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Rule

Methamidophos; Tolerance Actions

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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.

SUMMARY:

EPA is revoking tolerances for the insecticide methamidophos on cucumber, eggplant and melon. The regulatory actions finalized in this document are in follow-up to the Agency's reregistration program under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), and tolerance reassessment program under section 408(q) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

DATES:

This regulation is effective November 4, 2009. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before January 4, 2010, 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-2007-0261. 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:

Joy Schnackenbeck, Pesticide Re-evaluation Division (7508P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 308-8072; e-mail address: schnackenbeck.joy@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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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 180 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-2007-0261 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 January 4, 2010.

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-2007-0261, 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

A. What Action is the Agency Taking?

In the Federal Register of May 23, 2007 (72 FR 28912) (FRL-8130-8), EPA issued a proposed rule concerning tolerance actions for certain pesticide active ingredients, including methamidophos. In that proposed rule, the Agency proposed to revoke specific tolerances for residues of the insecticide methamidophos, which included tolerances in 40 CFR 180.315(a) on broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, eggplant and melon because there were no active U.S. registrations and therefore, the tolerances were no longer needed. Also, the proposal of May 23, 2007 provided a 60-day comment period which invited public comment for consideration and for support of tolerance retention under FFDCA standards. EPA only received comments regarding the methamidophos tolerance revocations from Bayer CropScience and the Canadian Horticultural Council requesting EPA to reconsider their proposal to revoke the tolerances of methamidophos on cabbage and broccoli in order to allow imports of these commodities from Canada. In the September 26, 2007 Federal Register (72 FR 54574) (FRL-8147-6), EPA issued a final rule in follow up to the May 23, 2007 proposal. In that final rule, EPA included an announcement that the Agency would not take action on methamdiophos tolerances, at that time based on the comments received during the public comment period.

In this final rule, EPA is now proceeding to revoke tolerances for residues of methamidophos in or on cucumber, eggplant and melon. EPA is finalizing these tolerance actions in order to implement the tolerance recommendations made during the reregistration and tolerance reassessment processes (including follow-up on canceled or additional uses of pesticides). As part of these processes, EPA is required to determine whether each of the amended tolerances meets the safety standard of FFDCA. The safety finding determination of “reasonable certainty of no harm” is discussed in detail in each Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) and Report on Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) Tolerance Reassessment Progress and Interim Risk Management Decision (TRED) for the active ingredient. REDs and TREDs recommend the implementation of certain tolerance actions, including modifications, to reflect current use patterns, to meet safety findings and change commodity names and groupings in accordance with new EPA policy. Printed copies of many REDs and TREDs may be obtained from EPA's National Service Center for Environmental Publications (EPA/NSCEP), P.O. Box 42419, Cincinnati, OH 45242-2419; telephone number: 1-800-490-9198; fax number: 1-513-489-8695; Internet at http://www.epa.gov/​ncepihom and from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), 5285 Port Royal Rd., Springfield, VA 22161; telephone number: 1-800-553-6847 or (703) 605-6000; Internet at http://www.ntis.gov. Electronic copies of REDs and TREDs are available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov and http:// www.epa.gov/​pesticides/​reregistration/​status.htm.

This final rule does not revoke those tolerances for which EPA received comments stating a need for the tolerance to be retained. In response to the proposal published in the Federal Register of (May 23, 2007) (72 FR 28912), EPA received no comments during the 60-day public comment period for the proposed revocation of methamidophos tolerances on cucumber, eggplant and melon. Therefore, EPA is revoking the tolerances in 40 CFR 180.315(a) on cucumber, eggplant, and melon.Start Printed Page 57080

B. What is the Agency's Authority for Taking this Action?

EPA may issue a regulation establishing, modifying, or revoking a tolerance under FFDCA section 408(e). In this final rule, EPA is and revoking tolerances to implement the tolerance recommendations made during the reregistration and tolerance reassessment processes, and as follow-up on canceled uses of pesticides. As part of these processes, EPA is required to determine whether each of the amended tolerances meets the safety standards under FFDCA. The safety finding determination is found in detail in each post-FQPA RED and TRED for the active ingredient. REDs and TREDs recommend the implementation of certain tolerance actions, including modifications to reflect current use patterns, to meet safety findings, and change commodity names and groupings in accordance with new EPA policy.

EPA has issued a post-FQPA RED for methamidophos. REDs and TREDs contain the Agency's evaluation of the database for these pesticides, including statements regarding additional data on the active ingredients that may be needed to confirm the potential human health and environmental risk assessments associated with current product uses, and REDs state conditions under which these uses and products will be eligible for reregistration. The REDs and TREDs recommended the establishment, modification, and/or revocation of specific tolerances. RED and TRED recommendations such as establishing or modifying tolerances, and in some cases revoking tolerances, are the result of assessment under the FFDCA standard of “reasonable certainty of no harm.” However, tolerance revocations recommended in REDs and TREDs that are made final in this document do not need such assessment when the tolerances are no longer necessary.

