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Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1A.105 Protein; Time Limited Exemption From the Requirement of a Tolerance; Correction

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule, correction.

SUMMARY:

On May 20, 2009 EPA published a Final Rule that established an 18-month, time-limited exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1A.105 protein in or on the food and feed commodities cotton seed, cotton seed oil, cotton seed meal, cotton hay, cotton hulls, cotton forage and cotton gin byproducts when used as a plant-incorporated protectant. Subsequent to the publication of the May 20, 2009 Final Rule, the Agency identified an error in the Analytical Methods section of that Rule's preamble. Through this action, EPA is republishing the tolerance exemption with a new effective date and opportunity to request a hearing, and a corrected Analytical Methods section. The conditions of the Start Printed Page 39541time-limited tolerance exemption as established on May 20, 2009 are unchanged: the time-limited tolerance exemption expires and is revoked on November 22, 2010.

DATES:

This regulation is effective August 7, 2009. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before October 6, 2009 and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

ADDRESSES:

EPA has established a docket for this action under docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0101. All documents in the docket are listed in the docket index available at http://www.regulations.gov. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information (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 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 Docket Facility is open 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:

Denise Greenway, Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division (7511P), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: 703-308-8263; e-mail address: greenway.denise@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. How Can I Access Electronic Copies of this Document?

In addition to accessing electronically available documents at http://www.regulations.gov, you may access this Federal Register document electronically through the EPA Internet under the “Federal Register” listings at http://www.epa.gov/​fedrgstr. You may also access a frequently updated electronic version of 40 CFR part 174 through the Government Printing Office's e-CFR site at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/​ecfr.

C. Can I File an Objection or Hearing Request?

Under section 408(g) of FFDCA, 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. The EPA procedural regulations which govern the submission of objections and requests for hearings appear in 40 CFR part 178. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0101 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All requests must be in writing, and must be mailed or delivered to the Hearing Clerk on or before October 6, 2009.

In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing that does not contain any CBI for inclusion in the public docket that is described in ADDRESSES. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit your copies, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0101, 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 Facility'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.

II. Background and Statutory Findings

In the Federal Register of March 4, 2009 (74 FR 9395) (FRL-8403-5), EPA issued a notice pursuant to section 408(d)(3) of FFDCA, 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide tolerance petition (PP 9F7521) by Monsanto Company, 800 North Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63167. The petition requested that 40 CFR part 174 be amended by establishing a time-limited exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of the plant-incorporated protectant Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1A.105 protein, in or on the food and feed commodities cotton seed, cotton seed oil, cotton seed meal, cotton hay, cotton hulls, cotton forage and cotton gin byproducts. This notice included a summary of the petition prepared by the petitioner Monsanto Company. This petition was submitted to deal with a small amount — less than an acre — of an unauthorized, genetically-engineered cotton variety containing an unregistered plant-incorporated protectant - the Cry1A.105 protein — that was inadvertently harvested along with 54 acres of a commercially-available, genetically-engineered cotton variety. (http://www.epa.gov/​pesticides/​biopesticides/​pips/​btcotton_​statement.html). In response to EPA's notice announcing the filing of pesticide petition 9F7521, one comment was received and was addressed in the May 20, 2009, Final Rule, in which EPA presented its rationale for establishing an 18-month time-limited exemption from the requirement of a tolerance.

Subsequent to the publication of the May 20, 2009 regulation, the Agency identified an error in the Analytical Methods section of the Rule's preamble (Unit VII.B.). Specifically, the text in the Analytical Methods section of the preamble to the May 20, 2009 Final Rule erroneously stated that the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method analyzed for Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1A.105 protein. In fact, the PCR method analyzes for Bacillus thuringiensis Start Printed Page 39542Cry1A.105 DNA. This action corrects that error. This action also establishes a new effective date and opportunity to request a hearing. The conditions of the time-limited tolerance exemption as established on May 20, 2009 are unchanged: it still expires and is revoked on November 22, 2010. See Section VII.B., below, for the subject correction to the Analytical Methods section.

Section 408(c)(2)(A)(i) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish an exemption from the requirement for a tolerance (the legal limit for a pesticide chemical residue in or on a food) only if EPA determines that the exemption is “safe.” Section 408(c)(2)(A)(ii) of FFDCA defines “safe” to mean that “there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue, including all anticipated dietary exposures and all other exposures for which there is reliable information.” This includes exposure through drinking water and in residential settings, but does not include occupational exposure. Pursuant to section 408(c)(2)(B) of FFDCA, in establishing or maintaining in effect an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance, EPA must take into account the factors set forth in section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA, which require EPA to give special consideration to exposure of infants and children to the pesticide chemical residue in establishing a tolerance and to “ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to infants and children from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue.... ” Additionally, section 408(b)(2)(D) of FFDCA requires that the Agency consider “available information concerning the cumulative effects of a particular pesticide's residues ” and “other substances that have a common mechanism of toxicity.”

