Skip to Content

Notice

FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel; Notice of Public Meeting

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

There will be a 4-day meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel FIFRA SAP to consider and review Worker Exposure Assessment Methods.

DATES:

The meeting will be held on January 9-12, 2007, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m, eastern time.

Comments: Written comments and requests to make oral comments are accepted until the date of the meeting. However, the Agency encourages the submission of written comments by December 26, 2006, and requests to present oral comments by January 2, 2007. For additional instructions, see Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

Nominations: Nominations of candidates to serve as ad hoc members of the FIFRA SAP for this meeting should be provided on or before November 8, 2006.

Special Accommodations: For information on access or services for individuals with disabilities, and to request accommodation of a disability, please contact the Designated Federal Official (DFO) listed under For Further Information Contact at least 10 days prior to the meeting to give EPA as Start Printed Page 63008much time as possible to process your request.

ADDRESSES:

The meeting will be held at the Environmental Protection Agency, Conference Center - Lobby Level, One Potomac Yard (South Bldg.), 2777 S. Crystal Dr., Arlington, VA 22202.

Comments: Submit your comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0856, by one of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments. Your use of the Federal eRulemaking Portal to submit comments to EPA electronically is EPA's preferred method for receiving comments.
  • Mail: Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) Regulatory Public Docket (7502P), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.
  • Delivery: OPP Regulatory Public Docket (7502P), Environmental Protection Agency, Rm. S-4400, One Potomac Yard (South Bldg.), 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.

Instructions: Direct your comments to docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0856. If your comments contain any information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected, please contact the DFO listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT to obtain special instruction before submitting your comments. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the 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 automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the 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.

Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in a docket index that is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Although listed in a docket index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., 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 Bldg.), 2777 S. Crystal Dr., Arlington, VA. The hours of operation of this Docket Facility are from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The Docket telephone number is (703) 305-5805.

Nominations, requests to present oral comments, and requests for special accommodations: Submit nominations to serve as an ad hoc member of the FIFRA SAP, requests for special seating accommodations, or requests to present oral comments to the DFO listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Myrta R. Christian, DFO, Office of Science Coordination and Policy (7201M), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564-8498; fax number: (202) 564-8382; e-mail address: christian.myrta@epa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. General Information

A. Does this Action Apply to Me?

This action is directed to the public in general. This action may, however, be of interest to persons who are or may be required to conduct testing of chemical substances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), FIFRA, and the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 (FQPA). Since other entities may also 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 DFO listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

B. What Should I Consider as I Prepare My Comments for EPA?

1. Tips for preparing your comments. When submitting comments, remember to:

i. Identify the document by docket ID 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.

C. How May I Participate in this Meeting?

You may participate in this meeting by following the instructions in this unit. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, it is imperative that you identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0856 in the subject line on the first page of your request.

1. Written comments. Although, submission of written comments are accepted until the date of the meeting, unless otherwise stated, the Agency encourages that written comments be submitted, using the instructions in ADDRESSES, by December 26, 2006, to provide FIFRA SAP the time necessary to consider and review the written comments. There is no limit on the extent of written comments for consideration by FIFRA SAP. Persons wishing to submit written comments at the meeting should contact the DFO listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT and submit 30 copies.

2. Oral comments. Although, requests to present oral comments are accepted until the date of the meeting, unless otherwise stated, to the extent that time Start Printed Page 63009permits, the Chair of the FIFRA SAP may permit the presentation of oral comments at the meeting by interested persons who have not previously requested time. However, each individual or group wishing to make brief oral comments to FIFRA SAP is encouraged to submit their request to the DFO listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by January 2, 2007, in order to be included on the meeting agenda. The request should identify the name of the individual making the presentation, the organization (if any) the individual will represent, and any requirements for audiovisual equipment e.g., overhead projector, 35 mm projector, chalkboard. Oral comments before FIFRA SAP are limited to approximately 5 minutes unless prior arrangements have been made. In addition, each speaker should bring 30 copies of his or her comments and presentation slides for distribution to FIFRA SAP at the meeting.

