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Notice

Ethylene Oxide; Revised Risk Assessments, Notice of Availability and Solicitation of Risk Reductions

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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 revised risk assessments for the fumigant/sterilant pesticide ethylene oxide (ETO). In addition, this notice solicits public comment on risk reduction options to protect ETO workers and a revised alternatives assessment. The Agency is having this second Phase-5 to focus on ETO's risks to workers under FIFRA. The public is encouraged to suggest risk management ideas or proposals to address the risks identified. EPA is developing a Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for ETO through the full, 6-Phase public participation process that the Agency uses to involve the public in developing pesticide reregistration and tolerance reassessment decisions. Through these programs, EPA is ensuring that all pesticides meet current health and safety standards.

DATES:

July 30, 2007.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0203, 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 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 Dr., 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, Start Printed Page 29998excluding 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-2005-0203. 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 Federal 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 the docket index available in regulations.gov. To access the electronic docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, select “Advanced Search,” then “Docket Search.” Insert the docket ID number where indicated and select the “Submit” button. Follow the instructions on the regulations.gov web site to view the docket index or access available documents. Although listed in the 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 either 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 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.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Susan Bartow, Special Review and Reregistration Division (7508P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 603-0065; fax number: (703) 308-8005; e-mail address: bartow.susan@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. What Should I Consider as I Prepare My Comments for EPA?

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

II. Background

A. What Action is the Agency Taking?

EPA is making available the Agency's revised risk assessments, initially issued for comment through a Federal Register notice published on August 3, 2005, (70 FR 44632) (FRL-7729-2); a response to comments; and related documents for ETO. EPA also is soliciting public comment on risk reduction options for ETO relating to workers risks revised alternatives assessment for identified risks of concern. EPA developed the risk assessments for ETO as part of its public process for making pesticide reregistration eligibility and tolerance reassessment decisions. Through these programs, EPA is ensuring that pesticides meet current standards under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), as amended by the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 (FQPA).

ETO is a fumigant/sterilant used to sterilize medical or laboratory equipment, pharmaceuticals, aseptic packaging, musical instruments, and beekeeping equipment or to reduce microbial load on cosmetics, whole and ground spices or other seasoning materials, and artifacts, archival material or library objects.

EPA is providing an opportunity, through this notice, for interested parties to provide risk management proposalsor occupational issues or otherwise comment on risk management for ETO. Risks of concern associated with the use of ETO are as follows: The Agency's occupational exposure assessment for ETO's use as a sterilant indicates that cancer risks are of concern at the current regulatory levels established by the Occupational Safety Start Printed Page 29999and Health Administration (OSHA) and recommended by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Non-cancer worker exposure/risk is estimated to be of concern at the OSHA permissible exposure limit (PEL), but not of concern at the NIOSH recommended exposure limit (REL). Based on available data, the Agency anticipates the following activities to result in potential worker exposure to ETO: Inhalation exposure to ETO during sterilization activities; dermal exposure to ethylene glycol and the halohydrins during post-sterilization activities; and inhalation exposure to off-gassed ETO from treated items during post-sterilization activities. In targeting these risks of concern, the Agency solicits information on effective and practical risk reduction measures. A revised paper outlining various ETO alternatives is also included as a separate document in the ETO docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0203. The Agency is interested in information related to these alternatives.

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, ETO is being reviewed through the full 6-Phase public participation process.

All comments should be submitted using the methods in ADDRESSES, and must be received by EPA on or before the closing date. Comments and proposals will become part of the Agency Docket for ETO. Comments received after the close of the comment period will be marked “late” EPA is not required to consider these late comments.

After considering comments received, EPA will develop and issue the ETO RED.

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.”

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List of Subjects

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Dated: May 16, 2007.

Peter Caulkins,

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

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[FR Doc. E7-10341 Filed 5-30-07; 8:45 am]

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