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Notice

Ethylene Oxide; Reregistration Eligibility Decision

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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 Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for the pesticide ethylene oxide (ETO). The Agency's risk assessments and other related documents also are available in the ETO Docket. ETO is used to sterilize medical or laboratory equipment, pharmaceuticals, and aseptic packaging, or to reduce microbial load on musical instruments, cosmetics, whole and ground spices or other seasoning materials and artifacts, archival material or library objects. In North Carolina, ETO is also used to fumigate beehive equipment (e.g., woodenware boxes and frames) and wax or plastic combs that are contaminated with the bacteria Paenibacillus larvae, the cause of American Foulbrood Disease. EPA has Start Printed Page 20662reviewed ETO through the 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.

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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 and human health 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. How Can I Get Copies of this Document and Other Related Information?

1. Docket. EPA has established a docket for this action under docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0203. 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 Office of Pesticide Programs (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 Facility telephone number is (703) 305-5805.

2. Electronic access. You may access this Federal Register document electronically through the EPA Internet under the “Federal Register” listings at http://www.epa.gov/​fedrgstr.

II. Background

A. What Action is the Agency Taking?

Under section 4 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), EPA is reevaluating existing pesticides to ensure that they meet current scientific and regulatory standards. EPA has completed a RED for the pesticide, ETO under section 4(g)(2)(A) of FIFRA. ETO is used to sterilize medical or laboratory equipment, pharmaceuticals, and aseptic packaging, or to reduce microbial load on musical instruments, cosmetics, whole and ground spices or other seasoning materials and artifacts, archival material or library objects. In North Carolina, ETO is also used to fumigate beehive equipment (e.g., woodenware boxes and frames) and wax or plastic combs that are contaminated with the bacteria.

Paenibacillus larvae, the cause of American Foulbrood Disease. EPA has determined that the database to support reregistration is substantially complete and that products containing ETO are eligible for reregistration provided the risks are mitigated in the manner described in the RED. Upon submission of any required product specific data under section 4(g)(2)(B) of FIFRA and any necessary changes to the registration and labeling (either to address concerns identified in the RED or as a result of product specific data), EPA will make a final reregistration decision under section 4(g)(2)(C) of FIFRA for products containing ETO.

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 was reviewed through the full 6-Phase public participation process. Through this process, EPA worked extensively with stakeholders and the public to reach the regulatory decisions for ETO.

The reregistration program is being conducted under congressionally mandated time frames, and EPA recognizes the need both to make timely decisions and to involve the public. During the reregistration process, the Agency has provided ample opportunity for public comment and stakeholder input through a full 6-Phase public participation process. The Agency therefore is issuing the ETO RED without a comment period.

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: April 3, 2008.

Steven Bradbury,

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

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[FR Doc. E8-7997 Filed 4-15-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6560-50-S