3. Seating at the meeting. Seating at the meeting will be on a first-come basis.

4. Request for nominations to serve as ad hoc members of the FIFRA SAP for this meeting. As part of a broader process for developing a pool of candidates for each meeting, the FIFRA SAP staff routinely solicits the stakeholder community for nominations of prospective candidates for service as ad hoc members of the FIFRA SAP. Any interested person or organization may nominate qualified individuals to be considered as prospective candidates for a specific meeting. Individuals nominated for this meeting should have expertise in one or more of the following areas: Exposure assessment, statistics, biological monitoring, pharmacokinetics, and agricultural engineering. Nominees should be scientists who have sufficient professional qualifications, including training and experience, to be capable of providing expert comments on the scientific issues for this meeting. Nominees should be identified by name, occupation, position, address, and telephone number. Nominations should be provided to the DFO listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT on or before November 8, 2006. The Agency will consider all nominations of prospective candidates for this meeting that are received on or before this date. However, final selection of ad hoc members for this meeting is a discretionary function of the Agency. The selection of scientists to serve on the FIFRA SAP is based on the function of the panel and the expertise needed to address the Agency's charge to the panel. No interested scientists shall be ineligible to serve by reason of their membership on any other advisory committee to a Federal department or agency or their employment by a Federal department or agency except the EPA. Other factors considered during the selection process include availability of the potential panel member to fully participate in the panel's reviews, absence of any conflicts of interest or appearance of lack of impartiality, independence with respect to the matters under review, and lack of bias. Though financial conflicts of interest, the appearance of lack of impartiality, lack of independence, and bias may result in disqualification, the absence of such concerns does not assure that a candidate will be selected to serve on the FIFRA SAP. Numerous qualified candidates are identified for each panel. Therefore, selection decisions involve carefully weighing a number of factors including the candidates' areas of expertise and professional qualifications and achieving an overall balance of different scientific perspectives on the panel. In order to have the collective breadth of experience needed to address the Agency's charge for this meeting, the Agency anticipates selecting approximately 12 ad hoc scientists.

If a prospective candidate for service on the FIFRA SAP is considered for participation in a particular session, the candidate is subject to the provisions of 5 CFR part 2634, Executive Branch Financial Disclosure, as supplemented by the EPA in 5 CFR part 6401. As such, the FIFRA SAP candidate is required to submit a Confidential Financial Disclosure Form for Special Government Employees Serving on Federal Advisory Committees at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA Form 3110-48 [5-02]) which shall fully disclose, among other financial interests, the candidate's employment, stocks, and bonds, and where applicable, sources of research support. The EPA will evaluate the candidates financial disclosure form to assess that there are no financial conflicts of interest, no appearance of lack of impartiality and no prior involvement with the development of the documents under consideration (including previous scientific peer review) before the candidate is considered further for service on the FIFRA SAP. Those who are selected from the pool of prospective candidates will be asked to attend the public meetings and to participate in the discussion of key issues and assumptions at these meetings. In addition, they will be asked to review and to help finalize the meeting minutes. The list of FIFRA SAP members participating at this meeting will be posted on the FIFRA SAP web site at http://epa.gov/​scipoly/​sap or may be obtained from the OPP Regulatory Public Docket at http://www.regulations.gov.

II. Background

A. Purpose of the FIFRA SAP

The FIFRA SAP serves as the primary scientific peer review mechanism of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances and is structured to provide scientific advice, information and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on pesticides and pesticide-related issues as to the impact of regulatory actions on health and the environment. The FIFRA SAP is a Federal advisory committee established in 1975 under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act and operates in accordance with requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The SAP is composed of a permanent panel consisting of seven members, appointed by the EPA Administrator from nominees provided by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. FIFRA, as amended by the 1996 Food Quality Protection Act, established a Science Review Board consisting of at least 60 scientists who are available to the SAP on an ad hoc basis to assist in reviews conducted by the Panel. As a peer review mechanism, the FIFRA SAP provides comments, evaluations and recommendations to improve the effectiveness and quality of scientific analyses made by Agency scientists. Members of the FIFRA SAP are scientists who have sufficient professional qualifications, including training and experience, to provide expert advice and recommendation to the Agency.