EPA's general practice is to revoke tolerances for residues of pesticide active ingredients on crops for which FIFRA registrations no longer exist and on which the pesticide may therefore no longer be used in the United States. EPA has historically been concerned that retention of tolerances that are not necessary to cover residues in or on legally treated foods may encourage misuse of pesticides within the United States. Nonetheless, EPA will establish and maintain tolerances even when corresponding domestic uses are canceled if the tolerances, which EPA refers to as “import tolerances,” are necessary to allow importation into the United States of food containing such pesticide residues. However, where there are no imported commodities that require these import tolerances, the Agency believes it is appropriate to revoke tolerances for unregistered pesticides in order to prevent potential misuse.

When EPA establishes tolerances for pesticide residues in or on raw agricultural commodities, the Agency gives consideration to possible pesticide residues in meat, milk, poultry, and/or eggs produced by animals that are fed agricultural products (for example, grain or hay) containing pesticides residues (40 CFR 180.6). If there is no reasonable expectation of finite pesticide residues in or on meat, milk, poultry, or eggs, then tolerances do not need to be established for these commodities (40 CFR 180.6(b) and (c)).

C. When Do These Actions Become Effective?

These actions become effective on the date of publication of this final rule in the Federal Register. The tolerances revoked in this rule are associated with uses that have been canceled for several years. The Agency believes that treated commodities have had sufficient time for passage through the channels of trade.

Any commodities listed in the regulatory text of this document that are treated with the pesticides subject to this final rule, and that are in the channels of trade following the tolerance revocations, shall be subject to FFDCA section 408(l)(5), as established by FQPA. Under this unit, any residues of these pesticides 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 at a time and in a manner that was lawful under FIFRA.

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 a tolerance or exemption from tolerance. Evidence to show that food was lawfully treated may include records that verify the dates that the pesticide was applied to such food.

III. Are There Any International Trade Issues Raised by this Final Action?

In making its tolerance decisions, EPA seeks to harmonize U.S. tolerances with international standards whenever possible, consistent with U.S. food safety standards and agricultural practices. EPA considers the international Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, as required by section 408(b)(4) of FFDCA. The Codex Alimentarius is a joint U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization food standards program, and it is recognized as an international food safety standards-setting organization in trade agreements to which the United States is a party. EPA may establish a tolerance that is different from a Codex MRL; however, FFDCA section 408(b)(4) requires that EPA explain the reasons for departing from the Codex level in a notice published for public comment. EPA's effort to harmonize with Codex MRLs is summarized in the tolerance reassessment section of individual REDs and TREDs, and in the Residue Chemistry document which supports the RED and TRED, as mentioned in the proposed rule cited in Unit II.A. Specific tolerance actions in this rule and how they compare to Codex MRLs (if any) is discussed in Unit II.A. of the proposed rule.

IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

In this final rule, EPA revokes specific tolerances established under FFDCA section 408. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted this type of action (i.e., a tolerance revocation for which extraordinary circumstances do not exist) from review under Executive Order 12866, entitled Regulatory Planning and Review (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). Because this rule has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866 due to its lack of significance, this 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). 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., 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 as required by 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 other 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 Start Printed Page 57081consensus standards pursuant to section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (NTTAA), Public Law 104-13, 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) (FRL-5753-1), and was provided to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. Taking into account this analysis, and available information concerning the pesticides listed in this rule, the Agency hereby certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. In a memorandum dated May 25, 2001, EPA determined that eight conditions must all be satisfied in order for an import tolerance or tolerance exemption revocation to adversely affect a significant number of small entity importers, and that there is a negligible joint probability of all eight conditions holding simultaneously with respect to any particular revocation. (This Agency document is available in the docket of the proposed rule, as mentioned in Unit II.A.) Furthermore, for the pesticides named in this final rule, the Agency knows of no extraordinary circumstances that exist as to the present revocations that would change EPA's previous analysis. 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 final 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 FFDCA. For these same reasons, the Agency has determined that this 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 13175, 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 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 rule.

V. 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 180

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Dated: October 23, 2009.

Steven Bradbury,

Acting Director, Office of Pesticide Programs.

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Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is 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]
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2. Section 180.315 is amended by removing the entries “cucumber,” “eggplant,” and “melon” from the table in paragraph (a).

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[FR Doc. E9-26603 Filed 11-03-09; 8:45 am]

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