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FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel; Notice of Public Meeting

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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:

There will be a 4-day meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) to consider and review a set of scientific issues related to the Re-Evaluation of Human Health Effects of Atrazine: Review of Experimental Animal and In Vitro Studies and Drinking Water Monitoring Frequency.

DATES:

The meeting will be held on April 26-29, 2010, and will begin on Monday, April 26, 2010 at 1 p.m. On April 27-29, 2010, the meeting will be held from approximately 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Comments. The Agency encourages that written comments be submitted by April 12, 2010 and requests for oral comments be submitted by April 19, 2010. However, written comments and requests to make oral comments may be submitted until the date of the meeting, but anyone submitting written comments after April 12, 2010 should contact the Designated Federal Official (DFO) listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. For additional instructions, see Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

Nominations. Nominations of candidates to serve as ad hoc members of FIFRA SAP for this meeting should be provided on or before March 19, 2010.

Special accommodations. For information on access or services for individuals with disabilities, and to request accommodation of a disability, please contact the DFO listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT at least 10 days prior to the meeting to give EPA as much time as possible to process your request.

ADDRESSES:

The meeting will be held at the Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel, located at 1001 14th St., NW., Washington, DC, 20005. The telephone number for the Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel is (202) 682-0111.

Comments. Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0125; 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.

Instructions. Direct your comments to docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0125. If your comments contain any information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected, please contact the DFO listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT to obtain special instructions before submitting your comments. 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 Start Printed Page 10256you 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 at http://www.regulations.gov. 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.

Nominations, requests to present oral comments, and requests for special accommodations. Submit nominations to serve as ad hoc members of FIFRA SAP, requests for special seating accommodations, or requests to present oral comments to the DFO listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Joseph E. Bailey, DFO, Office of Science Coordination and Policy (7201M), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (202) 564-2045; fax number: (202) 564-8382; e-mail address: bailey.joseph@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. General Information

A. Does this Action Apply to Me?

This action is directed to the public in general. This action may, however, be of interest to persons who are or may be required to conduct testing of chemical substances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), FIFRA, and the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 (FQPA). Since other entities may also 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 DFO listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

B. What Should I Consider as I Prepare My Comments for EPA?

When submitting comments, remember to:

1. Identify the document by docket ID number and other identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register date and page number).

2. 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.

3. Explain why you agree or disagree; suggest alternatives and substitute language for your requested changes.

4. Describe any assumptions and provide any technical information and/or data that you used.

5. If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be reproduced.

6. Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns and suggest alternatives.

7. Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the use of profanity or personal threats.

8. Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline identified.

C. How May I Participate in this Meeting?

You may participate in this meeting by following the instructions in this unit. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, it is imperative that you identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0125; in the subject line on the first page of your request.

1. Written comments. The Agency encourages that written comments be submitted, using the instructions in ADDRESSES, no later than April 12, 2010, to provide FIFRA SAP the time necessary to consider and review the written comments. Written comments are accepted until the date of the meeting, but anyone submitting written comments after April 12, 2010 should contact the DFO listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Anyone submitting written comments at the meeting should bring 30 copies for distribution to FIFRA SAP.

2. Oral comments. The Agency encourages that each individual or group wishing to make brief oral comments to FIFRA SAP submit their request to the DFO listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT no later than April 19, 2010, in order to be included on the meeting agenda. Requests to present oral comments will be accepted until the date of the meeting and, to the extent that time permits, the Chair of FIFRA SAP may permit the presentation of oral comments at the meeting by interested persons who have not previously requested time. The request should identify the name of the individual making the presentation, the organization (if any) the individual will represent, and any requirements for audiovisual equipment (e.g., overhead projector, 35 mm projector, chalkboard). Oral comments before FIFRA SAP are limited to approximately 5 minutes unless prior arrangements have been made. In addition, each speaker should bring 30 copies of his or her comments and presentation slides for distribution to the FIFRA SAP at the meeting.

