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Proposed Rule

Pesticide Inert Ingredient; Proposal to Revoke the Obsolete Tolerance Exemption for Sperm Oil

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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.

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

EPA is proposing to revoke the existing obsolete tolerance exemption under 40 CFR 180.910 for residues of sperm oil conforming to 21 CFR 172.210 as part of a broader administrative effort to correct errors and clarify permitted uses of pesticide inert ingredients in the Code of Federal Regulations. There have not been any active Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) pesticide product registrations containing this substance for many years. In addition, the sperm whale (from which sperm oil is derived) is a federally listed endangered species, and taking (or harming) this species is prohibited under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Therefore, since this exemption corresponds to uses no longer current or registered under FIFRA in the United States, EPA is proposing to revoke the existing tolerance exemption under 40 CFR 180.910 because it is no longer necessary.

DATES:

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

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-1125, 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 28392Pennsylvania 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-2007-1125. 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 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 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 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 Facility telephone number is (703) 305-5805.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Karen Samek, Registration Division (7505P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave, NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 347-8825; e-mail address: samek.karen@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 code 111).
  • Animal production (NAICS code 112).
  • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).
  • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

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. To determine whether you or your business may be affected by this action, you should carefully examine the applicability provisions in Unit II. 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 and Statutory Findings

This proposed rule is issued pursuant to section 408(e) of FFDCA (21 U.S.C. 346a(e)). Section 408 of FFDCA authorizes the establishment of tolerances, exemptions from the requirement of a tolerance, modifications in tolerances, and revocation of tolerances for residues of pesticide chemicals in or on raw agricultural commodities and processed foods. Without a tolerance or tolerance exemption, food containing pesticide residues is considered to be unsafe and therefore “adulterated” under section 402(a) of the FFDCA. If food containing pesticide residues is found to be adulterated, the food may not be distributed in interstate commerce (21 U.S.C. 331(a) and 342(a)).Start Printed Page 28393

III. What Action Is the Agency Taking

EPA, acting on its own initiative, is proposing to revoke the existing obsolete tolerance exemption under 40 CFR 180.910 for residues of sperm oil conforming to 21 CFR 172.210 as part of a broader administrative effort to correct errors and clarify permitted uses of pesticide inert ingredients in the Code of Federal Regulations. It is EPA's general practice to revoke tolerances and tolerance exemptions for pesticide chemical residues (which include both active and inert ingredients) for which there are no associated active registered uses under FIFRA, or for which there are no registered products to which the tolerance or tolerance exemption applies, or for tolerances or tolerance exemptions that have been superseded.

EPA has historically been concerned that retention of tolerances and tolerance exemptions that are not necessary to cover residues in or on legally treated foods may encourage misuse of pesticides within the United States. Thus, it is EPA's policy to issue a final rule revoking those tolerances and tolerance exemptions for residues of pesticide chemicals for which there are no active registrations or uses under FIFRA.

Generally, EPA will proceed with the revocation of these tolerance and tolerance exemptions on the grounds discussed in Unit II. if one of the following conditions applies:

1. Prior to EPA's issuance of a section 408(f) order requesting additional data or issuance of a section 408(d) or (e) order revoking the tolerances or tolerance exemptions on other grounds, commenters retract the comment identifying a need for the tolerance to be retained.

2. EPA independently verifies that the tolerance or tolerance exemption is no longer needed.

3. The tolerance or tolerance exemption is not supported by data that demonstrate that the tolerance or tolerance exemption meets the requirements under FQPA.

EPA believes it is appropriate to propose the revocation of the tolerance exemption associated with this inert ingredient because there are no longer any active Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) pesticide product registrations containing sperm oil. Additionally, since sperm oil is derived from the sperm whale and the sperm whale is a federally listed endangered species, taking (or harming) this species to obtain sperm oil is prohibited by the Endangered Species Act. EPA does not expect there to be existing stocks of sperm oil in the hands of users because the sperm whale has been listed as an endangered species since 1970. Also, EPA is not aware of any food or feed commodities treated with sperm oil imported into the United States.

Therefore, for the reasons stated herein, EPA is proposing to revoke the existing exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of sperm oil conforming to 21 CFR 172.210 under 40 CFR 180.910.

IV. When Does This Action Become Effective?

EPA is proposing that revocation of this tolerance exemption become effective on the day the final rule revoking this tolerance exemption is published in the Federal Register. If you have comments regarding whether the effective date allows sufficient time for treated commodities to clear the channels of trade, please submit comments as described under Unit I.B. Similarly, if you have comments regarding this tolerance exemption revocation or the effective date of the revocation, please submit comments as described under Unit I.B. Any commodities treated with the pesticide products containing the inert ingredient subject to this proposed rule, and in the channels of trade following the tolerance revocation, shall be subject to section 408(1)(5) of FFDCA, as established by the FQPA. Under this section, any residues of these pesticide chemicals in or on such food shall not render the food adulterated so long as it is shown to the satisfaction of the Food and Drug Administration that:

1. The residue is present as the result of an application or use of the pesticide chemical at a time and in a manner that was lawful under FIFRA, and

2. The residue does not exceed the level that was authorized at the time of the application or use to be present on the food under an exemption from tolerance. Evidence to show that food was lawfully treated may include records that verify the dates that the pesticide chemical was applied to such food.

V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

In this proposed rule, EPA is proposing to revoke a specific tolerance exemption established under section 408(d) of the FFDCA. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted these types of actions from review under Executive Order 12866, entitled Regulatory Planning and Review (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). Because this proposed rule has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866 due to its lack of significance, this proposed 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 proposed 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 enforceable duty or contain any unfunded mandate as described under Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) (Pub. L. 104-4). Nor does it require any special considerations under 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 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 104-113, 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 available information concerning the pesticide listed in this rule, the Agency hereby certifies that this proposed action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Specifically, as per the 1997 notice, EPA has reviewed its available data on imports and foreign pesticide usage and concludes that there is a reasonable international supply of food not treated with canceled pesticides. Furthermore, for the pesticide named in this proposed rule, the Agency knows of no extraordinary circumstances that exist as to the present proposal that would change the EPA's previous analysis. Any comments about the Agency's determination should be submitted to the EPA along with comments on the proposal, and will be Start Printed Page 28394addressed prior to issuing a final rule. 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 proposed 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 the FFDCA. For these same reasons, the Agency has determined that this proposed 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 9, 2000). Executive Order 3175, 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 proposed 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 proposed rule.

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List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

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Dated: May 6, 2008.

Deborah McCall,

Acting Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

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Therefore, it is proposed that 40 CFR chapter I be 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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[Amended]

2. Section 180.910 is amended by removing the following exemption and any associated Limits and Uses from the table: Sperm oil conforming to 21 CFR 172.210.

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[FR Doc. E8-10922 Filed 5-15-08; 8:45 am]

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