EPA performs a number of analyses to determine the risks from aggregate exposure to pesticide residues. First, EPA determines the toxicity of pesticides. Second, EPA examines exposure to the pesticide through food, drinking water, and through other exposures that occur as a result of pesticide use in residential settings.

III. Toxicological Profile

Consistent with section 408(b)(2)(D) of FFDCA, EPA has reviewed the available scientific data and other relevant information in support of this action and considered its validity, completeness, and reliability and the relationship of this information to human risk. EPA has also considered available information concerning the variability of the sensitivities of major identifiable subgroups of consumers, including infants and children.

For a more extensive discussion, see the Final Rule of May 20, 2009 (74 FR 23635, FRL-8417-3).

IV. Aggregate Exposures

In examining aggregate exposure, section 408 of FFDCA directs EPA to consider available information concerning exposures from the pesticide residue in food and all other non-occupational exposures, including drinking water from ground water or surface water and exposure through pesticide use in gardens, lawns, or buildings (residential and other indoor uses).

A. Dietary Exposure

Food. See the Final Rule of May 20, 2009 (74 FR 23635, FRL-8417-3).

B. Other Non-Occupational Exposure

Dermal and inhalation exposure. See the Final Rule of May 20, 2009 (74 FR 23635), (FRL-8417-3).

V. Cumulative Effects

See the Final Rule of May 20, 2009 (74 FR 23635), (FRL-8417-3).

VI. Determination of Safety for U.S. Population, Infants and Children

See the Final Rule of May 20, 2009 (74 FR 23635), (FRL-8417-3).

VII. Other Considerations

A. Endocrine Disruptors

See the Final Rule of May 20, 2009 (74 FR 23635), (FRL-8417-3).

B. Analytical Method

A Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method for the detection and (in the context of a tolerance exemption) measurement of the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1A.105 DNA in cotton has been submitted (MRID 477497-01).

C. Codex Maximum Residue Level

See the Final Rule of May 20, 2009 (74 FR 23635, FRL-8417-3).

VIII. Conclusions

See the Final Rule of May 20, 2009 (74 FR 23635, FRL-8417-3).

IX. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

This final rule establishes an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance under section 408(d) of FFDCA in response to a petition submitted to the Agency. 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 final rule has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866, this final rule is not subject to Executive Order 13211, entitled Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) or Executive Order 13045, entitled Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997). This final rule does not contain any information collections subject to OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., 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).

Since tolerances and exemptions that are established on the basis of a petition under section 408(d) of FFDCA, such as the exemption in this final rule, do not require the issuance of a proposed rule, the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) do not apply.

This final rule directly regulates growers, food processors, food handlers, and food retailers, not States or tribes, nor does this action alter the relationships or distribution of power and responsibilities established by Congress in the preemption provisions of section 408(n)(4) of FFDCA. As such, the Agency has determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on States or tribal governments, on the relationship between the national government and the States or tribal governments, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government or between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. Thus, the Agency has determined that Executive Order 13132, entitled Federalism (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) and Executive Order 13175, entitled Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000) do not apply to this final rule. In addition, this final rule does not impose any enforceable duty or contain any unfunded mandate as described under Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) (Public Law 104-4).

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 Start Printed Page 39543(NTTAA), Public Law 104-113, section 12(d) (15 U.S.C. 272 note).

X. Congressional Review Act

The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. EPA will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of this final rule in the Federal Register. This final rule is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

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List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 174

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Dated: July 27, 2009.

W. Michael McDavit,

Acting Director, Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

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Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

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PART 174—[AMENDED]

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1. The authority citation for part 174 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 21 U.S.C. 321(q), 346a and 371.

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2. Section 174.502 is revised to read as follows:

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Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1A.105 protein; exemption from the requirement of a tolerance.

(a) Residues of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1A.105 protein in or on the food and feed commodities of corn; corn, field, flour; corn, field, forage; corn, field, grain; corn, field, grits; corn, field, meal; corn, field, refined oil; corn, field, stover; corn, sweet, forage; corn, sweet, kernel plus cob with husk removed; corn, sweet, stover; and corn, pop, grain and corn, pop, stover are exempt from the requirement of a tolerance when the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1A.105 protein is used as a plant-incorporated protectant in these food and feed corn commodities.

(b) A time-limited exemption from the requirement of a tolerance is established for residues of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1A.105 protein in or on the food and feed commodities of cotton; cotton, forage; cotton, gin byproducts; cotton, hay; cotton, hulls; cotton, meal; cotton, refined oil; and cotton, undelinted seed when the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1A.105 protein is used as a plant-incorporated protectant in these food and feed cotton commodities. The exemption from the requirement of a tolerance expires and is revoked on November 22, 2010.

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[FR Doc. E9-18860 Filed 8-6-09; 8:45 am]

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