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Pentachlorophenol Revised Risk Assessments; Notice of Availability and Solicitation of Risk Reduction Options

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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).




This notice announces the availability of EPA's revised risk assessments for the restricted use antimicrobial pesticide pentachlorophenol (PCP) and its micro-contaminants, dioxin/furan (CDDs/CDFs) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB). In addition, this notice solicits public comment on risk reduction options for PCP and its micro-contaminants CDDs/CDFs and HCB, and an initial impacts and/or preliminary benefits assessment (Phase 5 of 6-Phase Process). 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 PCP 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.


Comments must be received on or before June 16, 2008.


Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2004-0402, by one of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: 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, excluding legal holidays). Special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. The Docket Facility telephone number is (703) 305-5805.

Instructions: Direct your comments to docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2004-Start Printed Page 206390402. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the docket without change and may be made available on-line at, 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 or e-mail. The 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, 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 To access the electronic docket, go to, select “Advanced Search,” then “Docket Search.” Insert the docket ID number where indicated and select the “Submit” button. Follow the instructions on the website 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, 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 Facility telephone number is (703) 305-5805.

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Sherrie Kinard, Antimicrobials Division (7510P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 305-0563; fax number: (703) 308-6467; e-mail address: kinard.sherrie

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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 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 March 30, 2005 (70 FR 16276) (FRL-7707-1 ); a response to comments; and related documents for pentachlorophenol. EPA also is soliciting public comment on potential risk reduction options for pentachlorophenol, and a preliminary benefits assessment for identified risks of concern. EPA developed the risk assessments for pentachlorophenol and its micro-contaminants, dioxins/furans and HCB, 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).

Pentachlorophenol is a general biocide which is used extensively in the United States (as is its salt, sodium pentachlorophenate or NaPCP) as a wood preservative. The production of pentachlorophenol for wood preserving began on an experimental basis in the 1930s. In 1947, nearly 7 million pounds of PCP were reported to have been used in the United States by the commercial wood preserving industry. Pentachlorophenol was one of the most widely used biocides in the United States prior to regulatory actions to cancel and restrict certain non-wood preservative uses in 1987. Prior to the 1987 Federal Register Notice (Vol. 52, No. 13) which cancelled and restricted certain non-wood uses of pentachlorophenol, it was registered for use as a herbicide, defoliant, mossicide, and as a disinfectant. The 1987 notice also specified maximum allowable amounts of HCB and dioxins/furans that Start Printed Page 20640could be present in formulations of pentachlorophenol.

Indoor applications of pentachlorophenol are prohibited in accordance with the restrictions indicated in the U.S.EPA Position Document 4 for Wood Preservative Pesticides: Creosote, Pentachlorophenol and Inorganic Arsenicals (1984, amended 1986). The use of pentachlorophenol to treat wood intended for use in interiors is prohibited, except for a few low exposure uses (i.e., those support structures which are in contact with the soil in barns, stables, and similar sites and are subject to decay or insect infestation).

Pentachlorophenol is a restricted use pesticide for sale and use by certified applicators only. There are currently eight active products registered that contain pentachlorophenol (Chemical Code 063001). There are approximately 60 million utility-owned wood poles and 54 million crossarms in service across the United States that have been treated with wood preservatives (mainly pentaclorophenol and creosote). Approximately 36 million of the wood poles in service have been treated with pentachlorophenol, and approximately 96% of the crossarms in service were treated. An estimated 3% of the treated poles are replaced annually with freshly treated poles.

EPA is providing an opportunity, through this notice, for interested parties to provide risk management proposals or otherwise comment on risk management for pentachlorophenol and its micro-contaminants. Risks of concern associated with the use of pentachlorophenol are long-term dermal non-cancer risks for the pressure treatment operator mixing/loading/applying the liquid formulations and for the pressure treatment assistant mixing/loading/applying the liquid and the crystalline formulations. Dermal non-cancer risks of concern range from a MOE of 79 to a MOE of 230 with the target MOE of 300. Estimated cancer risks for handlers are of concern for the same 3 scenarios with cancer risks ranging from 4.9E-4 to 7.9E-5. Estimated cancer risks resulting from exposure to pentachlorophenols micro-contaminants dioxins/furans exceed the level of concern for the pressure treatment loader operator, pressure treatment test borer, general helpers, and electrical utility linemen. Cancer risks of concern range from 3.0E-5 to 8.0E-5 for these scenarios. In targeting these risks of concern, the Agency is soliciting information on effective and practical risk reduction measures.

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, pentachlorophenol 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 pentachlorophenol. 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 pentachlorophenol 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: April 8, 2008.

Frank Sanders,

Director, Antimicrobial Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

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[FR Doc. E8-8174 Filed 4-15-08; 8:45 am]