3. Seating at the meeting. Seating at the meeting will be open and on a first-come basis.

4. Request for nominations to serve as ad hoc members of FIFRA SAP for this meeting. As part of a broader process for developing a pool of candidates for each meeting, FIFRA SAP staff routinely solicits the stakeholder community for nominations of prospective candidates for service as ad hoc members of FIFRA SAP. Any interested person or organization may nominate qualified individuals to be considered as prospective candidates for a specific meeting. Individuals nominated for this meeting should have expertise in one or more of the following areas: Risk assessment, mode of action analysis (particularly those with MOA framework experience), frameworks to evaluate human relevance, pharmacokinetics, neuroendocrinology (hormone-mediated health effects), HPA axis (corticosterone), immuno- toxicology, epidemiology, reproductive/developmental biology and environmental sampling and statistical modeling. Nominees should be scientists who have sufficient professional qualifications, including training and experience, to be capable of providing expert comments on the scientific issues for this meeting. Nominees should be identified by name, occupation, position, address, and telephone number. Nominations should be provided to the DFO listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT on or, before March 19, 2010. The Agency will consider all nominations of prospective candidates for this meeting that are received on or, before this date. However, final selection of ad hoc members for this meeting is a discretionary function of the Agency.

The selection of scientists to serve on FIFRA SAP is based on the function of the panel and the expertise needed to address the Agency's charge to the panel. No interested scientists shall be ineligible to serve by reason of their Start Printed Page 10257membership on any other advisory committee to a Federal department or agency or, their employment by a Federal department or agency except the EPA. Other factors considered during the selection process include availability of the potential panel member to fully participate in the panel's reviews, absence of any conflicts of interest or appearance of lack of impartiality, independence with respect to the matters under review, and lack of bias. Although, financial conflicts of interest, the appearance of lack of impartiality, lack of independence, and bias may result in disqualification, the absence of such concerns does not assure that a candidate will be selected to serve on FIFRA SAP. Numerous qualified candidates are identified for each panel. Therefore, selection decisions involve carefully weighing a number of factors including the candidates' areas of expertise and professional qualifications and achieving an overall balance of different scientific perspectives on the panel. In order to have the collective breadth of experience needed to address the Agency's charge for this meeting, the Agency anticipates selecting approximately 15 ad hoc scientists.

FIFRA SAP members are subject to the provisions of 5 CFR part 2634, Executive Branch Financial Disclosure, as supplemented by the EPA in 5 CFR part 6401. In anticipation of this requirement, prospective candidates for service on the FIFRA SAP will be asked to submit confidential financial information which shall fully disclose, among other financial interests, the candidate's employment, stocks and bonds, and where applicable, sources of research support. The EPA will evaluate the candidates financial disclosure form to assess whether there are financial conflicts of interest, appearance of a lack of impartiality or any prior involvement with the development of the documents under consideration (including previous scientific peer review) before the candidate is considered further for service on FIFRA SAP. Those who are selected from the pool of prospective candidates will be asked to attend the public meetings and to participate in the discussion of key issues and assumptions at these meetings. In addition, they will be asked to review and to help finalize the meeting minutes. The list of FIFRA SAP members participating at this meeting will be posted on the FIFRA SAP website at http://epa.gov/​scipoly/​sap or may be obtained from the OPP Regulatory Public Docket at http://www.regulations.gov.

II. Background

A. Purpose of FIFRA SAP

FIFRA SAP serves as the primary scientific peer review mechanism of EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances (OPPTS) and is structured to provide scientific advice, information and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on pesticides and pesticide-related issues as to the impact of regulatory actions on health and the environment. FIFRA SAP is a Federal advisory committee established in 1975 under FIFRA that operates in accordance with requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. FIFRA SAP is composed of a permanent panel consisting of seven members who are appointed by the EPA Administrator from nominees provided by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. FIFRA, as amended by FQPA, established a Science Review Board consisting of at least 60 scientists who are available to the SAP on an ad hoc basis to assist in reviews conducted by the SAP. As a peer review mechanism, FIFRA SAP provides comments, evaluations and recommendations to improve the effectiveness and quality of analyses made by Agency scientists. Members of FIFRA SAP are scientists who have sufficient professional qualifications, including training and experience, to provide expert advice and recommendation to the Agency.

