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Notice

Diflubenzuron; Receipt of Application for Emergency Exemption, Solicitation of Public Comment

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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:

EPA has received a specific exemption request from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to use the pesticide diflubenzuron (CAS No. 35367-38-5) to treat up to 3,000 acres of alfalfa to control grasshoppers and mormon crickets. The applicant proposes a use which is supported by the IR-4 program and has been requested in 5 or more previous years, and a petition for tolerance has not yet been submitted to the Agency.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before June 26, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0442, 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, 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-2008-0442. 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:

Libby Pemberton, Registration Division (7505P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 308-9364; fax number: (703) 605-0781; e-mail address: pemberton.libby@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. 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 Start Printed Page 33085www.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. What Action is the Agency Taking?

Under section 18 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) (7 U.S.C. 136p), at the discretion of the Administrator, a Federal or State agency may be exempted from any provision of FIFRA if the Administrator determines that emergency conditions exist which require the exemption. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA/APHIS) has requested the Administrator to issue a specific exemption for the use of diflubenzuron on alfalfa to control grasshoppers and Mormon crickets. Information in accordance with 40 CFR part 166 was submitted as part of this request.

As part of this request, the Applicant asserts that use diflubenzuron is requested to protect pollinators of Spalding's catchfly, a threatened plant species endemic to the proposed treatment area in Montana. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's recovery plan for Spalding's catchfly recommends that grasshopper control programs avoid the use of broad spectrum insecticides (such as carbaryl and malathion) that will affect native bee species. Since diflubenzuron is not registered for use on alfalfa, current USDA/APHIS policy is to include a 500-foot buffer around these fields during application to insure no residues occur on alfalfa. Since the alfalfa fields are interspersed within the rangeland spray block, the resulting treatments will create several untreated areas that will allow grasshoppers to disperse from untreated alfalfa fields and buffer strips into previously treated areas and also damage untreated alfalfa hay.

The Applicant proposes the use of diflubenzuron on 3,000 acres alfalfa in Montana to control grasshoppers and Mormon crickets. The proposed areas for treatment are alfalfa fields that are contained within larger application blocks of rangeland on, or adjacent to, the Flathead Reservation. The Flathead Reservation is located in Sanders, Lake, Flathead and Missoula Counties in Montana. Applications will occur primarily on the Flathead Nation near Irvine Flats in Sanders county Montana. The area is primarily rangeland with some production of alfalfa grown under irrigation. Aerial applications will be made using fixed wing aircraft making broadcast applications or by using Reduced Area Agent Treatments (RAAT). This method uses alternating swath applications to the spray block providing effective control while reducing environmental loading. The rate of application is 0.016 lb active ingredient (ai) per acre at the full rate and 0.012 lb active ingredient per acre using the RAAT. One application of a 22% ai product will be made between May and September 2008. A maximum of a 48 lb. ai will be applied.

This notice does not constitute a decision by EPA on the application itself. The regulations governing section 18 of FIFRA require publication of a notice of receipt of an application for a specific exemption proposing a use which is supported by the IR-4 program and has been requested in 5 or more previous years, and a petition for tolerance has not yet been submitted to the Agency.

The Agency, will review and consider all comments received during the comment period in determining whether to issue the specific exemption requested by the USDA/APHIS.

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List of Subjects

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Dated: May 28, 2008.

Lois A. Rossi,

Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

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[FR Doc. E8-13002 Filed 6-10-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6560-50-S