B. Public Meeting

The Agency issued its first occupational exposure testing guidelines in the early 1980s. These guidelines were intended to standardize the methodology used to conduct the studies necessary to allow the Agency to determine the potential exposures, and consequently risks, associated with the activities surrounding the use of pesticides. These activities included handling pesticides (i.e., mixing, loading and applying) as well as working in treated sites following pesticide applications (e.g., harvesting, thinning, weeding, servicing cooling towers). In the early 1990s, two databases--the Pesticide Handlers Start Printed Page 63010Exposure Database (PHED) and the Chemical Manufacturers Association (CMA) data--were constructed in order to estimate exposures resulting from mixing/loading/applying pesticides. The data assembled for use in these databases were taken from published literature as well as from industry studies submitted to the Agency. These databases have been used as the main sources for estimating occupational exposures to workers handling pesticides for both registration and reregistration actions. Since the early 1980s, the Agency has been using a scenario-based approach in its assessments for estimating exposures for occupational pesticide handlers (e.g., mixers, loaders, and applicators). This approach is consistent with the Agency's guidelines for exposure assessment which can be found on the EPA website at http://cfpub.epa.gov/​ncea/​cfm/​recordisplay.cfm?​deid=​15263.

Over the years since the issuance of the exposure guidelines, there have been scientific issues raised about the accuracy of exposure estimates based on data developed using these methods. In addition, recent protocols for the generation of new agricultural pesticide handler exposure data are being generated by a pesticide industry task force and were reviewed by the Agency's Human Subjects Review Board (HSRB) (see http://www.epa.gov/​osa/​hsrb/​files/​june2006finaldraftreport82806.pdf for further information). The board raised questions concerning the scientific merits of the proposed protocols.

Given the scientific issues that have been raised regarding occupational pesticide exposure estimates and study protocols, including the recent comments from the HSRB, at this time EPA is asking the FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) to evaluate, in detail, issues associated with certain methodologies used to generate exposure studies and the procedures used to develop exposure estimates. As part of the background for the SAP meeting, the Agency is developing a case study that details the procedures and data the Agency uses to evaluate 6 exposure scenarios that are common in agriculture. These data can be found in the existing Pesticide Handlers Exposure Database.

The following four issues are expected to be the focus of this SAP review: Sample collection methods (e.g., whole-body dosimetry, handwashing, facial/neck wipes, and biological monitoring); data needs (e.g., availability of data in the Pesticide Handlers Exposure Database); unit exposure (e.g., relating the amount of exposure to the amount of chemical active ingredient handled); and sample size issues (e.g., inter-/intra-worker variability and representativeness).

C. FIFRA SAP Documents and Meeting Minutes

EPA's position paper, charge/questions to the FIFRA SAP, FIFRA SAP composition i.e., members and ad hoc members for this meeting, and the meeting agenda will be available by mid December 2006. In addition, the Agency may provide additional background documents as the materials become available. You may obtain electronic copies of these documents, and certain other related documents that might be available electronically, at http://www.regulations.gov and the FIFRA SAP homepage at http://www.epa.gov/​scipoly/​sap.

The FIFRA SAP will prepare meeting minutes summarizing its recommendations to the Agency approximately 90 days after the meeting. The meeting minutes will be posted on the FIFRA SAP web site or may be obtained from the OPP Regulatory Public Docket at http://www.regulations.gov.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects

End List of Subjects Start Signature

Dated: October 19, 2006.

Clifford Gabriel,

Director, Office of Science Coordination and Policy.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E6-18036 Filed 10-26-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6560-50-S