B. Public Meeting

EPA is undertaking a re-evaluation of the human health effects of atrazine. The re-evaluation plan was presented to the FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) in November 2009 and involves three SAP meetings in 2010. The first was held in February 2010 where the Agency presented its preliminary reviews of several atrazine epidemiology studies on birth outcomes and described a project plan to evaluate atrazine epidemiology data from the Agricultural Health Study (http://aghealth.nci.nih.gov/​). The April 2010 SAP meeting will focus on:

1. A preliminary review of mammalian in vivo as well as in vitro studies on toxicological effects and modes of action.

2. Statistical approaches for evaluating monitoring frequency in community water systems (CWS).

For the April SAP meeting, the Agency’s scientific review of toxicology studies will focus on those studies used to support the reregistration of atrazine and new studies available up to January 30, 2010. Any studies that become available after January 30, 2010 will be integrated into the Agency’s weight-of-the-evidence (WOE) analysis scheduled for review by the FIFRA SAP in September 2010. This WOE analysis will integrate in vivo and in vitro laboratory studies along with epidemiologic data and other human information.

At the April meeting, the Agency plans to solicit comment from the SAP on the toxicological importance and human relevance of a variety of effects including findings on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, immune system, prostate, brain, and the enzyme, aromatase. In addition, the Agency plans to discuss the scientific issues associated with lifestage susceptibility and linking a chemically-induced activation of the HPA axis to other health outcomes and possible approaches to use key events in a mode of action in risk assessment. The Agency will not be proposing updated points of departure or a complete scientific analysis relevant to the FQPA Safety Factor for protection of infants and children at the April SAP meeting. The Agency will consider the advice of the April SAP, however, to help inform these issues which will be presented to the September SAP. Following the April SAP, the Agency will continue to review the scientific literature with particular emphasis on the potential for differential lifestage susceptibility and the temporal aspects of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic events. This temporality is an important scientific issue for the assessment of the health effects of atrazine because the duration of exposure leading to adverse effects is a critical aspect of determining the appropriate frequency of water monitoring in CWS, which will also, be discussed in September.

As a condition of reregistration of atrazine, EPA required the registrants to implement a monitoring program in selected CWS, generally in the corn and sorghum growing area of the midwest. In implementing a monitoring program, the frequency of sampling is closely linked to the health effects of concern. If the health effects of concern relate to long-term chronic exposures, a yearly average concentration is sufficient. Less frequent sampling may provide sufficient data for EPA to be reasonably confident that the results are representative of a yearly average concentration. However, for effects that can occur after shorter exposure durations, more frequent sampling may be needed in order to be confident that the sampling has not missed a high-end or peak exposure that could significantly affect the estimate of short term exposure. The Agency will be Start Printed Page 10258evaluating the temporality of toxic effects as it conducts this reevaluation of atrazine and at the April SAP will also discuss proposed statistical approaches to determine the appropriate monitoring frequency for different durations of interest.

The Agency will consider the advice and recommendations received from the SAP at the April 2010 meeting as it develops the WOE analysis integrating experimental toxicology and epidemiology studies with statistical analysis for determining the frequency of water monitoring scheduled for review by the SAP in September.

C. FIFRA SAP Documents and Meeting Minutes

EPA's background paper, related supporting materials, charge/questions to FIFRA SAP, FIFRA SAP composition (i.e., members and ad hoc members for this meeting), and the meeting agenda will be available by mid-March. In addition, the Agency may provide additional background documents as the materials become available. You may obtain electronic copies of these documents, and certain other related documents that might be available electronically, at http://www.regulations.gov and the FIFRA SAP homepage at http://www.epa.gov/​scipoly/​sap.

FIFRA SAP will prepare meeting minutes summarizing its recommendations to the Agency approximately 90-days after the meeting. The meeting minutes will be posted on the FIFRA SAP website or may be obtained from the OPP Regulatory Public Docket at http://www.regulations.gov.

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List of Subjects

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Dated: February 17, 2010.

Frank Sanders,

Director, Office of Science Coordination and Policy.

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[FR Doc. 2010-4540 Filed 3-4-10; 8:45 a.m.]

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