide ion may be expected to occur in both domestic and imported foods as a result of inorganic bromide's ubiquity in the environment and residue levels resulting from use of methyl bromide are expected to be indistinguishable from those background, or naturally occurring levels. Thus, no international trade issues due to absence bromide ion tolerances in the U.S. are expected as a result of this final action.

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

As a general matter, EPA believes that retention of tolerances not needed to cover any residues on food may result in unnecessary restriction on trade of pesticides and foods. In an assessment of aggregate exposure to a pesticide, EPA must consider potential contributions to such exposure from all tolerances. If the aggregate risk is such that the tolerances in aggregate are not safe, then every one of these tolerances is potentially vulnerable to revocation. Furthermore, if unneeded tolerances are included in the aggregate assessment, the estimated exposure to the pesticide would be inflated. Consequently, it may be more difficult for others to obtain needed tolerances or to register needed new uses. To avoid potential trade restrictions, the Agency believes it is appropriate to revoke tolerances that are no longer needed.

C. When Do These Actions Become Effective?

These actions become effective on the date of publication of this final rule in the Federal Register because application of pre-plant uses in or on raw agricultural commodities grown in soil fumigated with combinations of chloropicrin, methyl bromide, and propargyl bromide have been determined by EPA to be a non-food use and no tolerances are needed for those non-food uses.

D. What is the Contribution to Tolerance Reassessment?

By law, EPA is required by August 3, 2006 to reassess the tolerances in existence on August 2, 1996. As of July 31, 2006, EPA has reassessed over 9,700 tolerances. This document revokes a total of 12 tolerances which have been previously considered to be reassessed and counted toward the August, 2006 review deadline of FFDCA section 408(q), as amended by FQPA in 1996.

III. Are There Any International Trade Issues Raised by this Final Action?

No. As stated previously there are no international trade issues raised by this final action. EPA is working to ensure that the U.S. tolerance reassessment program under FQPA does not disrupt international trade. EPA considers Codex Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) in setting U.S. tolerances and in reassessing them. MRLs are established by the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues, a committee within the Codex Alimentarius Commission, an international organization formed to promote the coordination of international food standards. When possible, EPA seeks to harmonize U.S. tolerances with Codex MRLs. EPA may establish a tolerance that is different from a Codex MRL; however, FFDCA section 408(b)(4) requires that EPA explain in a Federal Register document the reasons for departing from the Codex level. EPA's effort to harmonize with Codex MRLs is summarized in the tolerance reassessment section of individual REDs. The U.S. EPA has developed guidance concerning submissions for import tolerance support (65 FR 35069, June 1, 2000) (FRL-6559-3). This guidance will be made available to interested persons. Electronic copies are available on the internet at http://www.epa.gov. On the Home Page select “Laws and Regulations,” then select “Regulations and Proposed Rules” and then look up the entry for this document under “Federal Register—Environmental Documents.” You can also go directly to the “Federal Register” listings at http://www.epa.gov/​fedrgstr.

IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

In this final rule, EPA revokes specific tolerances established under FFDCA section 408. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted this type of action (i.e., a tolerance revocation for which extraordinary circumstances do not exist) 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 Start Printed Page 45402enforceable 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 104-13, 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 revocations 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 December 17, 1997 (62 FR 66020), and was provided to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. Taking into account this analysis, and the fact that there is no reasonable expectation that residues of the pesticides listed in this rule will be found on the commodities discussed in this rule (so that the lack of the tolerance could not prevent sale of the commodity), the Agency hereby certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. In a memorandum dated May 25, 2001, EPA determined that eight conditions must all be satisfied in order for an import tolerance or tolerance exemption revocation to adversely affect a significant number of small entity importers, and that there is a negligible joint probability of all eight conditions holding simultaneously with respect to any particular revocation. (This Agency document is available in the docket of this final rule). Furthermore, for the pesticides named in this final rule, the Agency knows of no extraordinary circumstances that exist as to the present revocations that would change EPA's previous analysis. 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.

V. 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: August 2, 2006.

James Jones,

Director, 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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[Removed]
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2. Section 180.199 is removed.

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3. Section 180.2020 is amended by adding alphabetically the following entry to the table to read as follows:

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Non-food determinations.
* * * * *
Pesticide ChemicalCAS Reg.No.LimitsUses
Methyl Bromide74-83-9When applied as a pre-plant soil fumigantAll pre-plant soil uses
*    *    *      *     *      
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[FR Doc. E6-12964 Filed 8-8-06; 8:45 am]

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